Injury doesn't Slow Down OL's Recruitment

It's a high school football player's nightmare: a serious injury in their junior year. It usually hampers one's chances of obtaining scholarship offers, as schools start stargazing for the upcoming recruiting class. Offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles knows how lucky he is after tearing his ACL this past November. He's still coveted as ever, and the Sun Devils are one of many schools pursuing him.

"Even after the injury I've been getting the same level of recruiting attention, and maybe even more with new schools contacting me," said Bear Creek (Col.) High School offensive tackle Jeremiah Sirles. "It definitely helped me through the rehab."

Sirles tore his ACL knee ligament in the regular season finale and consequently missed the playoffs. He stated that he will be cleared before the beginning of fall camp, and claimed that the healing process hasn't been excruciatingly hard. "I just always tell myself to keep it up and keep going when I rehab," he said. "Sometimes it's just such a slow process and there's noting you can do to speed it up, and it‘s hard when they tell you that you just have to wait it out.

The Lakewood lineman sports nine scholarship offers including Arizona State. Colorado, Colorado State, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Louisville, Northwestern, Kansas State, and New Mexico State round up the list of programs who have offered.

"Arizona State has been recruiting me pretty much all of my junior year," said the 6-7 285 Sirles. "They offered me in March. Coach Lubick is recruiting me. I like Arizona State because they seem like a very strong and stable program."

"I like that they are a very balanced offense. Yeah, I like a passing offense but I also like an offense that runs a lot so the defense has to respect the run. When they do that they don't tee off on you every snap because they know you will pass.

Sirles has maintained for a while that Texas Tech has the edge over other schools that are vying for his services, and he repeated that comment in our interview. "Texas Tech is probably my top school along with Colorado. Arizona State is not far behind," Sirles noted. He added that he grew up a Michigan fan and thus initiated contact with the Wolverines in hopes of getting more recruiting attention from them.

Sirles reported being timed at a 5.0 in the 40-yard dash, benching 315 lbs. and squatting 405. He feels stronger than ever in his upper body due to his injury which has been naturally limiting his lower body workouts. Sirles was named All-Conference and All-State following his shortened junior year. "I want to repeat those honors, and hopefully make an All-American team," he said of post-season honor aspirations in 2008.

Bear Creek's left tackle obviously takes much pride in protecting his quarterback's blind side, and he feels that the skills necessary to perform that task are some of his strongest.

"I'm very strong at pass blocking," said Sirles. "Our quarterback threw for more than 3,300 yards. I feel that I'm a good run blocker too, but I'm definitely stronger in the pass blocking. I do need to work on my foot speed."

Bear creek finished the 2007 campaign 10-3 and lost in the state's semi-finals. "We were ranked the #1 offense in the state and almost everyone is coming back," he said as he previewed the upcoming season. "There's a very good chance we'll be ranked #1 and hopefully we go all the way this time."

Naturally because of the timing of his injury, Sirles won't be participating in any combines or team camps, as he continues to rehab. "If I was healthy I would go to ASU's team camp and other team camps too," he claimed.

Sirles indicated that he will try to take official recruiting trips during the season, but as the consummate teammate he may shy away from doing that. "I don't want my teammates to think that I'm more worried about college in the middle of our season," he explained. "But at the same time I do wanna make me decision towards the end of my season, so I will have to take some visits during the season."

The lineman visited Texas Tech's spring game on April 19th, and is likely to visit there again, this time officially, in the fall. "Our football coaches go down there every summer and watch their drills, so our offense is pretty much the same as Texas Tech's," he said.

With so much interest all over the nation, Sirles is certainly open to the notion of playing away from home, although he acknowledged that staying in his own backyard for college is very appealing.

"I want to be a starter before my senior year and just feel comfortable where am at," he said of what he will be looking for in a school. "I just want to go to a program where I can excel."

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