Spry Putting Up Impressive Numbers

Football prospect Ralph Spry Jr. is having a terrific senior season as a wide receiver.

Auburn, Ala.--A college scout would have to look long and hard to find a wide receiver in the state of Alabama who is having a more impressive 2006 football season than Ralph Spry, Jr.

The speedy Auburn High School senior has caught 36 passes for 750 yards, an impressive average of 20.8 yards per catch. He has caught 11 touchdown passes and scored on 87-yard end-around play and on a kickoff return. He also uses his sub 4.5 40 speed as a standout on the kick coverage team.

Spry was a good high school receiver as a junior who received some interest from college coaches, but this season he has taken his play to another level and admits the season is going even better than he expected. He went into the season with a personal goal of finishing with 500 receiving yards and has already surpassed that in eight games for his 5-3 team that has already clinched the homefield for the first round of the state playoffs with two regular season games to go.

"I think I have gotten a lot faster this year," Spry says, explaining his better production. "I think I am stronger, too." Another reason for his good numbers is his ability to make difficult plays. He has made a variety of circus catches this year and is attracting more attention from colleges.

The son of Auburn University head track and field coach Ralph Spry, word of the wide receiver's exploits has worked its way across town to the AU football coaches, but they aren't the only ones who have heard about Spry's impressive season. "I have heard a lot from Troy University, LSU, Arkansas, Tennessee, Southern Mississippi, UAB, Georgia Tech, Alabama State, Memphis and Vanderbilt," he says. "I don't have an offer yet."

Academics won't be an issue with the receiver, who made the Scout.com Combine All-Star team this pas spring with an impressive performance in Tuscaloosa. Spry says that the college recruiters he talks to tell him to keep up what he is doing on the field and in the classroom and there could be an offer coming down the road. The 5-11, 167-pounder would probably already have a large number of offers if he was bigger. "My doctor told me a while back I may grow a little bit more," he says.

The wide receiver's biggest game statistically this year came against Enterprise High when he finished with 215 receiving yards despite being double-covered that night after single coverage didn't work. That will likely happen again this Friday when Auburn High plays its big rival, Opelika High, at Duck Samford Stadium in Auburn in front of what is expected to be a soldout, standing room only crowd.

"I am expecting a close game," says Spry, who notes there is a lot of excitement at his school this week as the Tigers prepare for the game vs. 7-1 OHS." Both of our teams are pretty good this year."

Spry notes that he has a good passer, quarterback Jim Hester, throwing the ball his way and that backup Sonta Whatley is a solid passer, too. Whatley handled the QB assignment earlier this year while Hester was injured. "I have been working with Sonta since my sophomore year."

At his current pace, Spry will finish the season with more than 1,000 receiving yards.

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