Virginia OL Likes Duke Early

For Duke, Virginia has been a strong producer when it comes to recruiting since head coach David Cutcliffe took over. As the class of 2012 begins, the Blue Devils are looking to go North again in hopes of bolstering the offensive line.

"Right now I play offensive guard for my high school team, but some of the programs are thinking of making me into a tackle," said Richlands (Va.) standout Josh Hess. "Right not it's a case by case basis and just depends on the school."

Hess certainly has the size and strength to play on the inside at 6-foot-6 and 290 pounds with a bench press of 315 pounds, a squat of 375, and a clean of 255 pounds. He's also got a nasty streak on the interior that has allowed him to earn a number of post season accolades and a reputation as a fearsome run-blocker.

"I feel like my run blocking is my best strength at this time. I like putting my hand on the ground and driving someone off the ball. Really getting after them from the snap. Coaches have noticed that and the fact that I feel that nobody will ever out-work me. I know I need to work on my speed and lateral quickness at this point, though."

As a junior for Richlands, Hess earned 1st Team All-State, All-Region, All-District, and All-Area honors. Such a resume also translates into early success on the recruiting trail.

"I have already been offered by Marshall. I'm being recruited by Virginia, Duke, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Boston College, and Marshall. Really it's the SEC and ACC schools at this point."

Duke in particular has been very active with Hess early on in his recruitment. And the efforts appear to be paying off.

"I like the program at Duke a lot. I feel like Coach Cutcliffe is going to turn the program within the next couple of years. Also they are building an indoor facility and adding on to the stadium. It's going to be really nice. I feel like I have a very good relationship with Coach Roper and Coach Luke, the offensive line coach. He writes me quite a bit and ever time I am at Duke he's always talking to me."

As with most players the first pitch from Duke and Cutcliffe is academics and that resonates with Hess.

"They education is tough to beat at Duke. They are ranked something like eighth in the country and 14th in the world. The campus is beautiful as well."

Moving forward Hess isn't sure where his unofficial visit or camp schedule will take him, but he knows what he'll be looking for when he does take the various visits.

"I've visited Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Marshall, Boston College, and Kentucky. I plan on going to Florida to visit during Spring Practice, and I know South Alabama has asked me to come down. It's hard to tell where I'll end up going this summer though. I know that when I am looking that academics will be big. Football atmosphere and tradition are also important to me."

Away from the field Hess says his hobbies include fishing and hunting, but he also likes to lift whenever he can. In the classroom his favorite subject is anatomy.

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