Hess is blessed with big time size for an offensive lineman at 6-foot-6 and 305 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. However, he's hoping to use the camp circuit as a way to not only show his skills to the various coaches, but also to become a more well-rounded player.
"One thing I want to concentrate on improving is my pass blocking. At the camps I'll have the chance to go up against good defensive linemen so I can improve on my footwork and punching for pass setting. I'd also like to continue to work on my technique."
"With camps I think the goal is to show well for the coaches, to show well against your competition, and to see the schools you're looking at. It's a chance to build a relationship and check out the programs up close. Almost every football player that attends camp at a school is looking for an offer from that school."
With the camp season starting to ramp up with his recruiting, Hess says his approach remains the same in terms of dealing with the onslaught of mail and contacts from various programs.
"I just try to stay humble and I'll talk to each and every school that shows interest. I don't want to burn any of my bridges. I read every bit of mail that comes to me and I'll always respond if they ask me to. You only get recruited once so it makes sense to do the process as fully as you can."
As for the Blue Devils, an offer may very well come this summer when Hess attends the camp sessions.
"I hear from Duke about every other day. I think Coach Luke really wants me to come to camp before they make an offer. I also have a pretty good relationship with Coach Roper, but my main contact is Coach Luke. Both of them are up front with me about where things are on their side of things and I respect that approach."
Only a few hours from campus, Hess says he's quite familiar with the scene in Durham and always enjoys his time visiting the campus.
"I've been to Duke around ten times so far. Each time I go back it just gets better. The campus is beautiful and the sports facilities are top of the line. The academics are second to none. On the field I think big things are beginning to happen with Coach Cutcliffe. They just needed a few years under his belt to recruit some good kids and now he has players and it is time to turn things around. It's an attractive place because you can play great opponents and a degree from Duke will get you into just about any job."
Projected as an offensive guard, Hess says he doesn't have any favorites at this point and he hopes to obtain a few more offers as the summer progresses with the goal of making a decision in the early fall.
I want to have it over with shortly after the summer or during the football season. No later than that."