The Summer Of Stoehr

Like many high school football players, Suwanee (GA) North Gwinnett offensive lineman Alex Stoehr (6-2, 298) has been on the road to a lot of schools this summer - such as Arkansas last weekend - trying to put himself in position to earn an elite D-I scholarship.

Like many high school football players, Suwanee (GA) North Gwinnett offensive lineman Alex Stoehr has spent the summer on the road on his own kind of publicity tour.

One of those stops for Stoehr (6-2, 298), a top Georgia heavyweight wrestler who is likely a guard or center in college, was to Arkansas' Elite Camp last Saturday.

He's also been to North Carolina, Ole Miss, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas State and Ball State trying to put himself in position to earn a scholarship.

"I feel like I have learned a lot of stuff in run blocking because we are such a big spread team at North Gwinnett," Stoehr said. "I've always felt comfortable in one-on-ones because that is the main stuff we do in practice. But going to these camps has allowed me to see techniques that I have never seen before – especially with the SEC schools."

This was actually the second trip to Fayetteville for Stoehr, who attended an Arkansas spring practice two days after former coach Bobby Petrino was ousted.

This trip he got a chance to meet with Razorback head coach John L. Smith, offensive line coach Chris Klenakis, recruiting coordinator Tim Horton and defensive coaches Paul Haynes and Taver Johnson, who recruits Georgia.

"It was really different than every other camp I had been to," Stoehr said. "It was some stuff that I hadn't ever done and it took me awhile to get comfortable. But I can see how they build off that and have had so much success. The drills are another higher level than the other places I have been."

Stoehr, who bench presses 425 pounds, squats 550 and runs a 5.0 40-yard dash, spent time working with Klenakis.

"He is like real picky with the technique," Stoehr said. "He keeps us going over and over and over again at such a fast pace that you just pick it up and learn it without even realizing it."

Stoehr has yet to get an elite D-I offer yet as most schools want to see him in game action this season, but most have shown an increased level of attention after his camp performances.

"I feel like it is almost easier to get noticed on paper when you are taller," Stoehr said. "I have never had any problems with my height. I am faster than most people my size and I'm more athletic."

Stoehr, who will be the top-seeded heavyweight in the Georgia prep wrestling ranks this fall, believes wrestling is something that gives him an edge over other offensive linemen.

"My wrestling background has taught me how to control other people's bodies," Stoehr said. "This year I have hit the weights really hard and I feel like I have strength over everybody now. My punch just completely stops them in their tracks."

Stoehr, who grew up as a fan of Notre Dame, believes that wrestling has also helped him become more versatile.

"I think I am way lighter on my feet and there is so much balance involved in it," Stoehr said. "When you have big bodies moving at you and trying to throw you around, you get it figured out pretty quickly. You learn the leverage of people's bodies and how you can move them and make them uncomfortable in the trenches."

Virginia Tech has offered him a wrestling scholarship and Chattanooga (formerly the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga) has also expressed interest in him joining two of their programs.

"A school that hasn't even talked to me about football, but wants me to come and wrestle as a heavyweight for them in Virginia Tech," Stoehr said. "UTC has also talked to me about coming up there and playing football for eight months and then wrestling for two months.

"I have thought about wrestling in college, but I have decided that I want to play football and just end my wrestling career in high school," Stoehr added.

Stoehr admits to being frustrated that most of the schools he's visited have told him he was "next" on their list and they would offer him if another scholarship for an offensive lineman opens up.

"It's been tough," Stoehr said. "I see people getting offered that I have done better than at camps. But I am not real worried about it. My plan is to just come out and this senior season and dominate and end with a bang."

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