Adam Plouder benefitted from the personal contact and coaching suggestions available to participants at an Illinois summer camp in Edwardsville recently. Only trouble was, he was not yet physically ready to perform.
"Last year during July camp, I broke my leg. My tibia and fibula completely snapped in half during a fumble the last day, the last play of camp. So I missed my whole junior year."
The St. Louis Marquette defensive lineman was cleared to play again just prior to the Illini summer camp, but the UI camp came too soon for him to participate. He's looking forward to getting back on the field and showing coaches what he can do.
"Schools told me to come to camps, come talk to them to see how my leg is coming. I'm gonna be fully ready first game of my senior year. And I'm gonna send game films to them."
Right now, three schools are showing the most interest.
"Mizzou, Indiana and Illinois."
The broad-shouldered 6'-4", 280 pounder appears to be in excellent shape. And he has assets worthy of attention by major colleges.
"I started all my games sophomore year. I can move around pretty good for my size. That gave me a lot of help going against these huge offensive linemen. I'd like to keep working on moving my feet. Having really good feet can make your football career very successful."
Plouder has the quickness needed to be a good high school defensive lineman. But some feel he can be even better by switching to offense, where his athleticism would be a major asset.
"The biggest thing going around right now is whether I'll be an offensive lineman down the road. I'll play d-end this year, and I'm also going to play offensive tackle. In college, I'll be an offensive guard most likely. I'm gonna still work on defense, and hopefully that will be something in my future."
His criteria for selecting a college are similar to most high school prospects.
"Great football program, great academics, great community. My major will most likely have something to do with Science."
Marquette, which is in the large-school division in Missouri, missed Plouder last year. He hopes they rebound to have a season similar to when he was a sophomore.
"The season I hurt my leg, we were 3-7; it was a rough year. But the year before that, when I started my sophomore year, we were 8-2 and were the conference champs. The first game of the playoffs, we had to go against the runner-ups of state. We got smoked by them.
"We're looking very good. We've got a lot of leaders going for us, and we expect great things."
The scars on his leg are nasty, but his play on the field this fall should help him gain the respect he needs to become a viable candidate for major scholarship offers.