Lanefski a Special Story, Talent

It's long been known around the Mobile (Ala.) area, but very few outside of the Alabama city have heard of the great tales surrounding the athleticism of one, Jake Lanefski.

So forgive Mobile (Ala.) McGill-Toolen head coach Steve Savarese for not being shy in playing story-teller.

"Jake's more than just a great football player," Coach Savarese explained, "he's a state champion in the shotput and he placed fifth in the world in the long drive championship. He's a great golfer; somewhere between a 6 and an 8 handicap. He can hit the ball over 400 yards off a tee."

The senior's accomplishments on the golf course only mirror what he's been able to do in track and field. The standout shot-putter recorded a competition best of 45 feet as a sophomore and according to a recent report in an Alabama newspaper, Lanefski has since thrown 53 feet in practice.

"He's just a great athlete," Savarese added, "he can really move for a guy his size and he's really competitive in everything he does. His motor is always running and he's going hard all the time. He's always trying to improve and get better."

The 6-foot-5, 265 pounder was not on the mainstream recruiting radar at the beginning of the season, partly because football was his third favorite sport and partly because he hadn't played the game.

"He transferred to us last year so he had to sit out because of transfer rules," the McGill-Toolen head coach, who helped lead his program to its first regional title in 25 years said. "He worked hard in the weight room and out on the practice field to get himself prepared for this season. Gradually, you could see him just keep getting better and better every week."

Once his opportunity arrived, Lanefski never left the field. "He ended up playing both sides of the ball for us, at offensive tackle and defensive end," Savarese said. "I can't say it enough, he's just a great athlete."

In just one year, amazingly, Lanefski went from having never played a football game to a star in the thick of 6A football - the largest classification in the state of Alabama - and now one of the more heavily recruited players in the state.

"Everybody's been in to take a look," Savarese said, "Everyone."

Coach Brooks and Kentucky were the Alabama products' first scholarship offer in November, but despite it being just a month ago, the 6-foot-5, 265 pounder has already added Marshall, Southern Mississippi, South Florida, The Citadel, Memphis, Army and Navy to the list of suitors.

After an official visit to UK, Lanefski committed to the Wildcats. "I really liked the players and the coaching staff when I went up there for my visit," Lanefski said. "I'm still gonna take my visits and check out some other players, just to make sure, but as of right now I am committed to Kentucky."

Although a defensive tackle in high school, Lanefski projects on the offensive side of the ball in college.

"It just depends on what the coaches want to do with him," Savarese added. "I could see him playing either side of the ball."

The official end of year stat line on Lanefski shows the star lineman had 10 pass break-ups and 70 tackles, as well as an interception return for a touchdown.

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