Hart Checks In

2011 wide receiver Derek Hart talked to TSR a few weeks ago at the Nike Baltimore Combine.

Although he has not earned any offers yet, Manheim Central (Pa.) wide receiver Derek Hart might have turned some scouts' heads recently after an impressive performance at the “Nike Baltimore Combine” at Annapolis High School.

According to the rising senior, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Maryland are interested in him.

At the Nike Combine, he might have improved his chances for gaining an offer from one of these schools, after posting a 4.84-second 40-yard dash time, a 4.62-second agility shuttle, a 32-inch vertical jump and a 40-foot power ball toss - a test which involves holding a medicine ball above one's head while kneeling, then extending his body forward while launching the ball. These numbers combine for a Nike Sparq rating of 89.58, an above-average score.

West Virginia and Pittsburgh have shown more interest in Hart than Maryland, according to him. Recruiters from both of these schools have watched his game tapes and invited him to games and spring practices.

While Maryland coaches hadn't watched Hart's tapes before he arrived to College Park for junior day two weeks ago, the wide-out noted that he felt valued during his time at practice. “Just from talking to [the coaches] and them seeing me, they thought I looked like a pretty good prospect,” Hart said.

According to ESPN Rise, Hart caught 26 passes for 372 yards last year en route to losing in the Pennsylvania AAA State Championship game.

Pittsburgh and West Virginia are courting Hart hard, and he plans to visit the latter soon. But, Maryland has a personal connection to Hart. James Franklin, Maryland's “head coach in-waiting,” played college football with Manheim Central Offensive Line Coach Dave Hawn, and is a friend of his, according to Hart.

Maryland coaches “knew who I was when I went down there,” Hart said. “They were really nice people.” He was also impressed with some of the physical features of Maryland's campus, including the “huge” weight room and the “nice dorm rooms.”

He also liked the convenience of football facilities. “I like how everything's in the same area,” Hart said. “The study hall, the weight room, the football field and the cafeteria are all” close together.

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