OL Standout Plans to Ink With UM

This talented offensive lineman said he plans on signing with the University of Miami. Read on to find out what he thinks of the Hurricanes team this season, how his season's going, what other schools are recruiting him, and his thoughts on some other possible future Canes.

At 6-foot-3 and 295 pounds, Linwood (N.J.) Mainland standout offensive/defensive lineman John Rochford has helped his team to a 2-1 start, with the only loss coming this past weekend in a game that Rochford describes as "perhaps the best game I've ever played in" against Wayne Hills.

"We had a real tough loss," he said. "This is a game they'll be talking about for a long time around here. Unfortunately, we lost."

After the game, Rochford spoke to his opposition's top player and its head coach - for more than to congratulate them on the victory.

"I spoke to Greg Olsen after the game," he said. "He's considered one of the top prospects in the whole state and everyone's recruiting him. We battled the entire game. He's a real tall kid but has lots of speed and is a great overall player. I was telling him to go to Miami. He kind of laughed and said how fun it was to compete and that we might be teammates some day. His father's the head coach there and I told him the same thing. He said Greg is very interested in Miami and he might be taking a visit down there."

Rochford, who is a full academic qualifier, talked about a couple other top prospects from the state of New Jersey that are strongly considering the Hurricanes.

"Turk McBride is a great player," he said. "I don't know him personally but he's in our group. We may get a chance to play them in the state championship game this season and that would be a lot of fun, especially if he's going to Miami too.

"Nate Robinson's another top guy. Along with Greg, they say he's one of the top two players in New Jersey. I've never played against him, although I'd love to."

The talented lineman said ever since making a commitment to UM in mid August, the phone calls from opposing coaches haven't really stopped much.

"I still get some calls from schools like Syracuse, Florida, and Penn State," he said. "I tell them I'm committed to Miami but they keep trying to get me in for a visit. I might take one or two others but the only one I know I'll be taking for sure is to Miami. That's where I'm committed to and that's where my heart's at."

Rochford, who has 20 tackles and two sacks in three games this season, said he's watched the Hurricanes every time he's had the chance to this season.

"They're a great football team," he said. "Sometimes it's amazing to think how good they are. They've been having an awesome season. Everyone thought they had some question marks but their secondary has been playing real well and their offensive line has been great. Plus, their defensive line is just plain nasty. It looks like a fun team to play for (laughing) and I can't wait to get the opportunity to do it."

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