6'9" and 375 lbs. I don't think even Kevin Gogan, former NFL giant was that big and that guy was also HUGE. And Alex is right around 18 years old, so pounds and height rationed out according to age, that makes him, well, HUGE.
Ok, enough beating a dead horse with that. Alex's size gets him noticed, but you know as well as I do that even in the trenches, size can only go so far. For Alex, his competition hasn't made that all that easy because he isn't just immense to anyone else that sees him, but to his competition, he is ..........ok, I give up........He's HUGE.
"Yeah, nobody is really as big as me, so my size is a major advantage." Alex said. "I get even one hand on a guy and it's pretty much over for them."
Size notwithstanding, Alex says that his strength doesn't hurt either. "I'm big, but I don't just lay on people, I overpower them." he said. "My strength IS my strength, because I can pretty much push them all over the place."
While his size gets him noticed by just about anyone within a mile of his proximity, the offers haven't come quite yet, most schools telling Alex one thing. "They say they want to see my first few games before they start offering me a ship." he said.
That's a typical speech any college coach will tell a recruit when they aren't sure, but his grades are good, his 60+ knockdown blocks last year is obviously good and oh yeah, he's friggen HUGE.
The offers haven't come, but the attention is there, Alex's constantly-full mailbox as proof. And the variety of schools that are continuing to make sure Alex doesn't forget them is vast and not isolated to just the southern region of the country. "I get letters from pretty much every team in the ACC and SEC, plus I get mail from schools out west like Nebraska and Colorado." Alex said.
So, what's it going to take to turn those letters into offers? You know it's not inches and pounds. "I'm just looking to have a good year and get maybe 100 knockdown blocks this year." Alex said. "I really don't worry too much about what I do, rather I concentrate on what the team does, but I know I have to do well in order to get those offers."
Hemphill is considering pretty much any school that you can name and you can bet that whoever offers him first goes right to the top of his list, but Alex did say that there is one team that is ideal for him or at the very least, the one team he likes the best. "Virginia." he said. "I've always liked them, they are a great program and they are on the rise. If I could get an offer from anyone, I would want it to be them."
Outside of Virginia offering him though, Alex is open to any and all. "I'm going to look at whoever is looking at me." he said. "I'll take my officials after the season and if there are more than a few offers on the table, I can figure it all out then. Until that happens, I'm just not worrying about it too much."
By the way, have I mentioned that this kid is HUGE?
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619
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