Gary Lovely - LB - 6-3, 195, 4.5/40 - San Jose, CA. (Gunderson) - There's no denying his stats. Last season, Lovely tallied an impressive 100 tackles which included 20 sacks. To put up those kinds of numbers and earn All-CIF league honors, you might be curious as to why Lovely's name hasn't arose sooner. We won't debate unknowns, but what is known is that Lovely is on the way up.
What started as a little attention here and a little attention there has grown considerably. With offers on the table from Washington State and Sacramento State, it seemed that the choices might have been somewhat limited. That's changed in the recent months though, Miami, USC, Oklahoma, UCLA and Nebraska all picking up the volume of letters Lovely has received from them.
With Lovely's versatility, he has served as a DE and LB for his Gunderson team. Actually, in their particular defensive formation, (The 5-2), it's the LB that is playing the DE position on the weak side. That's a lot of freedom from the linebacker position to be able to rush the QB almost at will or stay back , playing "read and react" defense. No doubt a large contributor to Gary's totals of the season prior to this one.
Schools from around the country though are looking at Lovely more as a LB type, but again, other schools like Arizona sees him as a safety. For Gary though, he's looking at Linebacker.
Pertaining to the schools he is looking at, at the next level, Gary said that he liked a lot of fan support. "I feed off the crowds, so I like the big crowds." As to the location, Lovely said that from the big picture standpoint, it wasn't a major factor, but he's gotten quite used to the west coast type of weather. "I would like something like we have around here. I won't say that I wouldn't play in weather like they have in the midwest, I just like the nicer weather."
Yes, Gary likes the nice weather, but who wouldn't? People tend to think that some players too used to consistently nice climates are a little softer than some. Lovely goes a long way in discouraging those types of beliefs, especially in his attitude towards the game and the opponent. For starters, though he is in the current 5-2 defense, he favors the 4-3 because as he puts it, "you are aggressive all the time." Another thing, what goes through Gary Lovely's mind when he has a ball carrier dead in his sights, but the ball carrier doesn't know it. "It's highlight time" Gary stated. "It's all about the knockout shot then. I want to make sure I make the tackle, but it's time to light him up."
Thus far, Gary hasn't taken any unofficial visits, but plans on taking one to the USC/UCLA this up-coming season. As to his official visits, Gary stated that he would like to visit, Miami, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Washington and is unsure as to the last time, if there is one.
The decision from Gary will come after the season, because the focus is on the here and now. His team will be moving up in competition, going from the B league to the A league and that means much stiffer tests for his team, but much more in the way of opportunities for Lovely to show just what he has. It will be a way for him to not only insure that those paying attention to him now keep doing so, but might just bring in a few more teams to the mix. Either way, Gary isn't looking to be a household name, but his name alone might entrench itself into your brain and add to that his ability, potential and his attitude towards the game and more specifically, his opponent, Lovely could be heard of all around the country on a recruiting site near you.