First Colonial (Virginia Beach, VA) junior Connor Mewbourne, a 6-4, 270-pound offensive/defensive lineman, caught the attention of college recruiters as a result of his play last season. For now, it seems as though college coaches like Mewbourne on the offensive side of the ball.
"Really, Connor was kind of an unknown," First Colonial head coach Bill McTyre said. "When coaches came in to tidy up business in January, they had a chance to sit down and look at his highlight tape. N.C. State hopped on him quick. Virginia Tech wants him up there. They've invited him to camp. The feedback has been really positive. Those are the two main ones, but the ones that have seen him seem real excited. ECU, Virginia…they like him. Louisville has been in contact. Northwestern has been in contact.
"Connor is a big-framed kid. You look at him and see he could easily carry 320 pounds. Actually, N.C. State commented that he is the perfect center in their scheme. In his highlights, most of his strengths are on the offensive side of the ball. He has long arms. He primarily took snaps on offense. We used him some at defensive end and some at defensive tackle, depending on the scheme. I think the ingredients are really good for him to be an offensive lineman on the next level."
Mewbourne was thrust onto the varsity level in 2007. He played defensive end, but he was undersized and lacked strength against opposing offensive tackles. Coach McTyre moved Mewbourne down to the junior varsity level in 2008.
"I was livid at first," Mewbourne recalled. "But as the year went on, I appreciated it. I think it really helped me."
Mewbourne has received an official scholarship offer from Old Dominion, but he makes no secret that his dream is to play on the major FBS level.
"There is N.C. State," Mewbourne said when asked which schools were showing the most interest. "I know them. Maryland has sent me a lot of e-mails. ECU and Duke send a bunch of letters. It is generic stuff, but I guess I'm on the recruiting lists of these schools. And then Tech and UVa have both talked to me. My coaches need to send them film. Both have showed interest. I've also been invited to West Virginia for a one-day camp."
Are there any favorites?
"My brother went to West Virginia, so he's been throwing the hate card of UVa and Virginia Tech on me for a while," Mewbourne said. "The majority of my friends are Tech fans. In-state, I'm pretty much Virginia Tech. I know UVa is a good school, but I think Tech's program is better right now. My dad is from Florida, so I'm sure him and his family would love to see me play down there. My brother pushes West Virginia."
This summer may be a busy one for Mewbourne, who intends on participating in one-day camps.
"I attended Maryland's camp last summer," Mewbourne said. "Years before, I went to Navy's. I think I might go to Maryland's again and I'll go to whatever senior one-day camps I get invited to, like UVa and Virginia Tech and possibly West Virginia."
This spring, Mewbourne plans on participating in several camps/combine, including a National Underclassmen Combine and either a Nike or Under Armour camp. He is preparing for those opportunities right now.
"I do 200 push-ups every night," he said. "I work on the 185-pound bench press reps. Also, I'm doing speed work. I condition every week, three times a week. I'm putting on good weight so far this off-season and I hope to be at 280 pounds by the start of the season."