Posted by Brad on April 19, 2013
Obviously I was at a high school that didn't really produce a lot of Division I prospects. My coach, Dan Duddy, and I knew I had the potential, but we didn't know at what level. He told me that he knew we didn't really play many big time schools and since we weren't known for Division I recruits, nobody was really looking at us.
My coach played a very key role in guiding me in the right direction, given the situation. He knew the only way to get exposure was for me to go to camps early.
I first started to go to combines the summer after my freshman year. I went to a big time showcase at Rutgers. I was the only freshman there. I wanted to get the experience of doing one-on-ones. I did pretty well. I was probably the smallest guy there, but I held my own. I'm not sure, but I think they had a couple of college coaches there watching because Boston College invited me to their camp after I attended the showcase.
I went to Boston College's and Georgia's camps that summer. I just did those camps to get experience – it wasn't really for recruiting purposes. I kind of wanted to see what the deal was like. I wanted to be aware of what it would be like my junior and senior years when I was trying to get recruited.
I realized from those camp experiences that I needed to work on my pass blocking. Since my school runs a triple-option offense, we don't throw the ball very much so I had no idea what I was doing in pass protection, which is key for one-on-ones. So, my coach set me up with a Division III coach to work on my pass blocking. I had a crash course before the summer after my sophomore year. He taught me how to do a kick slide and a power step. I picked it up pretty quickly. I felt I was a natural.
The following summer, I went on a camp and combine circuit. I went to the Under Armour Combine and I was one of the top linemen there. I went to the Junior Rank Camp in Philadelphia and I was one of the top linemen there, also. And then I went to the Boston College camp and after the camp they offered me – it was my first offer.
Getting that first offer was kind of surreal. I knew it was a possibility, but I didn't know if it was going to happen. I went in with the mindset that I was going to do my best and whatever happens, happens. I was kind of blown away by the fact that I got a Division I offer as a sophomore. I was really excited and just enjoyed the process from then on out.
I went to Rutgers' camp and they offered me, as well.
I came up with a list of schools that I had in mind that I was interested in. It was a pretty lengthy list with SEC, ACC, and Big Ten schools. I also threw in schools like Delaware, Monmouth, and Holy Cross just in case. After some camps, a lot of schools contacted me and asked me for film – West Virginia and Central Florida were the early ones to ask me for film. I added those schools to the list too and then sent them all film.
I guess I got kind of lucky because most of the schools that I sent film to offered me. I guess they noticed that other schools were offering me based on camp performances so I guess they figured that I looked good on film and I had been offered at camps so they should offer. That's really how I started to get a lot of my offers. My recruitment really started to build up at that point.
To be honest, I'm not sure if I initially sent film to North Carolina. They got involved later on in the process when Coach Larry Fedora's staff got there – it wasn't until my junior year. I remember Coach Dave Duggan reached out to me in February of my junior year and they offered me after I sent my film down at that point.
March 27, 2013 - 'Versatile Lineman'