2008 Intro: Michael Via

MCLEANSVILLE, N.C. --- With a couple of scholarship offers already in hand, Michael Via heads into the May Evaluation Period with strong odds to land more.

"Michael has been offered by Georgia Tech [and] East Carolina," said Tommy Pursley, McLeansville (N.C.) Northeast Guilford's head football coach. "Virginia told me that he was in their top five on their board for linemen and that they were probably going to offer him in the spring when they come by.

"Penn State called the other day and the guy that recruits this area [Larry Johnson] is not their offensive line coach. But he's going to bring his offensive line coach with him in the spring and he said that he wants the offensive line coach to see Mike and he thinks that they are going to offer him, too."

Additionally, Via, a 6-foot-6 255-pounder, will have an opportunity to earn a scholarship offer at Florida's one-day camp on June 3rd.

"[Florida's coaches] just said they want to look at me in camp and see how I do," said Via. "They said they are going to decide from there [whether to offer or not]."

Ironically, outside of film requests, Via isn't hearing from most of the regional programs that traditionally recruit the Tar Heel State.

Meanwhile, the schools currently recruiting Via are advancing their relationships through constant communication.

"Georgia Tech, I get text messages from them just about every day," said Via. "Virginia is recruiting me pretty hard – I get a pretty good amount of text messages from them. I get text messages from Florida every once in a while.

"I talk to the coaches at Georgia Tech [over the phone] a pretty good amount. I talk to Doc Holiday at Florida and Mike O'Cain at Virginia."

Via is "keeping all of my options open" and not claiming any favorites. He also doesn't have a timeline for his recruitment.

"I guess when everything seems to be right with the college I'll choose my school," said Via.

"I want to make sure they have my major [Civil Engineering], I like a good campus feel, and a good football program."

Via attended junior days at Auburn, Florida, and Wake Forest. While his schedule wouldn't allow him to attend Virginia's Junior Day, he was able to make other arrangements and squeeze in an unofficial visit Charlottesville.

Despite earning first team all-conference, first team all-county, and all-area honorable mention recognition as a junior at offensive tackle, Via will see his role change dramatically during his senior season.

"We expect that we're going to play him a lot at defensive end, as well as offensive line," said Pursley. "He played at [offensive] tackle last year for us, but we're going to put him at guard this year.

"In our offense, we put our bigger, stronger guys at guard and our quick, more agile guys at tackle. While he's quick and agile enough to play tackle, we need him inside at guard to take advantage of how big and strong he is because of what we run."

Pursley believes Via is only going to excel in his new role as he continues to progress as a player.

"Michael Via is an excellent player," said Pursley. "Even though he's 6-6, he plays low. He's quick, he's agile, and he's gotten a lot stronger.

"He played for us last year at 230 [pounds], he's now 255. He won't do anything but just get better and better. By the end of the year, I expect he'll probably weight 270."

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