Just the Tip of the Iceberg With Preaster

He's never been to a college camp. He's never been to a scouting combine. He's never run a timed 40-yard dash. He has yet to get into lifting weights hardcore. Apparently, if you watch his film it doesn't matter. College coaches still know who he is, and DeAndre Preaster of Proctor High in Utica, N.Y., will be one of the most sought after receivers in the 2008 recruiting class.

Notre Dame is one of the many schools already interested.

DeAndre Preaster didn't realize how good he was at first. He was just playing football, a game he loved. Then the 6-foot-3, 195-pound receiver got his first letter.

"It was from Michigan State," Preaster said. Now he has three full boxes of letters including plenty postmarked from South Bend. "I was shocked. I didn't think I would be the one in my family to get letters like that."

Nobody in Preaster's family went on to play Division I sports. Preaster is pretty much a lock.

Letters are coming in from the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, etc., etc., etc.

"Almost every school," said Preaster, who is waiting on his first offer.

"We are getting calls from everywhere," Proctor head coach Jerry Fiorini said. He mentioned talking to Syracuse and Pittsburgh quite a bit, and that Florida State, Ohio State and Wisconsin are among some of the big-time notables.

Preaster has been on just one unofficial visit, nearby Syracuse, so not many coaches have gotten to know him. They do know his stats, and some have swooped by Proctor to pick up video including former Irish assistant coach Peter Vaas.

As a junior, Preaster caught 33 passes for 640 yards (19.3) and six touchdowns. He carried the ball 19 times for another 206 yards. Playing a tad on the other side of the ball, Preaster made 18 tackles, picked off three passes and recovered a fumble and ran it back 96 yards.

"Whenever we needed a big play he was out there," Fiorini said. "It was really tough because we didn't have other guys to go to, and teams would put two three guys on him. We had to do whatever we could to get him the ball, put him in the backfield, whatever, punt returner, kick returner, he did it all."

"I'm not to flashy, I got juke moves but not too flashy," Preaster said. "I'm fast, and basically that's it."

When asked his 40 time, Preaster said he has never ran one but guessed in the 4.4-4.5 range. Fiorini also said 4.4 in a different conversation.

"He's multi-dimensional, great talents on offense," Fiorini said. "He has great hands, good in one-on-one when he gets the football. Has very good instincts. He can do it all. If they want to give him a scholarship at receiver, and then turnaround and play him at corner, he will do just as well.

"The way this kid can play, I wont be surprised if I eventually see (Irish head) coach (Charlie) Weis. I just read his book so I want to meet him."

Preaster is very aware of what he has to do this summer to further impress the big-time college coaches. Once he gets done starring on the basketball team, the area Player of the Year last year as the team's center, Preaster is ready to hit the weight room, and do some traveling. He wants to hit camps at Notre Dame, Ohio State, Florida, Michigan and Michigan State.

"Anywhere to get noticed," Preaster stated. He has also been hitting the books hard raising his GPA to 2.5. Like his strength in the weight room, that will rise as well.

Preaster has noticed Notre Dame.

"I like that school, I like the way they play," Preaster said. "I'm interested in that school. My coaches always tell me that's a good school. They said they have great athletes and all that other stuff."

Preaster is obviously a great athlete himself. Just wait until he starts hitting the weights hard, and runs some 40s at camps.


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