RB has a winter growth spurt

When one talks about the best players in high school football in Western Pennsylvania, the name Jeremy Bruce always pops up. But when you talk about how those players translate into solid D-1 recruits his name didn't come to mind until 2 months ago.

His productivity was never questioned, nor was his athletic ability. The big question was does he have the size to be a big time college player, and at 5-7, 168, that was a valid question. Those were his measureables last season. However, after the winter and a dedicated off-season in the weight room, Bruce is now 5-10, 190.

"I grew this past winter and I've been hitting the weights real hard," said Bruce.

RB Jeremy Bruce of Blackhawk High School in Beaver Falls, PA has experienced a sort of meteoric rise on the boards of many D-1 colleges lately. He attended the Nike Combine at Penn State and turned in one of the top 3 scores out of over 450 participants. He ran a 4.43 forty, 3.91 20-yard shuttle, vertical jumped 41", and completed 19 reps of 185 lbs on the bench. He then took part in the Metro-Index camp at the UPMC Southside facility and again showed he is a legitimate prospect.

Does Jeremy think the camps helped his stock?

"Without a doubt, these schools didn't even really know who I was after the Nike Combine. Everyone wanted to talk to me."

Jeremy has a written scholarship offer from Akron and a verbal offer from West Virginia. Several schools have been recruiting him very hard including Syracuse, Duke, Marshall, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, and Penn State.

In 2003, Bruce rushed for 1,767 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was named 1st Team AP Class AAA All-State, 2nd Team PA Football News Class AAA All-State, and 1st Team All-Parkway Conference. Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Akron are all interested in Jeremy's offensive skills, while others such as Penn State like him as a defensive back.

Where does Bruce prefer?

"I have very limited experience as a defensive back. I like to have the ball in my hands, so I'd say definitely I want to play offense in college. I'll be a senior and looked at for leadership, so I'll have to play both sides of the ball this year."

With his new body, does he see his production rising this season?

"We had a great offensive line last year. This year, we will be smaller up front. If I can surpass or duplicate the numbers I put up I'd be happy, but I just want to help my team win."

Blackhawk is coached by Joe Hamilton. Last season, the Cougars finished the season with a 10-2 record. They lost the last game of the regular season to Ambridge and then lost in the WPIAL Class AAA sem-finals to the eventual Western champions and state runner-up Pine Richland Rams by a 20-17 margin.

Jeremy is planning on camping at Syracuse, Pittsburgh (18th -19th), Penn State (20th-23rd), West Virginia, Marshall, and Maryland. He has taken unofficial visits to West Virginia, Akron, and Pittsburgh.


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