Talk about commitments and talk about competition, but academics were just as important in the camp experience for Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips linebacker Jonathan Pollock.
Pollock traveled to Rutgers with high school transcripts in-hand. Four classes away from the end of his high school career, Pollock can sign financial aid papers Aug. 1 to lock up his spot at Rutgers for early enrollment.
“Throughout high school, that’s what I wanted to do and I knew it was a plus for colleges,” Pollock said. “I started early and have been doing multiple courses in the summers and online. I’ve got four classes left. I’m doing three right now, and I only have one to do in the fall.”
Pollock delivered his transcripts to defensive line coach Jim Panagos at the start of his visit.
“I’m just overjoyed to get all of this over with,” Pollock said.
But what really made the most recent Pollock visit to Rutgers different than the rest?
How about a run-in with a childhood idol?
Pollock flew home Sunday morning, where he styled and profiled his way into a meeting with WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair.
Pollock attended Wrestlemania XXIV, where Flair famously wrestled Shawn Michaels in his retirement match.
“My dad’s worked with him quite a few times,” Pollock said. “I am the biggest Ric Flair fan you’ll ever meet in your life. … He remembered me and gave me a high five, and everyone was like ‘who the hell is this kid?’ It was funny. Then he ordered a beer right before the flight – classic Ric.”
Before a meeting between “chop nation” and “woo nation,” Pollock spent two days on the Rutgers campus with the commitment of three-star linebacker Rashawn Battle as a highlight.
“I feel like every time I visit, someone commits,” Pollock said. “I had a great time working with coach [Bob] Fraser for the first time. I got to work with Battle. That was great. I felt like he pushed me in the drills, and after reading his interviews, I’m glad to see he felt like I pushed him.”
Pollock camped alongside Battle Saturday morning, and enjoyed his first in-depth work with Fraser.
“He’s a perfectionist, and that’s what I need,” Pollock said. “That’s going to make me a better player in the end. It was a camp, so there wasn’t much to draw out of it, but he got a good sense for me, and I got a good sense for him.”