1-9 was not what Victor Ugenyi had in mind for his senior season at North Springs High School, but it was a growing experience for the defensive end - in many ways. A late bloomer physically, Ugenyi is filling out his 6'3" frame. 190 pounds a year ago, he tips the scales today at 230 and has a good deal of growth ahead of him. At the same time, the Atlanta (Ga.) athlete improved his understanding of how to play the game.
"Last year, it was fun. I hit anybody I saw," Ugenyi explains. "This year I think and play out more in my head. I watch more film. I used to be surprised by anything, but now I'm not surprised. Now I know more about what the offense is going to do on a play."
While the Spartans enjoyed sparse success, their standout defensive end recorded double-digit sacks.
"But I'd still rather have a win," Ugenyi admits. "The losses just mess up my whole weekend. You cannot help but think about the game all the time after Friday night."
With the season coming to a merciful close last month, Ugenyi has redirected his thoughts and efforts to two areas: conditioning and recruiting.
"Right now I'm trying to train to get faster. I can feel a difference already," he explains. "During the season, in the second or third quarter, I got winded after some plays. I want to be able to run consistently for a long time. College is a lot faster than high school, and I want to get fast enough to catch people in college."
Ugenyi has not run too quickly into his recruitment, however, holding off on official visits until he finished his senior season of football. He has been offered by Georgia, Georgia Tech, Baylor, Indiana, Army and Furman. Ugenyi has unofficially visited Georgia and Georgia Tech, and his first official visit will take him to West Point this weekend.
Across the country, and yet to extend an offer, Stanford remains more than just an intriguing interest to the Peach State standout.
"I think Stanford is my best option right now. I want education and athletics. Stanford is getting their athletics better, and their academics are the best," Ugenyi opines. "People at my church who went to Stanford and came back to visit - they didn't have anything bad to say. The weather and the kids are great."
"The place really intrigues me," he adds. "Georgia is not bad, but I have been around here so long. I might want something new, and Stanford would be pretty new and far away from what I have known."
Ugenyi is being recruited by Stanford recruiting coordinator Nate Hackett, who made an impression earlier this fall with a surprising appearance.
"Coach Hackett came to a practice, which meant a lot to me," the recruit relates. "A lot of people talk, but that made me see that there is action to his words."
The North Springs senior is expecting an offer to come if and when he can clear the Cardinal admissions application process. Ugenyi scored a 1350 during his junior year on the old SAT and holds a 3.5 unweighted (3.7 weighted) GPA. He has completed and submitted his application to Stanford, where he will take an official visit the weekend of January 6.
While Ugenyi awaits his admissions fate, and hopes for a Stanford offer, he has his other offers and suitors to explore. Army head coach Bobby Ross came for an in-home visit on Tuesday, while Stanford, Connecticut and Villanova all paid him visits yesterday. Georgia Tech came by the school but missed him while he was away on a school field trip. The other in-state power has not been as attentive, however.
"I haven't talked to anybody at Georgia in a couple of weeks," Ugenyi says. "They still send mail, but I don't know how interested they are in me right now. I guess that opens up a slot for somebody else."
With all of his official visits still ahead of him, and a landscape still laying out, the North Springs senior has more questions than answers remaining in his recruitment. We will keep tabs on this story as it develops in the coming weeks, and keep you abreast of Victor Ugenyi's latest.
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