Mauler's milestone

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Brett Dockery got to experience every lineman's dream during Saturday's IMG 7-on-7 Qualifier at Knoxville's U.S. Cellular Complex.

Only skill-position players vie in 7-on-7 competition, so the Farragut High offensive lineman settled for making some unchallenged shotgun snaps during Next Level's opening game. Thinking outside the box, Next Level's coach began utilizing Dockery as a wide receiver in Game 2. Naturally, the sight of the 6-foot-5, 287-pound Dockery lined up against 5-foot-8, 160-pound cornerbacks was downright comical.

"It's fun," he said after the game. "They try to jam me off the line. I'm used to those big guys, so I'm just shoving 'em (cornerbacks) right out of the way."

Lacking the agility to get separation on the outside, Dockery lined up in the slot when his team advanced within five yards of the goal line, then ran a short slant route over the middle. The pass from Next Level's quarterback was on the mark but an undersized cornerback leaped in to tie up Dockery as he wrapped his big hands around the ball. You can guess who won the ensuing tug-of-war. Touchdown ... Next Level.

"It was great, you know?" Dockery said, beaming at the recollection of his TD reception. "To play offensive line and get to come out here and show my athleticism — catch a few balls — is real good."

Asked if he'd ever run a route or caught a pass previously, the big man smiled and answered: "I actually have not. This was my first exposure right here. I've been practicing with the team but to catch a pass in a game ... no sir."

Dockery, who will be a senior at Farragut come fall, is drawing interest from several SEC programs these days. He was to visit Kentucky's camp Sunday. He said he also is hearing from Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Duke and Nebraska, adding: "Those are probably the main ones right now."

Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt and Duke are institutions with lofty academic standards but Dockery will have no problem qualifying for admission.

"I've got about a 3.6 (grade-point average) right now," he said. "I'll probably major in business."

Dockery (no relation to former Vol assistant Rex Dockery) says his leaders at the moment are "probably Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech."

When asked whether he fits best at center, guard or tackle, he simply said, "I play 'em all."

Still, he has a favorite position.

"Probably guard ... getting to be in there and mash heads with those bigger guys," he said.

Because Farragut's offense is fairly diverse, he gets to do a fair amount of pulling.

"Oh, yeah," he said enthusiastically. "Being able to pull and kick out guys is fun."

Although he played exclusively offense as a junior last fall, Dockery is hoping to see action on the Admirals' defensive front in the season ahead.

"I'm going to try to get in a little bit this year," he said. "But our coach normally doesn't like linemen going both ways. He likes to keep us fresh."

Despite a 5.1 clocking over 40 yards and a 370-pound bench press, Dockery is still awaiting his first college scholarship offer. He hopes attending a few more summer camps will rectify that situation.

"It's about just getting my name out there," he said. "I haven't gotten any offers yet, so hopefully this will get my name out there some and get some colleges to bite here in the future."

Dockery believes he has a lot to offer any college willing to invest a scholarship in him, especially one that plays smash-mouth football.

"I'm very physical," he said. "I might not be the fastest. I might not have the best technique. But I'll definitely be physical out there. I'll definitely be the one to maul some people for you."

Brett Dockery makes his way around Shields-Watkins Field as an unofficial visitor to the 2012 Orange & White game in Knoxville.

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