A TRUE RISING STAR: Charlie Kirschman

A visit to northeast Florida will find some impressive talent, but you may not find an athlete who is on the rise like Nease OLB/TE Charlie Kirschman. Welcome to Charlie's World – just to the south of Jacksonville!

Charlie Kirschman calls it the "Tim Tebow Factor". When colleges and universities visit Nease High School, which sits between historic St. Augustine and beautiful Ponta Vedra Beach, to the south of Jacksonville, they flock to see one of the nation's top quarterbacks.

While schools such as Miami, Florida, Notre Dame and Michigan are falling all over the place, trying to lure Tebow to come play for them starting in 2006, players like Kirschman come in to the football office where head coach Craig Howard holds court, says hello and drops off a tape for them to watch along with Tebow's highlight film.

"It's what I like to call the Tim Tebow Factor," said Kirschman. "It's a way where I can get the schools to watch my tape and maybe they will be impressed with what I can do as well while they are there paying so much attention to Tim."

Like we continue to do each year, www.floridakids.us has an advantage when it comes to finding rising stars like Kirschman. While we realize that Tebow is a star, he won't need the help of the recruiting sites and "experts" to expose what he has the past three years. However, players like Kirschman need the exposure so colleges can see what they may have missed.

Another reason is the many contacts we have throughout the state. Coaches like David San Juan, the assistant head coach at Nease, who has a number of quality football players this season. Coach San Juan is one of the great promoters of talent in this state, and he has helped a number of his players as well as some in his area to gain recognition.

"Coach San Juan has already made my life a lot easier," said Kirschman. "He rewards the players on this team for all the hard work they put into getting better by sending out film and making plenty of contacts. There a lot of coaches who don't do that!"

Kirschman is a gifted 6-3, 229-pound outside linebacker and tight end, who has already grabbed the attention of schools such as Florida, Wake Forest, Ohio State, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Tech, USF, Alabama, UCF, Iowa, Purdue, West Virginia, Mississippi, Auburn and Clemson.

While he looks good on the offensive side of the ball, many believe his future will be on defense. Whether it's at linebacker or as a defensive end, it would depend on what schools is fortunate enough to sign him.

"Charlie is one of those athletes who makes a difference," said San Juan. "As a linebacker, he supports the run very well and drops back in coverage too. He is a tremendous football player who also gets it done in the classroom."

Off the field, it's easy to see why schools such as Duke and Wake Forest have been paying plenty of attention. Kirschman holds an impressive 4.23 grade point average.

On the field, he is a show-stopper. Last season, while being named to two all-area teams, Kirschman had 98 tackles and 9 sacks. He has been times at 4.6 (electric timing), power cleans 325 and has a vertical jump of 33.5".

Earlier this year, Kirschman set a county weightlifting record when he 665 pounds in the 219-pound division. He had a 350-pound bench and a 315-pound clean and jerk.
"The main thing about Charlie is his work ethic," said San Juan. "This young man is usually the first one to arrive and the last to leave practice."

In addition to Kirschman and Tebow, Nease also boasts some other top talent. Wide receiver Ryan Ellis has been getting plenty of looks, but there are also middle linebacker/fullback Hunter Haynes, safety/linebacker/running Mannie Wellington, offensive lineman Doug Polochak and running back Daunte Owens.

Also, here are some others to keep an eye on as well: Wide receiver/defensive back Austin Silvoy, wide receiver Chandler Barden, defensive lineman Joey Flinchbaugh, wide receiver Caleb Cooper and running back/safety Andrew Page.

While we don't claim to have all the answers, here at www.floridakids.us, we do have a major edge on the competition from just being able to attend more camps and see more players live than any other ONE source. While I would expect that most of you are tired of hearing that, it is the only way to let the people who follow recruiting understand that watching a player live gives you an advantage.

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