Breitenstein Has Sights on Title

With the reining Associate Press Player-of-the-Year gone to graduation, Eric Breitenstein, the first runner-up, is the odds on favorite to win the accolade this fall.

Breitenstein, a 5-foot-11 208-pound athlete, plays running back, linebacker, and defensive back for Boone (N.C.) Watauga.

Offensively, Breitenstein amassed 2,619 rushing yards on 359 attempts for a solid 7.3 average; he also scored twenty-six touchdowns. Defensively Breitenstein was a strong force collecting 161 tackles while forcing six fumbles and recovering three. He also intercepted five passes.

"Last year was my best year ever offensively," said Breitenstein. "It was just great all-around, offense and defense. We molded together. It was good year for me because we did really well."

After having mediocre season after mediocre season the past 25 years, Watauga finally broke through last year finishing with a 12-3 record, while making the state semifinals.

"Last year was so great for our team," said Breitenstein. "It was the first time since 1981 that we had a good year. We completely turned it around. We had a 12-3 record and made it to the semifinals. Overall it was just a great year."

As for the 2007 Pioneers, Breitenstein sets the expectations high.

"We have a really good chance to be good again, if we work hard over the summer, we can be just as good or better, we want to make the championship game.

"For me, I just want to get my team to the state championship game. [Rushing for] 2,600 yards again is tough to get, so what I want to do is just help my team do anything to help us win the state championship."

Breitenstein didn't want to comment on the colleges are recruiting him. He did mention that he will be attending "probably 8-10 one day camps" although he doesn't know which ones at this current time.

Currently, Breitenstein isn't leaning towards any schools and didn't even have a favorite school growing up

"I really don't have a favorite team, I just want to go out there and play, I just want to play college football."

On the collegiate level, the division of football Breitenstein ends up playing will determine what position he plays.

"I think I will be a strong safety at a D1 [school], maybe a running back at a smaller type of school," said Breitenstein. "Basically, wherever they want to plug me in [I'll play]; whatever helps the team."

To help get his name out there, Breitenstein attended the Shrine Bowl Combine held in Asheville in Mid-April.

"I ran a 4.49 forty; I pulled my hamstring playing baseball earlier so that was the only time I ran it. I think I ran a 4.13 in the shuttle or something like that," said Breitensein. "Overall, I felt I did good. It was my best forty time ever so I think you can say I did well."

Breitenstein also vertically jumped 26.3 inches and bench pressed 185 pounds 14 times.


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