It takes a special type of player to be an offensive lineman. One player who loves to battle in the trenches is Hillcrest OT/OG Jarele Finley. The 2012 prospect displayed plenty of promise last season and he's looking to add more schools to his growing list. SCPrepNation.com caught up with Finley for an update concerning the very latest.
At 6'0 1/2 250 pounds Finley isn't the largest offensive lineman you'll encounter but he utilizes what many consider a disadvantage to his own advantage he says.
"My biggest strengths are my footwork and speed. Since I'm not the hugest person I take pride in getting low and driving my feet so that I can move any object in my way," Finley told us.
Finley has been hitting the road every chance he gets to compete at various camps and combines in order to showcase his talents. He says there are specific areas of his game that he's working hard on in order to improve his stock.
"I have to get my bench press up and also improve in my run blocking skills. It just takes hard work and time but it can be achieved."
Looking ahead to his senior season Finley also talked about his goals for his team.
"My team is known as underdogs now but we plan on making a huge impact this year and bringing a region championship back to Simpsonville. My personal goal is to have over twenty pancakes and have my running backs accumulate over 1500 yards rushing."
Reflecting back on his junior season Finley says he only gave up 4 sacks and had 16 pancake blocks. One game in particular he says he stepped up his level of play for his outgoing teammates.
"My best game was probably the Riverside game. I had 4 pancakes and it was the seniors' last game so they were able to go out winners."
Finley's toughest individual matchup of the season provided an interesting story to say the least.
"The toughest player I went up against last year was T.J. Terrell from J.L. MANN. He had a constant motor and swift moves which made me adjust my game plan on attacking him. After he got that one sack I had enough and had to give it my all to stop him which I did. A funny story about us that we were the worst enemies when we faced each other but now we are the best of friends. We call ourselves the "Dynamic Duo" because we are both some of the top linemen in the Upstate and hopefully plan on attending the same college possibly one day."
So far regional schools have started recruiting Finley. Schools like Western Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, South Carolina, and Florida International have been in contact early. Finley says that Western Carolina is recruiting him the hardest out of everyone on that list.
"I haven't taken any visits yet but I hope to check out South Carolina and Georgia State very soon."
Finley says he plans on making his decision known on National Signing Day because, "it's always been a goal for me."
We'll keep you updated about Jarele Finley as his recruitment continues to grow. He's set to take part in the Badger Sport South Showcase/Combine at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School on April 23rd. All 9-12 grade prospects from South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina are eligible to attend the event where some of the state's top high school coaches as well as current and former NFL players will be there to help coach as well. Contact us at SCPrepNation@aol.com for registration forms and details about this upcoming event.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS...JARELE FINLEY
Bench press: 255 pounds
Squat: 425 pounds
Power clean: 225 pounds
Fastest 40 time: 5.1 seconds