Opponents rarely want to meet 2012 MLB Rivers Bedenbaugh in the hole. The 6'2 230 pound prospect is one of the most imposing prospects you'll find in the Palmetto State manning the mike position. Pair that with superb strength and a mean streak when he's on the field and you've got yourself one of the state's most underrated prospects regardless of position in our opinion. We caught up with Bedenbaugh recently to talk about his junior season, off season plans, and recruitment.
After posting some big time numbers the past 3 seasons Rivers Bedenbaugh is still taking a hard working mentality in order to land his first scholarship offer. As a sophomore he lead Batesburg-Leesville with 98 tackles from his middle linebacker position. He did it again as a junior this past season with 138 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 12 tackles for loss, and a touchdown in just 11 games. He ranked 8th in the state for tackles this past season.
Colleges have already started showing interest in the playmaker from Batesburg. He gave us the rundown of some of his early suitors.
So which of those schools is recruiting Bedenbaugh the hardest right now?
"I would probably have to say Georgia Tech or Maryland. Me and coach Mike Sewak talk a good bit. Also me and coach Andre Powell from Maryland speak every two weeks or so."
Although he doesn't have any offers yet Bedenbaugh says he feels offers may be on the way soon once he starts camping with schools.
"I currently do not have any offers. I feel like either Maryland or Georgia Tech will be my first offer. I am ready to hit the camp circuit this summer and hopefully more coaches will start to notice me."
Bedenbaugh also talked about two programs that he's already visited with.
"I visited Coastal Carolina back in October and I visited Georgia Tech in April. Coastal has a great program down there. It's close to the beach and I like the player-coach relationship at Coastal. When I visited Georgia Tech I got to check out the whole campus. The facilities there are top of the line."
Bedenbaugh camped with The Citadel over the weekend and talked about other upcoming visits he's got lined up.
"I've got the Shrine Bowl Combine on the 11th. I am also going to the South Carolina camp on the 15th. I am going to go to Virgina Tech, Maryland, and Georgia Tech for camp too."
The 2012 prospect says most schools are recruiting him as an inside linebacker. Playing there and at fullback for BLHS is there any specific spot he'd like to play at on the next level?
"I would love to have a shot to play inside linebacker but it doesn't really matter to me as long as I am on the field. It wouldn't bother me if a college staff wanted me to put my hand in the dirt and play some defensive end. I am comfortable with that position also but I really want to play linebacker."
Posting such big numbers last season it's obvious that the 2012 prospect had many big games during his junior season but one stands out to him as his very best.
"My best game as an individual was against Mid-Carolina when I had 19 tackles and 6 tackles for loss. As a team I would have to say the Columbia game was our best. I had some big plays and played good all around. We ended up beating them 42 to 22 in a key region game."
Bedenbaugh says Lexington was their toughest opponent last season.
"Because their offense could put up points and their defense made plays when they needed to."
Lexington also had one of the toughest players Bedenbaugh says he faced a year ago.
"Shaq Roland from Lexington or Ky Tyler from Columbia were the toughest players I faced last year. Both of those guys are quick and are great athletes."
So having a stellar career thus far and heading into his senior season next year what does Bedenbaugh consider his biggest strengths on the football field?
"I feel like my strength and my ability to locate the football are my two greatest attributes. I play good against the run but I also have to ablility to drop back and cover the pass. I'm a sure tackler and I always put my self in position to make good plays. My lateral speed is also good."
The Batesburg standout says he'll try to improve on all aspects of his game this off season to get better but especially his speed in order to help prepare him for the college level.
With his senior season around the corner he already has a good grasp of what factors will be most important for him when it comes time to make a decision for college.
"The biggest thing that I look for in a college is the education I am going to be getting. That is the most important factor for me. The coaching staff and the atmosphere have to make me feel at home too. I have to be comfortable wherever I decide to go because that is where I am going to be spending the next four or five years of my life."
So what other schools does Bedenbaugh have a strong interest in hearing from in the near future?
"I would like to hear from South Carolina just because they are in-state and they are a program on the rise. I would also like to hear from TCU. I like TCU because I model my game after Tank Carder (linebacker from TCU)."
Stay tuned to SCPrepNation.com for more updates with Rivers Bedenbaugh as his recruitment will continue to evolve over the next few months heading towards his senior season. Check out junior season video footage of Bedenbaugh in action later this week on SCPrepNation.com!
INSIDE THE NUMBERS...RIVERS BEDENBAUGH
Bench press: 325 pounds
Squat: 455 pounds
Bench press (185 lbs): 24 reps
Shuttle: 4.45 seconds
Vertical: 29 1/2 inches