Fletcher has plenty of upside

Because he has only played one season of organized football, Hartnell DE Kapil Fletcher (6-4, 255) is a very intriguing prospect. This past season, he showed the raw, natural ability to get after the quarterback and as he continues to improve, schools from all over are expected to give him a long look...

As a prep in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Fletcher had the size and athleticism to be a pretty good player, but his academics got in the way early and he never strapped on a helmet until this past fall.

"I didn't take care of my grades as a freshman, so I couldn't play then, and I really didn't focus on that stuff enough to get myself to the point where I could," Fletcher admitted to JCFootball.com. "I love the game of football and always wanted to play, but I never played until this past year at Hartnell.

"I was talking to some friends about playing and I wanted to give it a chance and they said that Hartnell was a program that was building itself up and that I'd have a great chance to learn and to be recruited, so I packed up and headed out here and I've been really happy out here."

As a freshman last season, Fletcher had a solid first season on the gridiron, posting 35 tackles, 11 tackles-for-loss and 4.5 sacks from his strongside defensive end spot and he hopes as he learns the nuances of the game as well as the position he will only get better.

"I can pass-rush all day long and that's what I love to do, but when you play ball, you have to read things and as the season went along I started to figure things out and I really improved a lot," Fletcher said. "I learned how to read blocks and figure out when it was a run or when it was a pass, so that helped me out a lot and that allowed me to help my team a lot."

With that experience under his belt, Fletcher has a plan this offseason to maximize his potential.

"I'm working a lot on my conditioning so I can have an even better motor," Fletcher said. "There were times I wasn't able to go as hard late because I didn't have the sort of conditioning I needed for football, so that has definitely been a focus for me and I'm also learning some pass-rush moves and how to shed blocks.

"Basically, I am just trying to improve every aspect of my game so that I can be a better player and help my team win games. That's what matters most to me."

On the recruiting front, because he's such a raw and undeveloped prospect, schools are taking their time in showing some interest, but that will likely change this spring as four-year coaching staffs head to Hartnell to take a look at prospects.

"I'm not really worried about it right now," Fletcher said. "I'm so new to all this, I don't really understand how all that stuff works, so I've been letting my coaches handle it while I take care of school and working out and getting ready for spring and then the season.

"I can only control what I do and that's focus on my academics and my workouts right now. That other stuff will take care of itself."

Fletcher has set himself up nicely on the academic side as he's poised to graduate in December and wherever he signs he will have three years to play two following the 2013 football season.

Kapil Fletcher Scout Profile

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