Hargrave Draws a Crowd

Take fifty-seven highly talented football players. Add two hundred college coaches. Mix in five post-graduate football coaches, and you start to understand what was going on Monday at Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy. Led by head coach Robert Prunty and his assistant coaches, the players took part in the school's annual combine bringing in coaches from across the nation at various levels of national prominence.

Hargrave Military Academy 2004 Combine Results
Hargrave Combine Photo Gallery

While seventeen players going into the day were already committed, the number of prospects expected to make a commitment inside the next month are very high.

"We believe that we could have as many as fifty players in college this spring," said Hargrave post-graduate offensive coordinator Ryan Sulkowki. "We are hearing from a lot of colleges that want guys to come in for official visits this weekend, so we are hopeful."

Over thirty players from the Hargrave squad, including those solidly committed to schools, hold offers from colleges at a Division 1-AA level or higher. Certainly a gaudy number, and going up against the "junior varsity" teams of various colleges, a terrific strength and conditioning regimine, and a great coaching/academic system have the football program thriving.

However, on this day it was more about stopwatches and tape measures.

Among the players committed who performed in the combine testing, five star offensive lineman Jared Gaither (left) stood out. Standing in at 6-9, 330 pounds, and a much stronger 330 than where he was entering his first year of football last year, this Maryland commitment ran a 4.75 40, a 4.75 pro agility shuttle, and benched 225 pounds seventeen times.

Alabama has a load of potential in defensive tackle Lorenzo Washington (right), who ran a 4.82 40 time and an eye-popping 4.04 shuttle time at his 6-5, 275 pound frame. Fellow defensive tackle Brian Simmons ran a good 4.62 pro agility shuttle with an injured left hand.

Peria Jerry (left) looked the part of either a defensive tackle at 6-2, 270 pounds, but his 4.46 pro shuttle and 20 reps at 225 pounds could have the Ole Miss coaches wondering if he could play on the edge in certain situations.

If looking for speed, it was certainly abundant among those running 40s, led by NC State commitment Andre Brown at 4.32, whose 20 reps at 225 was also eye-popping. Brown was followed by running back Chubb Small with a 4.33, running back Curtis Brinkley's 4.35, who put up 19 reps himself, and then cornerback Brandon Anderson (right) running a 4.37, and his stock rising quickly.

On the football field in seven-on-seven drills with the skill positions and one-on-one drills with the linemen, more players certainly emerged with their play-making abilities.

William Wall (left) dominated the one-on-one drills with a great burst off the ball. Wall, who is headed to Virginia Tech, is a defensive end at 6-5, 255 pounds and ran a 4.74 40 but more importantly lost quite a bit of fat since we last saw him.

Wall also became a public relations employee helping the coaches on-hand learn more about the other players at Hargrave. Linebacker and strong safety Greg Hurt was one player Wall pointed out to the coaches, and Hurt certainly responded knocking down passes, diving to make plays, and making an impression on what could be one lucky team.

Of course that is the goal for the coaches at Hargrave. Help these players who gave up quite a bit to spend one fall in a military environment. However, for that sacrifice, there is a great chance that they will continue to play football while receiving a great education.




Hargrave Military Academy 2004 Combine Results
Hargrave Combine Photo Gallery

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