Two football players for whom size was the biggest - no pun intended - concern have made verbal commitments.
Massaponax lineman Anthony Mihota, who has bulked up to 6 feet 5 and 270 pounds, has accepted a scholarship offer from Virginia. Douglass linebacker Jerrell Wedge, slightly undersized at 5-10 and 215 pounds, committed to Miami of Ohio.
"They weren't concerned about his height as some other places," Douglass Coach J.C. Pinkney said. "They think he can play, possibly pretty soon. That was all Jerrell needed to hear."
Mihota held scholarship offers from Duke, Northwestern and Marshall, but Panthers Coach Eric Ludden said he sensed Virginia was where Mihota always wanted to go.
Virginia recently "requested some offensive tape, they really had looked at him on defense," Ludden said. "So we sent some more tape. Right after that, they were calling him - texting him, I guess - and offering him."
Virginia and Maryland had been skeptical of Mihota's size, Ludden said, concerned that he would not be big enough to play on the line at a major college level. But Mihota has put on 20 pounds since last season and his frame should be able to handle more weight, Ludden said.
Mihota will be the first player from Massaponax to accept a Division I-A football scholarship, Ludden said. The school opened in 1998.
Douglass has had plenty of I-A scholarship players - Wedge is the second rising senior to make a commitment, joining Syracuse-bound tight end Zary Stewart. Miami was the first - and only - school to offer Wedge, Pinkney said, as others shied away because of physical concerns.
"Size and his 40 time," Pinkney said. "He never ran a really good 40. His testing speed is nothing like his game speed. He's one of those guys who on the field is as fast as he needs to be. I clocked him at 4.78 and his best official time was 4.82. But on the field I've never seen anybody run past him and he hasn't been run down from behind."
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