Earning Group AAA coaches first-team all-state honors on both offense (wide receiver) and defense (defensive back) is an awesome accomplishment. Even more amazing is to know that the player who drew these accolades, Hampton High School’s Todd Nolen , has only played football for two years.
“Last year was only his second year playing football,” Hampton Head Coach Mike Smith said. “We run the ball a lot, but he still had about 31 catches and eleven touchdowns. He had to have had over around 900 yards receiving.”
Coach Smith raves about his multi-talented prospect, who he calls the best wide receiver he’s ever coached.
“I just finished 33 years as a head coach here, and he’s the best receiver I’ve ever seen,” Smith said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s one of the best wide receivers in the country. He made some one-handed catches that most guys couldn’t make with two hands. He’s has great concentration on the ball, great speed, good hands, and runs good routes.”
Nolen has size as well, as he is listed at 6-3, 175 pounds. He possesses exceptional speed to go along with his size. Coach Smith indicated that he does not need a 40-yard dash time to realize Nolen is a speedster.
“I don’t have a forty time on him, but I’ll say this…I’ve never seen anyone catch him from behind,” Smith said. “Todd is also the center fielder for the baseball team. The baseball coach said Todd runs from first to third faster than Dre Bly, who he also coached.”
Though Nolen has not received any official scholarship offers to this point, he is drawing heavy interest from top Division I-A programs. Virginia and Virginia Tech are included that large and growing group.
“Coach Stinespring [from Virginia Tech] was in here watching tape on Todd, and his jaw about dropped to the floor,” Smith said. “[Virginia Coach] Mike London said he wanted to offer him. We’ve gotten correspondence from Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, and pretty much everyone else. I’ve gotten tape requests from everywhere.”
OL prospect Herbert Broughton started about mid-way through last season, and became a main-stay along the offensive line. Broughton has good size at 6-4, 285 pounds, but needs to further develop his skills according to Coach Smith.
“He’s in the developing stage right now, but he’s...
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