An excellent two-way athlete, Salem High School (Virginia Beach, VA) defensive end/tight end Antonio Appleby made 18 receptions with three touchdowns on offense and tallied 75 tackles with 14 sacks and 23 quarterback pressures on defense last season as a junior. His junior year accolades include all-state honorable mention tight end, first-team all-region tight end, all-Tidewater defensive end, and first-team all-district tight end and defensive end honors.
According to Salem High School Head Football Coach Vincent Pugh, the number one asset setting Applebly apart from other blue-chip prospects is his relentless attitude on the field, something Appleby credits to his parents and his friends.
“All of the coaches tell me I have a good motor,” Appleby said. “I just keep on going until the whistle blows. I never stop pursuing the football. I got that mentality from my parents, but I also think it came from the neighborhood I grew up in. We would play sports all day long growing up.”
Appleby says his other strengths are that “I can over power guys. I have good speed and agility, so I’m hard to block.”
Coach Pugh adds….”Tony plays tight end and defensive end and he’s equally skilled at both. He could play on both sides on the next level, depending on what the school needs. He’s smart. He’s a thinking man out there, and he thinks on the move. He’s very intelligent. He knows how to defeat blocks, he knows how to tackle, he knows how to break double teams. He has a complete knowledge of the game.”
Recently, the 6-4, 230 pound Appleby had a chance to show off his athletic talents during a local Virginia Beach combine and during the Nike Camp held at Penn State. Appleby posted a solid 4.7 in the 40 yard dash and bench pressed 185 pounds 22 times during the Virginia Beach combine, earning a number three overall ranking (combining all three Hampton Roads combines) by the Virginian-Pilot scouts.
“I think I had a solid performance at both [combines],” Appleby said. “I probably did better overall at the local combine, but I did ok at Nike too. At Nike I learned a few more things, like how to beat blocks and things like that. I probably could have done better with the times and things at Nike, but that might have been a result of me being cramped in a car for a long ride up there (laughs).”
By the beginning of May, he had two scholarship offers – from Virginia Tech and UNC. Since the Evaluation period began, he...
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