Playing offensive guard for most of his senior season, Northeast Guilford (McLeansville, N.C.) star Michael Via turned in an outstanding senior season performance. The 6-6, 265-pound prospect played in the NC/SC Shrine Bowl last Saturday and followed that up by being named to the AP all-state squad this week.
Via is also a 4-time all-Triad 3A conference selection.
“I could tell I was a whole lot stronger this season,” said Via, who graded out at 90-percent in 2007. “I gained 40 pounds since my junior year. When I was blocking people in my senior year, I’d be able to push them around a lot easier.”
Via played well on defense as well, tallying 69 tackles from the defensive end spot. He earned defensive player of the week for his performance in the first round of the playoffs. There is no question that he’ll play offense at Virginia Tech, though, and he is going to start out at offensive tackle despite his success at guard.
Last week, Via showed off his talents on the big stage of the Shrine Bowl. He felt he performed solidly in practice as well as in the game, which was won by the South Carolina squad by a score of 31-24.
“The guys were all college-level athletes, so they were all bigger, faster and stronger,” said Via, who alternated between tackle and guard throughout the week. “I really just felt like everyone was competitive. It was a good barometer for me. I felt like I did pretty good. I need to work on some things like pass protection because we didn’t do a whole lot of that at my high school, but I thought I played well.”
The talented prospect faced a strong defensive line in practice and a quick, fast defensive line in the game.
“Everybody was great,” Via said. “All week long we were hearing about how tough the South Carolina defensive line was, but in the game they didn’t seem all that hard. We went against the North Carolina line in practice and it seemed like they were bigger and stronger. The South Carolina defensive line was real fast. [Everette Dawkins] was pretty quick on the outside rush.”
A terrific student, Via has no...
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