Fork Union Military Academy (VA) left offensive tackle Mark Shuman put in the time in the weight room this off-season, improving his strength and size while keeping the footwork and athleticism that helped make him one of the most highly recruited rising seniors in the state. Fork Union prep head coach Micky Sullivan has noticed the different in the 6-7, 290-pound Shuman’s game as a result.
“I think Mark is more physical. He’s stronger, and he’s got more confidence because he’s stronger. With that has come more toughness,” Sullivan said. “I’m not saying Mark wasn’t tough. Mark was always a tough kid, but, as you grow, get stronger, get more confident, you become more physical. Playing where he is, becoming more physical means he is becoming a better player.”
Agreeing with Coach Sullivan’s assessment is Ryan Shuman, Mark’s older brother. A former standout offensive lineman at Virginia Tech, Ryan Shuman is now an assistant coach under Sullivan. He discussed the major improvements he has noticed in his younger brother, who has accepted a scholarship offer from Frank Beamer and company.
“Just becoming a technician and concentrating on the details like hand placement and footwork,” Ryan answered when asked what areas Mark has improved upon. “He has got really good feet. He’s a very good athlete. It’s just about fine-tuning his game, making him perfect to get in there so he can compete at a tackle spot or wherever they need him at Tech. He’s a good kid. He listens. He’s working hard, and he’s getting better every day. He has definitely taken a step forward.”
Mark is appreciative of the experience of working with his older brother, who may help the transition from high school to college.
“He’s getting me ready for the next level,” Mark said. “He’s definitely teaching me to play faster and to bust my butt. He pushes me real hard. He wants me to be ready to play when I get to Tech. He has put in the inside zone...
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