Nick Acree didn’t have an opportunity to suit up for Fork Union Military Academy’s prep football squad this season after tearing an ACL before preseason practice even began, but five months later the 6-6, 310-pound defensive tackle prospect is in good spirits. Acree is recovering well from the injury and subsequent surgery and doing well in the classroom.
“I feel great,” said Acree, who committed to Virginia Tech in June of 2008. “I’m doing really good. I’m excited to play at Tech. I go to Tech on July 5th. I’m ready to hit someone.”
Asked how the injured knee feels, Acree said, “It feels great. It feels like I could run a 4.7 40. The doctor said it may feel like that but I have to take it slow.”
Acree has not been working out fully despite being medically cleared for full activity.
“The doctors have cleared me, so pretty much I’m just going hard,” Acree said. “My [Fork Union strength and conditioning] coach doesn’t want to take a chance as far as running. I’m going to wait until January to run. I’m just stretching and doing flexibility exercises. I’m doing squats and leg presses.”
Acree transferred to Fork Union from King William High School and was anxious to compete alongside fellow college recruits Russell Bodine and Mark Shuman. He didn’t get the chance to line up next to those offensive linemen, but he has kept a positive attitude throughout.
“When it happened, I wasn’t mad,” Acree said. “I knew God had a reason. I’m a better athlete, a better Christian and a better all-around person. I’m a lot stronger, too. I’ve added a couple of pounds of muscle. I did definitely miss football season. My heart went out on the football field. I was literally holding my seat because I wanted to run out there and play. Coach [Micky] Sullivan helped me through the aspect of staying strong and knowing God has a plan.”
Watching from the sideline has given Acree a bigger appreciation for the sport and more fire for when he takes the field once again.
“I became an animal for the game of football,” Acree said. “The desire has been burning in my chest to get out there. I realize how good football was and how big a privilege it was for me to play. I’ve been in the weight room since the accident. My bench...
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