Arkema Set to Fulfill Dream

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Midlothian (VA) offensive lineman Matt Arkema worked out last night, lifting weights with friend and future Virginia Cavalier Conner Davis. Lifting is something you can often find the 6-3 1/2, 290-pound senior doing. After all, it’s mostly through hard work that he earned a scholarship offer from Virginia Tech, the school he is set to sign a letter of intent with tomorrow.

“I knew I wanted to play college football for a long time,” said Arkema, who, along with Davis, has been working with Richmond area strength coach Bob Blanton since the off-season before his junior year. “My coaches said I could but they told me I’d have to work really hard and that’s what I tried to do.

“I’m just excited to sign. I’m not having doubts or anything. I know Tech is where I want to go.”

Arkema has no plans to lessen his work ethic once he arrives in Blacksburg this summer.

“I’m going up there with the mindset that I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can,” said Arkema.

A 3-year starter at Midlothian, Arkema performed well enough as a junior to garner a handful of FBS offers, including Tech, East Carolina, Marshall, Maryland, Navy and Vanderbilt. He earned all-district and all-academic honors as a junior, but as a senior the talented offensive guard landed on the VHSCA and AP Group AAA first-team all-state squads.

“It was a big honor to get all-state and I’m happy the coaches thought enough of me to put me there,” Arkema said. “It does help my confidence a little bit, but it makes me work that much harder to prove myself on the next level.”

Ready to move on to Virginia Tech, Arkema hopes to follow in the footsteps of former Dominion district standout Blake DeChristopher. As a red-shirt sophomore, DeChristopher, who played at Clover Hill High School, started at right tackle for the Hokies this past season.

“It’s real good to talk to him about [what it takes to succeed],” Arkema said. “He was my host on my official. He was telling me what the differences are between high school and college. I think