Checking In On Willenbrock, Harris

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Downingtown East (Exton, PA) is two days into two-a-day practices, and Virginia Tech-bound offensive lineman Drew Harris is looking sharp as well, showing off the ability that has Virginia Tech and about 20 other major FBS programs vying for his talents.

Willenbrock, who verbally committed to Tech back in May, is set to do something that has not been done at Downingtown East in quite a while.

“Jack’s going to be the first player since 2006 to start both ways for us,” Matta said. “We have a two-platoon system because we have so many kids. Jack has done so well this offseason, he has worked so hard, and we’re going to play him at left offensive tackle and defensive tackle.”

First and foremost, Willenbrock is healthy after playing half of last season with a broken fibula.

“So far, he is in great shape,” Matta said. “As I said, he will be the first guy since 2006 to play both ways. I hope he has the physical endurance. He is doing well so far.”

The successful offseason has included quality work in the weight room, and the 6’4″, almost 260-pound rising senior boasts added strength to go along with top athletic ability for his size. And Willenbrock still has the same tough, aggressive attitude out there on the gridiron.

“He has always been a freak of an athlete. I think that’s what got Virginia Tech interested initially,” Matta said. “What he did was he worked tremendously hard in the weight room this offseason. He has great strength for a high school kid. He has great power. He’s improved.

“He seems like a guy, and I’ve read books and been down and visited Virginia Tech, who is a Virginia Tech kind of player. That’s what I feel based on what I’ve read. He brings his lunch pail to work every day. He’s going to work. If things aren’t going well, he’s not going to give in and make excuses. He’s going to figure it out and work to get better.”

Willenbrock will play on the interior line for the Hokies. His coach believes he could play guard or center on the college level.

Drew Harris

The 6’2″, 205-pound rising senior rushed for over 2,000 yards as a sophomore and over 1,900 more last season as a junior. Another productive season is expected in 2011.

“Drew’s doing great,” Matta said.