At 6’5″, 270 pounds, Zach Rhodes certainly has the size college coaches covet in an offensive lineman. This season is particularly important for the junior offensive tackle to show his abilities on the gridiron, as he has missed each of the past two seasons due to injury. Eight games into the 2011 season, Rhodes is pleased with what he has done but acknowledges room for improvement.
“It started off kind of rough because I was coming off an injury. I’ve gotten better every week. Every week I’m performing better, getting more confident,” said Thomas Dale’s (Chester, VA) starting left tackle.
“As the season has gone on, I’ve gotten quicker off the ball. I’m more aggressive. I’m pulling more, and I’m getting to the linebackers more.”
Rhodes has drawn early college interest, including interest from in-state programs Richmond, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Temple and West Virginia have also expressed interest. At this point, schools are waiting for junior year film before going forward in the recruiting process.
Rhodes attended camps at Richmond, Virginia and Virginia Tech this past summer.
“Basically, they pretty much bring you down to earth,” Rhodes said of his experience at those three camps. “You learn that you aren’t bigger than everybody else. You are one of many like you. It’s competitive.”
Rhodes was in Charlottesville to see UVa take on N.C. State. He also was invited to UVa’s Elite Prospect Day this past summer, in addition to attending a Cavaliers summer camp. Virginia has impressed Rhodes to this point in his recruitment.
“I grew up a [Virginia] Tech fan, but since I’ve been introduced to UVa I like UVa a lot. I think it could come down to UVa or Tech if they offered. My dad went to Tech,” Rhodes said.
Thomas Dale (6-2) appears to be playoff bound after defeating Meadowbrook this past week. Rhodes has helped the Knights to an undefeated Central District record.
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