The 2011 season was Zach Rhodes ‘ first full season as a starter on the varsity level. Overall, he was pleased with his play, which resulted in second-team all-district honors. But this offseason is a big one for the 6’6″, 300-pound junior, who is looking to improve his game while also attracting college scholarship offers.
Rhodes’ offseason program includes an emphasis on footwork and speed, areas Thomas Dale (Chester, VA) head coach Kevin Tucker says college coaches want to see Rhodes improve upon.
“Before I work out I do dot drills, jump ropes, and I’ve added more to my leg workouts,” Rhodes said. “I run more. I do bleachers. I’m doing everything I can to improve my speed.”
Gaining experience is another key in Rhodes’ development. As last season went along, the Knights big man became more and more comfortable out on the gridiron.
“It’s really just a learning game, being confident out there,” Rhodes said. “The more confident I am, the better I get. The more I know and the more confidence I have, I won’t hesitate and therefore I’ll get faster.”
Rhodes has taken a handful of unofficial visits this year, and he may make a few more here this spring. So far this year, he has been to junior day events at Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. He is considering a trip to JMU on March 24, and he wants to go to ECU in April. Rhodes also mentioned attending a spring practice at the University of Maryland.
Rhodes shied away from naming any favorites, though he grew up rooting for Virginia Tech and has spoken very highly of UVa in previous interviews. What matters most right now, though, is which schools come through with offers.
“It’s hard to give any rankings to schools before any offers are on the table,” Rhodes said. “They are all impressive....
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