Hokies First To Offer Riverheads Junior OL

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Virginia Tech has become the first school to offer a scholarship to Riverheads (Staunton, VA) rising junior offensive lineman/defensive tackle Mike Herndon .  Gladiators head coach Robert Casto says the Hokies had been eyeing Herndon for “a while” before recently deciding to offer.

Herndon didn’t play much on Riverheads’ state champion varsity squad his freshman year, seeing most of his action on the junior varsity level.  He played on both sides of the ball on the varsity squad this past season, starting at quick-side offensive tackle while playing several positions on defense.  In 2012 he will start at strong-side offensive tackle and continue to play various roles on defense.

“Mike is an awfully good football player,” Casto said.  “He is 6’5″, 290 pounds.  He will play some middle linebacker next year.  When we run the 4-3, he plays the 2-gap nose guard.  He has played defensive end.  He goes into a linebacker situation when we shift into our bear defense.  He can be a wide nine defensive player, or he could be an offensive tackle.”

Herndon, a second-team all-Shenandoah District selection on offense last year, has the look of a prototypical major college offensive lineman.

“He has tremendous feet,” Casto said.  “He has a huge wing span at 6’5″, and he has great feet.  He is 290 pounds and he looks like he weighs 230 pounds.”

Coach Casto knew of Herndon in the talented prospect’s middle school days.  From 8th grade on Herndon worked his way to becoming a key player for the Gladiators, and subsequently a major college prospect.

“He’s a big kid, but everybody has big kids.  He’s focused in the weight room.  He went from a big kid to a big man,” Casto said.

A reason Herndon may not be on the radar of more major college programs is the fact that he did not attend any camps or combines this spring or summer.  Local in-state schools, including Tech, UVa, James Madison and Richmond, have showed the most interest thus far.

Herndon will be the first major Division 1 prospect Casto has coached.  The longtime coach says there were two other players with the potential to reach the highest level of college football, but neither actually made it.  Coach Casto discussed Herndon’s