Coveted DE Eyeing Big Junior Season

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Benedictine (Richmond, VA) boasts a talented senior class that includes highly recruited LB/WR Raymon Minor , DL Cornell Urquhart, and QB Bryce Hamilton, among others.  Defensive end Clelin Ferrell , one of the top rising junior prospects in the state, aims to help the senior class go out in style with a state championship.

“The state championship is my main goal.  That’s my only goal,” said Clelin (pronounced Clee-lin) Ferrell, who helped the Cadets to a 7-4 record in 2012.  “We have a lot of seniors this year.  I want to get a ring for them.”

Ferrell did not play on the varsity his freshman year but blew up his sophomore season, racking up over 80 tackles including 26 tackles for loss as a starting defensive end.  The 6’5″ prospect played his sophomore season at around 210 pounds.  He enters his junior season weighing in at 225 and feeling more athletic than he did this time last season.

“I know I’m faster,” Ferrell said.  “I run a 4.6 in the 40, which I couldn’t do last year.  My get-off is a lot better.  I’m better with my hands.  My all-around defensive game is better.”

Major college coaches have taken notice of Ferrell, who boasts 11 college scholarship offers despite not taking part in many camps.  Coaches have been impressed with what they have seen on film and what they have seen in person when traveling to Benedictine.

“During the season, college coaches would come in to see some of the older guys,” Ferrell said.  “Coach [Greg Lilly] would bring in the younger guys and introduce us to the coaches.  I never worked out in camps.  I always stayed in our weight room.”

North Carolina was the first to offer, coming through in January of 2013.  East Carolina is the latest to offer.  Clemson, Iowa, Penn State, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech are among the other schools that have verbally offered as well.  A football recruit cannot receive official written scholarship offers until August before his senior year.

“I was stunned,” Ferrell said, recalling his reaction to landing the UNC offer.  “I wasn’t expecting it.  I didn’t think I was that good honestly, but I’m really blessed.”

Ferrell has visited three schools so far, including JMU, South Carolina,