Tanner Karafa played some linebacker late last season, but his primary role was as a tight end on the Stone Bridge (Ashburn, VA) varsity squad. The 6’3”, 240-pound junior impressed Bulldogs head coach Mickey Thompson.
“The thing that separates him is he has big hands and long arms. He plays a lot bigger than he is. He can play tight end,” Thompson said. “He has great hands. There are so many things he can do. We put him at tight end and he destroyed people. He’s a phenomenal blocker.”
Karafa’s junior season performance attracted college recruiters, and to date he boasts scholarship offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Charlotte and Old Dominion, as well as interest from Boston College and Penn State. He also has Ivy League opportunities and interest, including Harvard and Pennsylvania.
“I grew up hoping something like this would happen,” Karafa said of the scholarship offers he has received. “It’s what I’ve been working for my whole life. I’m loving it.”
A multisport athlete at Stone Bridge, Karafa had another sport besides football on his mind this time last year.
“If I’m being honest, I wasn’t evening planning on playing football in college. Last year, I was planning on playing baseball in college,” said Karafa, who has played catcher, third base and first base on the diamond. “I love football right now. I’ve always loved football, but I’ve loved baseball too. Up until this past season I hadn’t started on the varsity football level, so I didn’t know what it was like. Now I’m loving football.”
Karafa has explored some colleges so far, taking in recruiting events at Pennsylvania, UVa and Virginia Tech. He doesn’t want to name a favorite at this stage of his recruitment, but of the visits he has made so far he did come away impressed with one in particular.
“The most impressive junior day by far was Virginia Tech,” Karafa said. “It was superiorly organized. I just felt good on the day. The facilities were impressive, but the way everything was presented was impressive. The coaches appeared interested the whole day.”
Karafa recalled his trip to Virginia for the Cavaliers’ Junior Day on March 1.
“It was the first day of spring practice, so I didn’t see the coaches a whole lot. They were occupied with spring practice,” Karafa said. “I didn’t...
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