This is the 13th in a series of Q&A's with Bi-City recruits in the Class of 2016. Coming Tuesday: Smiths Station’s Vada King.
At 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, Shaw’s Austin Hester looks the part.
He’s got the size and strength of a Division-I offensive lineman and is continuing to improve as he enters his senior season with the Raiders.
He began getting college attention as a sophomore, picking up offers from East Carolina and Cincinnati. Those schools still remain possibilities, but as he prepares for his final season he is still trying to get more attention.
On Thursday, Hester spoke with the Ledger-Enquirer about the difficulties of recruiting and how to get the attention of one particular school he has at the top of his list.
How’s the offseason been going for you? What kind of work have you been trying to put in?
The weight room is a big difference for me, with the intensity begin way higher than in the past. With the new coaches and the new freshmen, we’re all starting to click now.
You’ve been on the radar here for a few years. Is there any one thing you’ve tried to improve to bump yourself to that next level?
My footwork. I’ve got good footwork, but I need to work on that. I also want to be a more vocal leader on the offensive line.
How’s the recruiting process going?
It’s going good. I’m looking at East Carolina, but I would like to go to Oregon. I’m not (committed anywhere), but I have offers from East Carolina and Cincinnati.
Why Oregon? What do you like about them?
I just like the way they play, their tempo. We do the same tempo out here (at Shaw). It’s fast-paced.
How does that work when you don’t have offers from a school that you are interested in attending? Do you reach out to them, or how does that go?
My dad has talked to a couple of them, but social media, Twitter, emailing them — just trying to get their attention.
It’s almost like applying for jobs. What’s that process like?
It can be difficult at times, but once you know what you’re doing and figure it out you’re fine.
What does this team need to be able to take the next step this year?
I think we need more leaders up front. I mean, we have the ability to do it. We just need more vocal efforts and to put forth the effort.
Have you done any camps this summer or are you planning any?
No, I’m just getting ready for the season.
David Mitchell, Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.