February 1, 2012

Emerich grows in to a D1 talent

Mike Brennan, head football coach at Blue Mountain High School in Pennsylvania, first met Jason Emerich in the spring of Emerich's freshman year. At the time the offensive guard was a little skinny and a little shy.

"As a young kid, like any other kid, you weren't sure, he was a little quiet," Brennan said. "He wasn't as tough as a young kid, as a sophomore. He wasn't sure if he knew if he belonged. I wouldn't say he wasn't tough, but he wasn't as confident. ... Once he knew he belonged, I think all of those things that you knew he had a chance to do started getting better and better."

Indeed, Emerich went on to become a two-star recruit who will got scholarship offers from at least six Division One schools. He has verbally committed to Syracuse and will formally sign his letter Wednesday at around 7 AM.

"I didn't really know how good of a player I could have been until I'd seen the offers that were coming in," Emerich said.

For his part, Emerich still feels he has a lot to work on before he can succeed at the Division One level.

"I've got to work on everything," Emerich said. "I've got to work on my foot speed, I got to work on my blocking, I got to work on my strength, I got to work on everything to get better and get ready for the next level."

But while Emerich was not as willing to discuss his strengths on the football field, Brennan was more than willing to oblige.

"He shows all the natural strengths of an inside offensive lineman," Brennan said of Emerich. "He's got that low center of gravity. He's a 6-4 kid, and nowadays that more of an inside guy. He plays really well, he's got really good power angles, he's got great balance, he plays with a really good base. He does everything well that you need an offensive lineman to do well."

"He studies the game," Brennan continued. "He watches film. He understands offensive line play. He's in great condition because he's a great listener. You don't have to tell him twice; you tell him once. He picks up things himself. He learns easily. He communicates well with his teammates. You don't have to raise your voice or yell at him because he just picks things up and understands."

However, both Emerich and Brennan noted that he will be playing in several high school all-star games, including the Big 33 Football Classic, which pits the best high school players in Ohio against those from Pennsylvania. Emerich also said that he thinks his high school experience helped prepare him for some of the skills needed on the college level.

As for what drew him to Syracuse, Emerich said he knew it was the right place for him as soon as he met the players and coaches he would be working with every day.

"I fell in the love with the coaches; I fell in love with the whole football area there," he said of Syracuse. "I love the area of Syracuse, I love the school, I love where it's at ... I knew that I could wake up every day and I could go to work and I could get along with those kind of people."

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