CHANNEL 2 SPORTS ZONE GAME OF THE WEEK: SPRAYBERRY AT HIRAM
Trey Wesley said he’s hearing from a lot of colleges. He’s just not hearing what he wants to hear.
Wesley is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound running back at Hiram High School — and he’s a good one.
Just ask North Paulding, which saw him run up and down the field to the tune of 263 yards rushing last week, including a school record 98-yard run from scrimmage. Wesley also had an 18-yard reception in that game and popped over on defense long enough to help put the clamps on AJC Super 11 wide receiver Chris Conley in a 45-31 victory.
The performance earned Wesley Player of the Week honors in the region.
Tonight, Wesley hopes to put on another show as the Hornets play host to Sprayberry in the Channel 2 Sports Zone Game of the Week. Chuck Dowdle and I will be there to call the action for WSB on Comcast 248 and Charter 126. The game will be replayed at 1 a.m. on WSB Channel 2.
Wesley sees it as another opportunity to impress college recruiters.
“I’m fast,” Wesley said. “I can run outside or inside. I catch the ball well out of the backfield. I can play defense. I feel like I can play with anybody.”
Wesley’s numbers bear that out. He enters tonight’s game as his team’s leading rusher (687 yards, 5 TDs) and receiver (139). And, as the schedule moves deeper into region play, he is playing more and more snaps at safety and cornerback on defense.
In the meantime, colleges have been buzzing all around Wesley. But to date, none will light.
“I guess they think I’m undersized,” Wesley said. “I’m hearing from a lot of schools. A lot of the teams that call say I should be getting recruited harder than I am. I don’t know if it’s my size or what.”
Schools know who Wesley is. Illinois and Kentucky have seen him play. East Carolina called two weeks ago. UAB, Illinois State and numerous Football Championship Subdivision teams from the South and Midwest have expressed an interest.
“I really think he has the potential to be an ACC-SEC performer,” said Hiram coach Andy Dorsey. “He may be in the secondary in college, but you can play him anywhere.”
Defensive back is where Wesley worked exclusively when he attended college camps this summer. He said he does not mind at all playing that side of the ball.
“Actually, I like it,” he said. “I think it’s easy compared to offense. On offense, you have to depend on so many other people doing their job to do well. On defense, it’s just you against the guy across from you. I like that part about it.”
But Wesley’s work on the offensive side of the ball is extremely impressive. Take last week’s performance.
“We were backed up on our 2-yard line,” Wesley replayed. “All night Coach kept telling me, ‘it’s there, it’s there. You just have to hit it.’ Coach called 131. That’s my favorite play. I probably run that 95 percent of the time. It’s a handoff sweep where I cut off the fullback and follow the guard. They were blitzing inside. The guard picked up the linebacker and I cut it outside and there was nothing but green.”
Later, leading 38-31 in the fourth quarter and trying to milk the clock, Hiram faced fourth-and-one near midfield. But quarterback Jarrod McClain mishandled the snap from center and the ball ended up flying through the air in the backfield.
Wesley got to it first, snatched it out of midair, avoided a tackler, then rambled 46 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.
“It was pretty wild,” Wesley said.
Wesley realizes now all he can do is simply concentrate on playing the best he can for Hiram. Hopefully playing football after high school will take care of itself.
“I’m hoping for some top-level schools to come in,” he said. “I just want to play D-1 ball. I know I have the ability to play. I just need a chance.”