Richlands OL Josh Hess prepares for visitors
by Wade Perry
Posted April 25, 2011 10:22 pm
Photo courtesy of Will Garlick–VirginiaPreps.com
FinestPreps.com has yet to talk about a prospect from the state of Virginia in its first week of college football recruiting coverage.
That comes to an end today after FinestPreps.com caught up with one of the top prospects in the state of Virginia for the class of 2012.
He hails from one of the best football programs in Southwestern Virginia–the Richlands Blue Tornadoes.
Who’s the first football prospect from the state of Virginia to land on FinestPreps.com?
That would be none other than the 6’7, 305 behemoth of an offensive lineman that is Josh Hess.
Hess is one of the bigger offensive lineman in the 2012 class and is one of the top junior prospects in the Commonwealth state.
The talented road grader blazed the trail for fellow class of 2012 prospect Devon Johnson–who has verbally committed to Marshall University.
Last season, Johnson gashed opposing defenses to the tune of over 1,300 rushing yards–due in large part to the bodies in the trenches like Hess.
Hess cleared the way for a high octane Blue Tornadoes offensive attack that averaged over 40 points per game last season.
Blessed with tremendous size–it’s no surprise that Hess has attracted the attention from a lot of college coaches across the country.
He uses his size to flatten opposing defenders with ease. He’s simply no match for the man across from him in the trenches.
Currently he has a scholarship offer from Marshall University but plenty of other schools have shown strong interest in the talented lineman.
This week is a huge week for Hess–a member of Virginia’s coaching staff is coming to watch him workout in person tomorrow and Phil Ratliff of Marshall is coming to Richlands to pay him a visit on Wednesday. Ratliff is his lead recruiter for the Thundering Herd coaching staff.
FinestPreps.com caught up with Hess last night to discuss the week ahead of him and the college football recruitment process, among other topics.
Below is the interview.
FinestPreps.com Interview with Richlands OL Josh Hess
FinestPreps.com: Talk about how the college football recruitment process is going for you.
Josh Hess: “It’s going good. I’m talking to quite a few schools right now. UVA, UNC, Marshall. There’s a bunch of schools talking to me so hopefully I’ll be picking up some more offers soon.”
FinestPreps.com: Are there any favorites that stand out to you at this point, Josh?
Josh Hess: “I couldn’t say that I have any favorites but I do like Marshall. They’re the first school that offered me. It’s a big confidence booster. It puts them high.”
FinestPreps.com: Josh, UVA is coming to visit you on Tuesday (tomorrow). Talk about your feelings and emotions headed into the big day.
Josh Hess: “Well I’ll just do what I always do and what I was coached to do–just show them how I can perform and how I can move laterally–hopefully come away with an offer.”
FinestPreps.com: Are there any other schools that are going to be watching you workout, Josh?
Josh Hess: “I’ve talked to a bunch of schools through e-mails–coaches say they’re gonna be down through the evaluation period. I’m not sure who all is coming. I know UVA is coming Tuesday, coach (Phil) Ratliff from Marshall is coming Wednesday. I know WVU, UNC, Wisconsin is flying down to see me. So it should be a bunch of big schools coming in and out of there.”
FinestPreps.com: When are the Badgers coming to see you, Josh?
Josh Hess: “I’m not sure. I talked to coach Bostad on the phone the other day and he said they’ll be flying down sometime in May. So that’s pretty exciting. I don’t think anybody from Wisconsin’s ever been down here (Virginia) recruiting before so it’s pretty exciting.”
FinestPreps.com: Talk to me what you like about the Wisconsin Badgers, Josh?
Josh Hess: “I like their offense. They like to run the ball a lot and I like run blocking a lot. So that’s big for me. They’re always a top 25 program and they compete for the Big Ten championship. They have a great overall program and that’s what I like about them.”
FinestPreps.com: Has the recruiting process shaped up to being what you thought it would be going in? Has it thrown you for any surprises, Josh? Has it come at you the way you expected it to?
Josh Hess: “It’s kind of come at me the way I expected it to. I’ve lost a few schools already due to the fact that they’ve got commitments and that’s all they’re taking. Then new schools are coming in every day. So I’m losing schools, picking up schools. So it’s pretty much what I expected out of it.”
FinestPreps.com: Josh, talk to me about what you think about Mark Ingram being on the cover of NCAA Football 12?
Josh Hess: “I think that’s great. Mark Ingram is a great player. Hopefully he’ll go high in the draft–which I know he will. He’s from Alabama–I’ve been down there. I saw him play twice last year–once against Duke and once against Mississippi State. So I think it’s pretty awesome that he’s on the cover of NCAA 12.
FinestPreps.com: Who do you want to win the cover of Madden, Josh? We’ve got Mike Vick or Peyton Hillis.
Josh Hess: “Mike Vick.”
FinestPreps.com: Why Mike Vick, Josh?
Josh Hess: “I’m just a big Michael Vick fan. He went to (Virginia) Tech–about an hour and a half down the road. I saw him play hundreds of times. I’m just a big Michael Vick fan.”
FinestPreps.com: Talk about the challenges for Richlands football headed into next season, Josh.
Josh Hess: “Well we’re losing about 20 seniors so we’re gonna be pretty young. Up front we’re gonna be solid because we’ve got our line coming back–well most of them. We’ve got Reece Strong our quarterback coming back and we’ve got big Devon Johnson–who’s already committed to Marshall. He’ll be back there so our run game is gonna be solid. Our pass game–we’re gonna need to improve on because we’re getting a whole new receiving corps coming in and a whole new group of defensive backs coming in. That’s where I feel like we’re gonna be tested the most.”
As a junior, Hess was selected to the AA VHSCA first team all-state team. Hess and Richlands finished with a 13-1 overall record last season after losing to Poquoson 23-17 in the Division III AA state championship game.
Keep it locked to FinestPreps.com for more updates on the talented road grader’s recuitment process!
Check out his junior highlight tape below–courtesy of FinestPreps.com!