Almost every article that came out of El Paso, TX this past week in regards to the Texas Vs. The Nation Challenge seemed to find at least a little space to mention Hillsdale College's Jared Veldheer.
They all talked about his natural size, great athleticism, and the fact that he was more than holding his own in individual drills. 6-8, 321, and a sub-5 40 yard dash will jump out at anybody and it was natural that Veldheer would garner some intrigue. Add in the fact that he is coming out of a 1300 student school and it is a natural story.
A story like that usually runs its course after day 1 or 2, but Jared Veldheer kept his name in the news all week, drew special attention during the game, and wound up keeping his name in the mix through all of the wrap-ups.
CBS Sports' Chad Reuter wrote on Saturday night, "Small-school tackles performed well throughout the week and the Nation's Jared Veldheer (Hillsdale College) looked like the same athletic, powerful lineman he did all week in practice, taking quick ends around the pocket and adjusting well to an inside spin move by quick Junior Galette (Stillman College). Veldheer blocked on kickoff return coverage."
This kind of consistency out of Hillsdale's best pro prospect since Chester Marcol will only bolster Jared's draft stock. All signs point to a similar performance at this month's NFL Combine.
Not only did the Jared Veldheer brand gain some much deserved publicity this week, so did the Hillsdale College football brand...as well as Division II football in whole. At no point did Jared or other D2 stars like Kelton Tindal of Newberry and West Texas AM's J'Marcus Webb look like they didn't belong with the so-called "big boys".
I was IMing on Facebook with D2football.com editor Brandon Meisner toward the end of the game and we were discussing how much Hillsdale was getting mentioned as well as D2football.com. That stuff really matters these days. If you don't think so, look at the class of recruits Grand Valley and Northwest Missouri State just signed, enhanced by playing two straight weeks on national TV.
So...to you Jared, great week of work! Not only have you helped to solidify your professional opportunities, but you are doing a bundle for Charger football and D2 football as well. Keep it up!
(Photo by Mary Veldheer)
Monday, February 08, 2010
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