Thursday, June 25, 2009

One more semester should awaken this sleeper

Remember this name: Rob Fronk.

Just about no one remembered it last year, when recruiters were stopping by Apex High to talk to coach Bob Wolfe about his college prospects.

Fronk was 6-foot-4, but perhaps 195 pounds. Schools couldn’t decide if his future was as a tight end or a big receiver, and he really didn’t seem to fit either role all that well.

“He was running around a 4.7 40-yard dash,” said Wolfe. “And his upper body had not developed at all.”

So the major programs gave Fronk the once-over and then looked elsewhere, despite a 66-catch, 1,027-yard season. His best offer came from Campbell, and he had had his heart set on playing at the highest level.

Then Wolfe had an idea. Why not have Fronk spend a semester improving his game at Hargrave Military Academy, a prep school in Chatham, Va.?

“This wasn’t about academics; his grades are excellent,” Wolfe said. “It was a chance for him to get bigger and stronger.”

And attract more attention. Except that Fronk isn’t waiting until he gets to Hargrave to begin.

“He’s now 6-foot-4¾ and 211 pounds,” Wolfe said. “He’s got his bench-press up from 185 pounds to 275 pounds.”

And that 40-yard dash time has been improving almost by the week. First, it dropped to a consistent 4.6, then into the 4.5s. “Last time we clocked him, we got him at a legitimate 4.43,” Wolfe said.

“He’s going to be a steal for somebody, an absolute steal.

“Just wait and see.”

And maybe our Sleeper of the Year as well.

--Stan Olson

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