Tech Offers Versatile LB/DE

Rodney Paulk

Duane Wages knows talent when he sees it. That's why it came as no surprise to the Richland Northeast assistant coach when an offered was extended to his star rising senior, Rodney Paulk from ACC power Virginia Tech last week. Read more about the latest offered defensive prospect whom the Hokie staff believes could be the next great defensive end.

"I do the Nike summer camps and I run some college camps," Wages said on Rodney Paulk, "so I know what the top kids look like and Rodney is as every bit the player these kids are. The difference is, he's from a military family. His father started him in school at age four when they were living in Hawaii, so he's not in the right age bracket.

"Last year, originally, he's only supposed to be a sophomore."

So despite accumulating over 105 tackles, 20 quarterback hurries, 14 tackles for loss and five sacks, while being named All-region, the Richland Northeast star hasn't garnered the level of offers and attention his teammates Calvin Harrison and Adam Patterson have endured.

So Coach Wages hit the road.

"(Rodney)'s a special kid," Wages said on Paulk. "Last season he played linebacker at 175 pounds and now is considered the number 1 or 2 best linebacker in the state. He just turned 16 and he weighed in at 201 pounds in Kentucky's weight room on Saturday."

Paulk, as well as Harrison, recently made it to the state meet in weight lifting, a side note that explains his increased attention to the weight room and getting stronger.

"You've got to qualify to make it to the state and both of them did easily," Wages said. "These aren't just inflated numbers, these are legit and current numbers these kids are putting up in competition."

East Carolina was the first school to step up with an offer prior to Tech's extension last week. However, many schools have indicated they will be stepping up to the plate soon as well. They are Kentucky, Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, North Carolina and NC State.

"It's only just a matter of time."

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