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April 19, 2012
When Ethan Pocic packs his suitcase and makes the trip to Atlanta in June for the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge he will be getting ready to work.
The 6-foot-7 offensive lineman from Lemont (Ill.) High said that he is coming ready to compete.
"I expect to come and play hard," he said. "I want to compete and get better."
As one of the highest rated offensive tackles in the country by Rivals.com - currently No. 3 at his position and No. 27 overall in the country - there will be plenty of eyes on him and plenty of defensive lineman eagerly looking to get their reps in against him at Lakewood Stadium.
Those are two things that his mother, Kim, said is what will make this invitation-only camp so different, and so much better than any other her son has attended.
"It is a huge opportunity," she said. "Most camps you will meet a couple of other kids that are really good players and this is a camp that there are 100 kids all being recruited like Ethan is.
"That is a whole other level of kids and a whole other level of camp."
Ethan's mother is no stranger to evaluating talent, his older brother Graham was also a four-star prospect and is currently at the University of Illinois. And with two 6-foot-7 sons, perhaps the only two 6-foot-7 people in Lemont, she said the work ethic that each display is what drives them.
It is also what landed Ethan the chance to take the field at the inaugural event.
"(Ethan) is a die-hard football fanatic," she said. "If he were a 6-foot-7 couch potato, that would be a real bad thing."
Pocic echoed his mother by saying that he was taking this trip seriously.
"I am going to give it my all," he said. "Play hard and go hard."
His mother, according to Ethan, will likely just be playing hard.
"She thinks this is a vacation to Atlanta," he joked. "She was just as excited, if not more so, than me than to head there."
While she may be looking to hit some stores on the trip to Atlanta she will also be doing some scouting for her son.
"I love going to camps with him," she said. "I will ask where the other kids are going and find about the traditions of those schools. I think it is really neat to see why kids are picking the schools they do."
With her son recently narrowing his list to 10 schools her search for answers has been narrowed, which could allow for more time away from the fields.
For Pocic, his focus will be on performing well.
"It's a vacation for her," he said. "It is a business trip for me."
Mike Farrell's take
Pocic is a kid who will bring aggression and a defensive mentality to the one-on-ones. He's learned a lot from his older brother Graham, who was a four-star a few years back, and he loves to mix things up and initiate contact. He's all business when it comes to football and has a great work ethic so it will be great to see him challenge some of the more physical defensive linemen at the event. He's out to prove he belongs, that he's one of the best and to represent his state well.