By Chris Chaney
After an impressive showing at the Blue-Grey Regional Combine at Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday, April 12, Batavia High School’s Trey Raper was selected to participate in the organization’s Northeast Super Combine on June 20-21.
One of just four super combines around the nation, Raper was selected as one of the elite players in the country to showcase his skills at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
A rising junior for the Bulldogs, Raper took his opportunity to better his standing in the eyes of many college coaches.
“It was an honor to be selected to participate in the Super Combine and to compete on such a high level,” he said.
Starting as a sophomore for Batavia last season, first-year head coach Caleb Corrill believes that Raper will continue to give the Bulldogs an edge going forward.
“Trey has a nice frame and he has leaned out and added muscle this offseason,” the coach said. “He is not a ‘road grater,’ but fits into the up-tempo style we will utilize.
“He is in line to start at (offensive guard or tackle) and will be in rotation on defensive line. He is long and has added the needed strength to be a high-level contributor up front.”
Raper made the most of his opportunity at the Super Combine, improving upon his 40-meter dash time — knocking off a tenth of a second — doubling his bench reps and increasing his broad jump distance by more than a foot.
On the field, Raper exploited what he believes is his greatest attribute: beating opponents one-on-one. Raper said that his strength is taking on and beating opponents to get to the quarterback.
The Super Combine is the second of three tiers of workouts that Blue-Grey Football holds with the final level pitting the All-American members in two bowl games to be held in December 2014/January 2015 in NFL stadiums in Dallas, Texas and Tampa, Fla.
The players selected to compete in the national bowl games will receive letters in August informing them of their invitation, but Raper said he feels privileged to have competed and made it as far as the Super Combine. He has already made strides in many aspects off the field and is looking forward to helping the Bulldogs on it come fall.
With the end goal of playing college football, Raper has received interest from Division III schools after just his sophomore seasons, but says that with the help of his exposure at the combines, Division I interest has increased. Having another two years of eligibility, Raper expects most of the heavy recruiting to take place in the coming year.
Corrill echoed that the work ethic he has seen from Raper will make him a desirable recruit to whoever is lucky enough to land him.
The most impressive aspect of Trey’s game is his character, commitment and willingness to be coached,” he said. “I am proud of the strides he’s made in his focus to becoming a better player, teammate and student. That aspect alone will guide him to his dreams and aspirations.”
For more information about Blue-Grey Football and their combines, log on to their website at bluegreyfootball.com.