Prunty Impressed With Randolph

Raynard Randolph

CHATHAM, VA -- Attend Hargrave Military Academy's Media Day and you'll be sure to find plenty of talented prospects and a head coach eager to help them improve not only on the field but also off it.

"Since I've been here, we've had over 600 players sign college scholarships," Hargrave head coach Robert Prunty told Pack Pride. "A lot of them are first generation college kids. It's about helping young men live productive lives. It's not just football here... we want to keep them off the streets so they can be great citizens. That's what we want to do here."

This year's team is loaded, as recruits who previously inked with programs such as Miami, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State, and Virginia Tech among others make up the 2009 roster. The Wolfpack's lone placement, defensive tackle Raynard Randolph, has already caught the eye of his new head coach.

"Raynard is going to be a great player for NC State," said coach Prunty. "He has a good attitude... real happy about life. I like him a lot. I'm real excited about him."

"It's about helping young
men live productive lives."

Prunty, who specializes in coaching the defensive line, has had several elite linemen come through his program including a host of NFL standouts.

Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff, who played his college ball at Auburn, was a starter for the NFC in the 2009 Pro Bowl. New Orleans Saints star Charles Grant (Georgia) is one of the top defensive ends in the league. Defensive tackle Peria Jerry was a 2009 first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons after great college career at Ole Miss.

Randolph might not be mentioned in the same sentence as those guys right now, but if he continues to improve he could be in the future.

"You're not going to go up the middle with Raynard Randolph in there," said coach Prunty. "It doesn't get any better than him in there. He's a three-technique, but we want to switch him over to that one.

"I call him 'Graveyard.' He has such great leverage. He'll get up under you and dig you out of your grave."

At 6-foot-2 and 325 pounds with great hands and good feet, Randolph is a load in the trenches.

"He's got the best bullrush I've seen," Prunty stated. "His bullrush... he will overpower you. He's strong up top and knows how to use all of it."

Over the years NC State has landed plenty of quality players from the prep school. Legendary wideout Torry Holt spent a year at Hargrave and was the school's first first-round draft pick when St. Louis selected him in the 1999 NFL Draft.

"He's got the best
bullrush I've seen."

Recent standouts Darrell Blackman, Andre Brown, and Anthony Hill suited up for coach Prunty at Hargrave. Senior defensive end Willie Young tortured quarterbacks at the school a few years back, and he remains in contact with his former head coach.

"Willie is my guy," coach Prunty said, laughing. "I actually talked to him last night. We're real close.

"I'm not surprised by his success at all. When he was 205 pounds they couldn't block him so I know they can't now. If NC State turns Willie Young loose, he's one of those guys that will get seven sacks in a game. I like Willie Young's game a lot."

Coach Prunty also speaks highly of the current Wolfpack coaching staff, and he hopes they will continue to recruit his program.

"Coach O'Brien and his staff do a good job," said Prunty. "Those guys are great coaches down there. I look forward to working with those guys some more, and I hope they recruit some other kids, not just Raynard. We've got a talented bunch this year, you can clearly tell it.

"Listen, it's about saving kids lives and giving them an opportunity to play ball and get an education. Those guys at NC State do a good job of doing that."

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