July 17, 2012
Replogle's coach likes upside
In less than a year, Jake Replogle has seen his weight balloon to close to 240 pounds, from the 205 or so he played at as a junior. And, the 6-foot-5 Purdue commitment is three inches taller.
According to his high school coach, Centerville's Ron Ullery, that likely means Replogle's best football days are still ahead.
"What's really unusual is that as this kid has gone through this growth spurt, he's become more athletic and even faster," Ullery said. "Usually when kids get that big, they become sort of gawky and their agility takes a while to catch up with them. But with Jake everything has improved tremendously, and on top of that, he has a tremendous attitude. He plays with a really high motor, is extremely coachable and an intelligent kid."
Replogle committed to Purdue late last month, doing so as a defensive end, over offers from a host of smaller schools; the Boilermakers' were his first offer from a BCS-level program. But Ullrey thinks Purdue's found a gem, thanks to Replogle's recent growth chart.
He'll play defensive end for Centerville, in Ohio, this fall, after ending his junior year there. At the start of the season, however, he was playing linebacker, before team need - and his growth - shifted him toward the line.
"There's no doubt he'll have a tremendous year for us," Ullery said. "He was a little gangly and gawky a year ago. He was kind of heavy-footed - or not real agile - and the more he grew over the winter and spring, the better on his feet he was and the faster he was, more athletic. I think Purdue got an absolute steal. I think he's just going to be a tremendous football player for them."
Where, however, is probably still a question. Although Replogle's at around 240 now, Ullery says he's got the frame to grow into more. That means a possible move to the inside, which is where his brother, Adam plays now for the Hoosiers. Adam Replogle weighs around 290 pounds.
"I think (Purdue) probably start him out at defensive end, at least that's what it sounds like, but I think he'll be an inside guy," Ullery said. "He'll play at 250 for us and who knows how big he's going to be by next summer.
"He's not a fat, sloppy looking kid. He's just now becoming fit. Physically, he's just a late maturer; I don't think the kid shaves yet and he has braces, so young-looking."
Replogle comes from an athletic family. Three brothers played at IU, with two still part of the Hoosier program, and dad played at VMI.
Ullrey says it's disappointing that Jake Replogle will be the last of the brothers to play at Centerville, ending a string of eight straight years.
"The four boys are all great kids and extremely competitive," he said. "I'd imagine they've got quite a few holes in walls in their house just from wrestling and boxing matches. Very competitive."
Now, they'll have something else to argue about, with family largely dominated by Cream and Crimson over the last handful of years now with split loyalties.
"I think it will make for some interesting conversation at the dinner table over Christmas probably," Ullery said. "But I'm not surprised. They all sort of have a mindset of their own and that's great.
He was open from the beginning. It wasn't a sure thing that he was going to play for his brothers. He wanted to play Big Ten, BCS football. He's not afraid of a challenge and like his brothers, he thrives on them. It wasn't shock to me."
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