Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville's Sean Draper made the move from offense to defense shortly before his junior season began. By season's end he was starting at cornerback for the Tarblooders and in January he showed he could compete with the nation's best at that position.
"At the beginning when I started playing football I always played offense," Draper said. "Then, people were telling me I could play cornerback because I have good hips. I stuck with it the whole year, then right before playoffs I was basically starting."
Draper's development at the cornerback position continues this off-season, and he is focused on getting stronger, faster and improving his technique. He looked pretty solid in those aspects at the U.S. Army Junior Combine in San Antonio, Tex., last month, earning first team all-combine honors for his play.
Now, the 6-0, 165-pound prospect is looking for his first scholarship offers of the recruiting process. He knows several schools are interested, but Glenville head coach Ted Ginn has handled much of the communication with college coaches thus far.
"I haven't really talked to any coaches. They usually just talk to Ginn and he just tells me little stuff," Draper said. "I think O-State had talked to my head coach, and there are some other schools, like Michigan State, that have been talking to him."
Glenville has a long tradition of sending their players to in-state schools Ohio State and Cincinnati, but Draper goes into his recruitment leaning towards playing out-of-state.
"I would go to college close by, but I would like to go to college far away. My coach told me if I did want to stick with corner then I would have to go either down south or West Coast because they have more of a passing game.
One particular school on the West Coast has especially piqued Draper's interest and that is UCLA.
"I just like the atmosphere at UCLA," Draper said. "It was in the ninth grade when I started watching who they played. Most of the time they were the underdogs, and I like that type of feeling."
While Draper waits on his first scholarship offer, he will start to make visits to colleges within his home region. He is aware of several junior days at Big Ten schools in the next few weeks.
"Wisconsin, Indiana and O-State are coming up," Draper said. "I think I am going to O-State's, and I am trying to go to Indiana's."