OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Every year there are freakish athletes that blow up at the NIKE Training Camp. However, some of those kids are simply workout wonders and don't have the goods to be major college football players. But Blue Valley West linebacker Andrew Gachkar in Overland Park, Kan., doesn't have that problem.
Gachkar is a football player first. But he also just happens to be one heck of an athlete.
The 6-foot-2, 208-pound outside linebacker put up an incredible 3.88 second time at the State College NIKE Camp. The mark was tops in the camp and puts him in the top five nationally, regardless of camp and position. He also busted out a 4.42-second time at the Greater Kansas City Combine and then he had a 37 ½ inch vertical leap at another camp.
Gachkar said he was shocked when he started to put up all these great testing times because he never trained hard for the combine events.
"Oh yeah, I was surprised with the NIKE one because it was really cool having the No. 1 time in the camp," he said. "Then I got my got my highest vertical at Adidas when I did a 37 ½ inches. I knew I could jump, but that was weird. I did a great 40 at the KC Combine, and I put up two 40s under 4.5 seconds. I put up another 4.5 here at camp here.
"I really haven't worked hard because the weight room was never my thing. I then realized the team is the most important thing, and I wanted to set a good example for people. I thought if I'm not working then the others won't. I got in there and all of a sudden, everything went through the roof."
So did the interest from the college coaches. He was recruited by Purdue, Colorado, Kansas State, Kansas and Ball State, but when Missouri assistant Andy Hill put an offer on the table early on, it was all over.
This Kansan grew up a Tiger fan.
"I've been a Missouri fan my whole life," Gachkar said. "I just felt right when I committed, and then I went back up there for camp. It was great."
He spent time with future teammate Luke Lambert, a longtime Missouri pledge, and it sounds like the two outside linebackers really hit it off.
"He's a good kid," Gachkar said. "He's a bigger kid. He's lighter than me, but he's definitely taller. He seems like a really, really nice guy. We both are outside linebackers. He's more of a strongside, and I'm definitely more of a weakside with my speed."
But this season, Gachkar won't see too much time on defense. West's top goal this season is to put up more points on offense to win more games and that means he'll spend a lot of time at running back and especially receiver. And it looks like West is expecting big things, and Gachkar hopes to put his school – which just opened in 2002 – on the map.
"We're definitely trying to get on the map more because last year didn't have as good of a season as we could have and we have a really tough league," he said. "I've read articles where we've had the best league in Kansas, but our team is looking really good. I've not seen better team with more talent.
"Our 7-on-7 team is the best in Kansas. We went 35-0-2 this year. Our offense is pretty loaded. Our team has been working so hard this summer. I've never seen a stronger team than this. I moved over to receiver, so I can help us put up more points. With me there, I think we've got four potential college receivers. We should be able to score on anybody."