College Park, Md. - One of the surprise standout performers in Maryland this week at the Chesapeake Bowl practices has been Pittsburgh (Pa.) Penn Hills defensive tackle Treyvon Hester. The 6-3, 290-pound Hester could use his performance in Friday's game as a springboard for his recruitment.
"I came in here just to show people who I was for real," Hester said. "I am here to show them I've got the technique to play D1 football and I can play with the best of them.
"I think people are going to notice that I am quick off the snap. As soon as the ball is hiked, I'm going to crash the line and am attacking that quarterback. I don't think people understand how fast I am on that initial step off the ball."
Hester has certainly shown that quick first step all week in practices - getting into the offensive linemen before they are set and using his leverage to penetrate the backfield.
Hester holds six scholarship offers, but exposure is not the only hurdle he has had to overcome. By his own admission, academics were not a priority starting out his high school career and now he is working to rectify a transcript that has turned some colleges off.
"Right now my grades are a little shaky and a lot of colleges are scared to bite on me because of the grades," Hester said. "If I could go back, I would put overtime in.
"But you can't go back. You have to get ready for the future and other things will fall into place. I'm going to keep working hard on it and see what I can do about it."
Kansas, Temple, Toledo, Kent State, Eastern Michigan and Old Dominion have offered Hester and he is working with that group of schools to find a situation he fits into.
"When I get back to school I've got an official visit to Kansas and then an official visit to Temple," Hester said. "I haven't set up those dates yet and still have to confirm if they still want me to come down."
The Kansas offer came while Turner Gill was still the head coach of the Jayhawks, but Hester has been in contact with new head coach Charlie Weis' staff this month.
"I got to talk to the defensive line coach," Hester said. "He came and visited me at my high school a couple weeks ago. He told me the offer still stands and they're excited about getting me down there.
"I am really excited about [Kansas]. They have the new head coach, and I think he will bring an explosive offense down there. I think if I go down there I can help that defense be more powerful up front."
Hester has Temple penciled in for an official visit as well and is equally as high on the in-state program as he is about Kansas.
"Temple is a good team, and they have a good nucleus," Hester said. "The head coach is a great guy and I think Temple football is real good."
With a little more than a month remaining until National Signing Day, Hester could still reel in additional offers from schools looking for a late defensive tackle addition. The position is one of the more difficult to recruit, and Hester has already shown this week that he possesses the combination of size, quickness, strength and tenacity to battle in the trenches.