Maryland junior turning heads

Junior prospect Joe Akers plays both ways in high school and doesn’t know where he will play in college, but feels sure he will get the opportunity. The 6-foot-2 noseguard / center / offensive guard from Parkton (Md.) Hereford weighs 315 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 5.0 seconds. He also squats 520 pounds and bench presses 350 pounds.
“I am really looking at the atmosphere, what kind of football program they have, and the area,” Akers commented on his college criteria. “I am also looking for solid weight and strength and conditioning programs and a solid coaching staff. I want a place where I feel comfortable.”
Schools from all over the country have been showing early interest, including Marshall, Alabama, Tennessee, Arizona State, Stanford, Vanderbilt, UCLA, Miami, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Maryland, and Nebraska. He is a fan of the SEC, specifically Alabama and Tennessee, and also likes Marshall a lot.
This fall Akers attended the Marshall – Hofstra game and had invitations to the Virginia – Virginia Tech game, along with home games at Ohio State, Penn State and Syracuse, but has not been able attend these contests. He went to Nike Camp this spring and has been invited to the US Army All-American junior combine in December and Maryland’s junior day in February.
Akers moved to varsity as a freshman and has started both ways the last two years for Hereford. As a junior he recorded 11 sacks and more than 35 tackles.
“I am pretty quick for my size,” Akers commented on what he brings to the game on the offensive side of the ball. “I like to run block, but I can pass block too. I don’t give up sacks. I am an all-around, pretty good guard or center.”
He feels he is equally effective on the defensive side of the ball.
“I am a decent pass rusher, but I get double teamed a lot,” he said. “I am really a run stopper, though.”
Akers currently claims a 2.87 GPA and is scheduled to take the SAT next June.