When Andrew Rodriguez of Alexandria (Va.) Bishop Ireton high school made the trip from Virginia to Waldwick, New Jersey for the Elite College Combine on May 1st, his purpose was to get out from under the recruiting radar. Mission accomplished. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound athlete has since received an offer from Army and has other schools showing a lot of interest.
Andrews's dad, David Rodriguez, played his college ball at Army and is now on his own mission, leading the American troops in Afghanistan as the Commanding Major General of the 82nd Airborne Division.
"My dad has been serving in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past two years. Fortunately he was able to come home last year for seven months so he was able to watch me play. This year he won't be able to make it home for the season. My sister also graduated from Army and she's serving now in Iraq as well. It's tough on us all, but we certainly understand and my family is very proud of both of them."
As a junior, Rodriguez lined up at four different positions during the season and made an impact at all of them. As a running back, he rushed for more than 500 yards and caught 50 passes as a wideout, between the two positions he scored 13 touchdowns. On defense he registered 120 tackles.
"Offensively, I played running back, quarterback and receiver. Defensively I played inside and outside linebacker. The coaches had me playing different positions depending on the situation of each game. I really think it was a benefit because I learned so much about each position and it shows that I am a versatile player."
College recruiters have finally noticed just how much of an athlete he is and now recruiting has really picked up.
"Since the Elite Combine, I have been hearing from a lot of different schools. Army is my only offer right now, but Maryland, Virginia and Connecticut all came to my school. I've also been receiving interest from Boston College, Duke, James Madison, Harvard and a bunch of others."
Rodriguez was timed at 4.68 seconds in the 40-yard dash and carries 4.0 GPA. He already has plans to make a few one-day summer camps at Maryland and Virginia.
"I'm going to Maryland on June 25th and Virginia on the 26th. I'm looking at going to a few others as well, but I just haven't decided were just yet."