CLEVELAND – Growing up in Lisbon, Ohio, Beaver Local defensive end Derek Wolfe has attended plenty of state and county fairs.
So after working out Tuesday at the Elite Skills Camp at the Cleveland Browns Stadium, Wolfe couldn't help but see the parallels.
"I kind of thought of it like a state fair," Wolfe said. "You're out here running around for some people and the best bidder gets the prize. And hopefully you also get a blue ribbon."
Coming into the camp, Wolfe was one of the most under-the-radar recruits in the Buckeye State. He had only 22 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss and six sacks in 2006, but with his impressive frame, great ability to move around for a big guy and a good display of football knowledge, he's a player that really helped his stock on Tuesday.
"I thought I moved well," Wolfe said. "I thought my feet were keeping up with my body. I gained about 20 pounds since the last camp I went to. I also improved my 40 time. I was at a 4.94 at the last combine, but I've dropped it to a 4.8. I weigh about 270 now, my bench press max is up and I'm getting a lot stronger. I'm now 6-foot-5. I lift every day. I have a job and when I'm done, I go and lift. Then I go out on the field and run some sprints. On Wednesdays we have a workout with the team. We jump up on boxes, do sprints in the gym and do everything.
"I've definitely have noticed a difference. I feel quick on my feet."
And it showed for sure.
Wolfe said he knew that there would be plenty of coaches at the camp, and when he arrived outside the gates of Brown Stadium is when he started to get a little nervous.
"My sophomore year I had a camp at Ohio State, and I had to do a lot stuff like this in front of a lot of coaches, so I kind of knew how it was going to be," he said. "But yeah, I was pretty nervous now knowing that it's pretty serious. This is the real stuff. This is something that could change your whole life if you have a good day."
He definitely had not just a good day, but a great day.
And while he doesn't have any offers – yet – don't be surprised if that changes soon.
"I don't have any offers yet because my ACT scores aren't completely in, but I know Syracuse is really interested," he said. "Iowa has been sending me a whole lot of stuff. Iowa, Indiana, Georgia Tech and Syracuse are my top schools. I know a lot of MAC schools are talking to me about offering, too. I'm open to anything.
"I want to be a U.S. Marshall, so I'm going to go to school for criminal justice. I like to travel and stuff. I don't like to be sitting in one place for too long."