Highland Springs seniors Antwane Wells (#6) and Shy’re McKeiver (Photo: Joe Barnes/recruit757)
Highland Springs WR A.J. Wells commits to Fork Union Military Academy
by Brandon Mitchell, recruit804
Every year Highland Springs has a load of prospects that are on the high end of the talent spectrum. They also have a load of prospects that get inadvertently swept under the rug not because they aren’t on the same level, but simple because it just isn’t their time. Life is about progression, but more importantly it’s about understanding that time plays more of a role than any other contributing factor that comprises success. Timing is the key fact for a lot of prospects that grow under Loren Johnson and his coaching staff at Highland Springs. It most definitely holds true for senior wide receiver A.J. Wells.
During the 2017 football season Wells (2020 WR 6-2 200) accumulated just 157 yards on 14 receptions and just two touchdowns.
Of course those are low numbers for a wide receiver as talented as A.J. Wells, but you have take into accountability the impact of Billy Kemp, Chris Thaxton, and Jai’Veon Smalls from the 2017 champion season. Once Kemp (UVA) and Thaxton (UVA-Wise) moved on respectively, we were able to watch the elevation of A.J. Wells even after the transfer of Ali Jennings (West Virginia) from Hermitage. Couple this Jai’Veon Smalls and you had the makings of one of the best pass catching units on the Central Region not including the pass catching ability of Rayquan Smith and Shy’Re McKeiver.
Wells has picked up offers from Campbell, Jacksonville State, and Virginia State University; but he’s decided that he could better benefit from everything that Fork Union Military Academy has to offer. This is why he has decided to commit to Fork Union for at least the foreseeable future.
“I chose Fork Union because I made choices in the past that lowered my grade point average and because of that, I felt as though I was under recruited. I feel this is another opportunity to get a higher grade point average and show my talent. Also, Fork Union is just a great place to be,” explained Wells.
The plan is for Wells to attend Fork Union for four months and then re-evaluate the direction of his recruitment. After the four months are up, he’ll take a look at the programs ready to invest in him and make a decision based off what’s left. Despite facing academic adversity over the past few years, Highland Springs has prepared Wells for anything that stands in his way throughout the next phase of his journey.
“I’ve learned to keep faith and never give up on anything even when people count you out. I’ve also learned with the success I have accomplished to remain humble and to just wait your turn,” Wells stated.
Last season, Wells finished the year as one of D’Vonte Waller’s top wide receivers accumulating 755 yards on 31 receptions for 10 touchdowns. While at Fork Union, Wells plans to study sports management and vows not to let his past dictate the direction of his future.
“I will make the best out of this opportunity, but I’ve also learned a lot from my past and it helped me to become the young man that I am today,” Wells said.
– Brandon Mitchell