Colonial Forge kicker Jadon Redding (Photo: Andy Hilton/recruitNoVA)
Success of NoVA athletes includes Jadon Redding, Tyler Settle, James Pogorelc and Tajh Summey
by Jim McGrath, recruitNoVA
The life of a football kicker can be a wonderfully nomadic one. Even at the highest level, the kicker is known as the transplanted soccer player, and solitary figure who practices almost alone, lives with the fear of being cut for simply missing one kick, and bouncing along from city to city, and team to team. That is, if any team has even noticed him.
Two years ago, Jadon Redding helped Colonial Forge to a pair of state semifinals through the power of his foot, which delivered dozens of successful field goals for then Eagle coach Bill Brown. While he was offered several scholarships, including a full athletic ride from Maryland, Redding needed to work through some academic issues. So he put his athletic career on hold, and almost disappeared into memory.
After hitting the books hard for a year, Redding was ready (and eligible) to give football another try. He compiled a highlight video and sent it to college coaches from near and far.
To his surprise, the team that showed the most interest was not one that considered Colonial Forge to be a feeder school – the University of Utah.
As Redding told the Deseret (UT) News, “This person knew that person, this person talked to that one – it all fell into place and I ended up on a visit here. I made a pretty good impression for coach Whit (Kyle Whittingham). It happened, but I couldn’t really tell you how.”
Luck struck again for Redding as the Utes incumbent kicker Andrew Strauch began to struggle against BYU in late August, at one point missing a point after attempt to break his streak of 182 consecutive conversions. When he missed a 25-yard field goal later in the game, Whittingham was ready to give his new kicker a look.
Redding made two extra points in the second half, and earned a spot, albeit temporary, as the resident boot for 13th ranked Utah. In Game 2, against Northern Illinois, Redding converted all five of his extra points, so he hasn’t given special teams coach Sharrieff Shah a reason to put him back on the bench.
This Saturday, the Utes host Idaho State, who beat Western Colorado 38-13 in their home opener.
Settle Makes National Team
Patriot wide receiver Tyler Settle has added another entry on his football resume. For the second straight year, Settle (6-3, 180) has been selected to represent the U.S. National team.
Although he received an invite to try-out for the U18 squad last March, it wasn’t until last Wednesday that the word became official. Settle, who caught 35 balls for over 700 yards last season, was part of last year’s U17 squad that won 61-7 over Canada at AT&T Stadium.
Several Northern Virginia players have added scholarship offers to their growing collection.
Chantilly lineman James Pogoreic (6-8, 270) recently added an offer from the University of Virginia to the one he received on September 1 from Arizona State.
Now with roughly two dozen offers, “Pogo” is in high demand, although it appears that he will focus on Indiana, Illinois, UCLA, Syracuse, Harvard and Princeton, all viable options for the straight-A student with a 1470 SAT score.
Westfield defensive back Tajh Summey has been offered his first Division I scholarship, from VMI. As noted on his Twitter account, “Words can’t describe how blessed I am…thank you to my parents, coaches and teammates for making my dreams come true!”
– Jim McGrath