February 13, 2009

Weight room demon

Hialeah, Fla. defensive end Corey Lemonier may just be a rising junior but he's already doing his homework when it comes to breaking down what college he may eventually attend.

Head coach Mark Berman said he isn't surprised. He's already checked out the Georgia Bulldogs, who recently made the 2010 prospect a verbal offer to come to Athens.

"I know Corey was impressed with Georgia. Coach (Willie) Martinez does a good job, and is known in the area," Berman said. "But Corey does his position research online and so forth; he's definitely interested in them as a program."

Hialeah High is an annual stop for coaches on the recruiting trail.

According to Berman, his team boasts seven major college prospects, including defensive tackle Calvin Smith, a 6-foot-5, 268-pounder who has offers from Miami and Illinois.

But Lemonier (6-foot-5, 232 pounds) stands out above them all.

"He is a great kid first of all, but in my 25 years of coaching, he is the finest athlete I have had on my team," Berman said. "He believes in always doing the right thing, and is a super kid."

He's apparently a demon in the weight room as well.

With a bench press of 315 pounds, a power clean of 285 and squat of 375, Berman said that Lemonier is the "first one in the weight room, and the last to leave."

He recorded 10 sacks his sophomore year.

The offers have been pouring in. Along with the Bulldogs, Lemonier has offers from a number of big-time programs including Miami, Florida, Notre Dame, South Carolina and West Virginia.

"I didn't realize I would get this kind of attention and offers this fast," Lemonier told Jamie Newberg of Rivals.com. "I honestly thought it would happen next year when I will be a senior. It makes you humble and it will make me work harder. But right now I am not even thinking about recruiting, leaders and all of that stuff."

Berman said it is no wonders college recruiters have been impressed.

Besides his normal position at defensive end, Berman said that Lemonier has also played some tight end, and even helped out on the offensive line at center and guard.

"Lemonier plays where you want him, his motor is nonstop, even in practice, he drains himself everyday on field," Berman said. "He was the Down and Dirty Camp MVP last year with 400 other lineman there."

Berman said that his prize player runs the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds and the 20-yard shuttle in 4.3.

"I get after the quarterback," Lemonier told Newberg. "I get off the ball and have good quickness. I recognize plays and can chase down ball. I'm a physical player that never stops until that whistle blows. I do need to get stronger and I would like to get more flexible."

Berman said that Lemonier shouldn't have to worry about that.

"What sets him apart is his first step, it is among the best you will find on any level. He has long arms, and his hands look like baseball gloves," Berman said. "When he grabs and rips a lineman, it's that blend that makes him special."

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