Hoos make a favorable impression on massive 2024 OL
ACC offers to offensive linemen who have yet to play a varsity football game at the high school level generally don’t happen too often. But Leesburg's Fletcher Westphal is not your ordinary prospect.
This young lineman boasts an 84” wingspan, 10” handspan, and size 18 shoe, all illustrating his larger-than-life stature. Needless to say, the class of 2024 prospect from Tuscarora High School stands out in front of a crowd at a mammoth 6-foot-8 and 325 pounds.
Offers during the month of June came in from Old Dominion, Penn State, West Virginia, and the University of Virginia.
“They like my size and athleticism as a lineman on the field,” Westphal told CavsCorner recently.
And why not? Players that big who can move well aren’t easy to find. Even with plenty of attention on him as a sophomore, he’s not letting it go to his head as he continues to stay motivated.
“My summer went well," Westphal said. "Football is back after the spring season and I’ve been enjoying getting ready for my first varsity season.”
While he took in unofficial visits or attended camps at eight different Power 5 schools during the summer, the offer from UVa certainly piqued Westphal’s interest. One could even describe it a pleasant surprise, as a rapport between him and offensive line coach Garett Tujague is growing seemingly just like the northern Virginia product does daily.
“I was super excited to get an offer from UVa. I got it after a wonderful call with Coach Tuj. It caught me off guard,” admitted Westphal, who excels academically with a GPA over 3.5 while taking AP classes.
“Right now, my relationship with UVa is still building," he added. "Coach Tuj wants to get to know his recruits as people before player, which I love. I personally think he is a great guy and coach.”
Westphal has been on Grounds in Charlottesville but is looking forward to returning there and following the program more closely.
“I had seen the stadium when I visited there after a vacation on my own. I plan on attending the UVa versus Pitt game,” he noted.
Westphal doesn’t have a dream school, though the Cavaliers are one of two schools standing out so far early on in the recruiting process.
“I have some limitations on communication because I am a sophomore, but the most communication I have had is from UVa as well as Maryland,” he added.
The Commonwealth is currently in the midst of a significant run of highly-recruited offensive linemen that include UVa commit Brody Meadows from Graham High School, Liberty Christian five-star and key Wahoo target Zach Rice, Hokies pledge Gunner Givens of Lord Botetourt, plus class of 2023 talent Nolan McConnell of Colonial Forge, also a big UVa target. Westphal looks to cement his place among that elite group by the time he’s ready to make the transition to the college level.
“I compare myself to Zach the most because back in eighth grade at my first camp, he was there helping me out and he is like a mentor,” Westphal commented. “He is a great inspiration.”
From his left tackle spot, Westphal has already made an immediate impact in his first two varsity games, helping pave the way to consecutive shutouts for the Huskies; first a 37-0 rout of Riverside and then a 36-0 victory over Rock Ridge.
Before things accelerate on the recruiting front, Westphal wants to help Tuscarora go a step further and achieve history. They came up a win short of the VHSL Class 4 state championship in 2019 and last season fell in the state semifinals to the eventual champs.
“Currently, my main goal is to get better and put the most effort on the field so we can get that title,” remarked Westphal, focused on bringing Tuscarora its first ever state title in football come December.
Matthew Hatfield serves as Publisher for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network, and is now a contributor to CavsCorner. Check out Hatfield’s Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and don’t forget to listen to him from 10 AM to Noon on 757 Saturday Sports Talk on ESPN Radio 94.1.
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