The exposure game has changed a lot at the middle school level over the past ten years. With access to more information and opportunities, middle school football players are in a great position to get noticed early by coaches at both the high school and college level. Class of 202 athlete Jeremiah Atkins, a football player and wrestler, has spent the offseason trying to make a name for himself. Atkins is a 5-foot-7, 150-pound middle linebacker/running back from the state of Pennsylvania, gave Youth1 an update on how his offseason has been so far.
"I've been to FBU's New Jersey camp, FBU Top Gun, and a lot of wrestling camps," Atkins said when asked which events he's attended during the offseason. It's not surprise that Atkins mentioned FBU as being his favorite event. "In order to go to FBU Top Gun, you had to earn your ticket." FBU Top Gun took place in Naples, Florida, earlier this month. "I was competing against some of the best kids on the country."
Here is a previous evaluation that was done by Youth1 last year:
Atkins is a playmaker with the balls in his hands. He's physical in all aspects of the game, especially as both a runner and tackler. When running with the ball he runs with purpose, plowing through defenders as he makes his way downfield. He's never afraid to get his hands dirty, as he'll lead block for another runner on his team. His uses his strength and leverage will when lead blocking. On defense, he shines as a bruising linebacker. His ability to form tackle is sound, and he loves to lay down big hits on his opponents.
Atkins was able to learn a lot during his time at the Top Gun event and it gave him some additional motivation as a football player. "Seeing the level of talent out there makes me want to work harder," Atkins said. As far as work ethic goes, he is doing everything he can to be even a better football player this upcoming season.
"I've gotten better with my speed, agility, and strength through training since the end of last season," Atkins replied when asked which parts has improved the most since the end of last season. He told Youth1 that two people specifically have been key reasons why he's getting better as an athlete. "My father is helping me build my strength and explosive power. Coach Rashon is helping me improve my speed and agility. They're both helping me improve mentally as it is a large part of the game."
Outside of the people in his close circle, Atkins says that a certain NFL football player has been an inspiration to him. "Jalen Hurts has inspired me," Atkins said. "Through faith in god, he never gave up on his dreams, even when people said he would never be a Top-5 quarterback."
Atkins will be headed into his final year of youth football and he has a couple of goals headed into the 2023 season.
"My goal on the field is to continue being noticed by the prep schools in the area and continue performing in the classroom. More importantly, I'm looking to continue to get a deeper relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
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