In the past three seasons, no tight end recruit has earned a five-star rating by ESPN RecruitingNation.
Adam Breneman is the first to break that streak.
When RecruitingNation released its early look at the top 100 prospects in the class of 2013 last week, the Cedar Cliff (Camp Hill, Pa.) junior was one of 26 athletes to earn the coveted honor. But it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering how well Breneman has played.
The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder caught 72 passes for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns this season and was selected to the ESPNHS Underclass All-American team. Breneman helped Cedar Cliff advance to the district quarterfinals, where the Colts fell to eventual state champ Central Dauphin (Harrisburg, Pa.).
But for as good as he was in the receiving game, he might have been an even better blocker -- a source of pride for the junior who has close to 30 scholarship offers.
So what makes this stellar tight end so good? It’s time to Get Familiar with Adam Breneman.
ESPNHS: What are some things you want to work on?
Breneman: I want to fill out my frame a little more. I’m about 225 pounds right now, and I’m only 16 years old, so I’m sure I’ll develop a lot more just naturally. And I want to develop more as a blocker. I take a lot of pride in my blocking, and it’s someplace where I can always improve.
ESPNHS: Do you consider yourself more of a receiving tight end, a blocking tight end or both?
Breneman: It’s a lot of fun to go out and score touchdowns and then the next play to go up and pancake someone. It’s a different aspect of the game, really. As a tight end, you’ve got to be able to play as a wide receiver and as an offensive lineman. It opens more things up, too. If you’re just a receiving tight end, nobody respects you as a blocker, and you’re limited to what you can run. It opens up a lot more in the passing game.
ESPNHS: Tell us about the best moment in your high school career so far.
Breneman: It has to be our first-round playoff game this season (against Exeter). My quarterback, Andrew Ford, and I hooked up for almost 200 yards (184) and four touchdowns in the first half. That was one of my favorite moments. It was a lot of fun. They came out and played me with one linebacker man-to-man in the first half and took advantage of that. In the second half, they had three guys on me.
ESPNHS: Your team had a solid season this year. What do you expect from this team next season?
Breneman: We have a lot of skill guys back. Our QB is back, our running back and a few wideouts are back. On our O-line we lose a few key guys, and we’ll be a little small up front, but as long as we get some time to throw the ball, we’ll be fine. We like to air it out, and we’ll be able to do that next season.
ESPNHS: As you’ve piled up offers and information from all these coaches, have you started to think about what’s important to you?
Breneman: When I look at a school, there’s three aspects. I look at the school academically, I look at the football team and the offense I’d be playing in, and then I look at the school spiritually to see if these are the right guys for me. I’ve started to make some opinions in my mind, but I’m nowhere close to making a decision.
ESPNHS: You just saw how much fun the whole signing day process can be. It’s quite a charade. Is that something you might want to do, or do you think you’d make your decision sooner?
Breneman: It could be a lot of fun to do it on Signing Day. I think a lot of kids do that just because it’s a big deal. I’m not going to sit here and say what I’m going to do, because I don’t know yet. I do know I’m going to commit as soon as I know 100 percent where I’m going to go. I’m not going to rush it.
ESPNHS: On Twitter (@AdamBreneman87), you’ve got lots of people trying to help you decide, and you seem to like the back-and-forth. Is it fun? Or can it get tiring?
Breneman: It’s fun. I’m a 16-year-old kid. It’s nice to see so many people taking interest in the recruiting process and supporting their teams. But you can’t get overwhelmed by it. You can’t let it get in your head. But it’s a lot of fun. Ultimately I’m blessed to be in this situation.
ESPNHS: You’re a five-star recruit on ESPN. What were your first thoughts when you found out?
Breneman: It’s definitely very exciting. Someone tweeted it to me. I know it’s weird for a tight end to get five stars. It makes you want to work that much harder. Now I have to prove that I deserve the five-star rating. It kind of makes you appreciate everything. I’m very excited.
School: Cedar Cliff (Camp Hill, Pa.)
Position: Tight end
Food: Philly cheesesteak
Musical Artist: Rascal Flatts
Athletes: Rob Gronkowski and Brent Celek
Car: Black Cadillac Escalade