Diamond in the Rough: 2012 RB Recruit Mario Pender Will Be a Household Name
Remember when Noel Devine was a senior in high school and was all over YouTube for his ridiculous runs? Now meet a young man by the name of Delmarick "Mario" Pender.
Pender began receiving more recognition for his running ability when he broke friend Noel Devine's Pop Warner single game record by rushing for 379 yards on 14 carries. Of course it's just Pop Warner football but that was only the beginning of his young and soon to be star-studded career.
He and Devine have still kept in touch over the years since he went off to West Virginia. Devine even likes to give him the upper hand on some other high school athletes by giving him a little inside information on how to improve as a player before the next level.
"He likes to help me out as much as he can, so he tells me about some stuff that he has learned at West Virginia so I can get better," Pender said.
He's a 6'0", 190-pound junior at Island Coast High School in Cape Coral, Florida, and he's already been putting up eye-popping numbers.
Opening his junior campaign with 144 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries looks pretty good. Then the following week he played in a horrendous rain storm only rushing for 91 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Those stats are pretty good for a junior in high school, but he decided those just weren't good enough.
So what did he do?
The next game he only carried the ball 15 times but on those 15 attempts he ran for 344 yards and five touchdowns. He managed to follow that performance up with 256 yards and four touchdowns on only 13 carries in their next game. These numbers are absolutely absurd and with his work ethic I don't expect him to slow down at all.
In four games this season he has rushed for a total of 825 yards and 13 touchdowns on 48 carries. That's an average of 206.3 yards per game and a gaudy 17.19 yards per carry. These numbers are good enough to make him the second leading rusher in the state of Florida so far this season.
Not only is he a hard worker but he's a humble person in the sense that he understands all the credit can't be given to just him.
"We work hard in practice everyday." Pender said. "If it weren't for my offensive line and the hard work we put in every week, I wouldn't be playing as well as I have been."
That shows a great deal of character and is something that all recruiter's will notice.
He has already received offers from Tennessee, Florida State, and Maryland with plenty more to come.
"Pender has the size, speed and athleticism that's highly coveted on the recruiting trail," Scout.com Florida recruiting analyst Geoff Vogt said. "He can be as good as he wants to be."
Most of the early 2012 top 100 rankings don't even have him listed, but I will guarantee you when it's all said and done, Mario Pender will not only be on that list but will be one of the most sought out prospects in the nation.
Wherever he chooses to begin his college career (hopefully Florida State) defenses will struggle to stop him and the name of Mario Pender will become a household name all over college football.
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