By Matt Bracken
The Baltimore Sun
9:15 PM EST, December 31, 2011
The Boston private high school football scene isn’t known for producing tons of Division I talent. In 2011, the entire state of Massachusetts pumped out just 13 DI players – a surprisingly low figure that helps explain how Abner Logan entered the winter of his junior year with no scholarship offers.
“The kid’s goal at this time last year was to get a scholarship,” said Casey Day, Logan’s coach at the Dexter School in Brookline, Mass. “We’re from Boston, from the Northeast. I think if he grew up down in the South, or in a different part of the country like California, he’d be a Top 50 kid in the country, without question.”
Dexter, which has had varsity football for just eight years, plays eight games each season and doesn’t have spring football or offseason strength and conditioning. So after his standout junior season generated zero offers, Logan embarked on a workout plan to join the exclusive club of Boston’s DI football players – a plan that ended Dec. 20 when the 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker and running back committed to Maryland.
Logan’s plan started at a Gold’s Gym near his Boston home. Day said his star player routinely completed three-hour workouts that completely transformed his body. When Logan started attending offseason camps and combines, his weight-room warrior status was cemented.
“He basically dominated every event he went to,” Day said. “The big thing right off the bat was a Nike football training camp. I think the other big thing with him is that at this point last year, he had no offers. We didn’t have any offers going into the spring, until Maryland. That’s something else to give them credit for. They were one of the few schools that offered him and didn’t say he had to come to camp to get a scholarship offer. They liked what they saw on film.”
Between Logan’s physical transformation and his junior tape being circulated among college coaches, offers started to trickle in last summer. Joining the Terps on Logan’s list of scholarships were Boston College, Connecticut, Florida International, North Carolina State, Northwestern and Syracuse. What Day called “NFL-combine type numbers” – Logan ran a sub 4.6 40, squatted 475 pounds, benched 320 and had a vertical leap of 36.5 inches – opened doors with colleges and impressed recruiting analysts. Rivals.com ranks him a four-star prospect, the No. 3 prospect in Massachusetts and the No. 24 outside linebacker in the country.
“I think it’s just the raw explosiveness, raw power that he has [that stands out],” Day said. “Everything he does is explosive. That’s something I think will definitely serve him well playing linebacker in the ACC. I think he’s just got so much physical talent. The big thing for him is just learning the system. He’s going to have to be able to play fast without thinking about what he’s doing. But I think definitely this year, his explosiveness and his power is a testament to what he brings to the table.”
Day said Logan, who transferred to Dexter before his junior year after spending two years at a New Hampshire boarding school, had narrowed his list of schools to Maryland and N.C. State in the weeks leading up to his decision. What gave the Terps the edge over the Wolfpack, Day said, was Logan having family in the College Park area, his affinity for big cities, and his relationship with UM coach Randy Edsall.
“I think [Edsall’s] an impressive guy. He did a really good job in recruiting Abner, making him believe in what they’re trying to accomplish at Maryland,” Day said. “They’ve kind of sold [Logan] on the whole rebuilding image of what Coach Edsall wants them to be. I think the thing [Logan] may carry down there is that ‘I’m a Boston city kid’ chip on his shoulder, just to kind of prove that he can play with anybody in the country. That’s something that really pushed him to work hard in the weight room and training last spring. It’s something I got to know about him, being able to make a statement that he was as good as anybody else.”
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun