When it comes to potential diamonds in the rough, Fairmont (WV) coach J.L. Abbott believes future California University football player, Luke Hrapchak, fit that’s mold perfectly. According to Abbott, the standout linebacker, who recently committed to the Vulcans after a final visit to IUP, is a player that a lot of programs will regret not going after.
“Luke is a tremendous all-around player who is going to continue to grow physically,” Abbott said. “He’s already 6’3 and 230 lbs, runs a 4.7 and his upside is extremely high, Cal is getting a really good one.”
As a first team All-State performer at Fairmont High, Abbott said that the ability of Hrapchak to be a jack of all trades was his most valuable asset. Not only was Hrapchak dominating at linebacker, he was also an outstanding running back and tight end.
“Luke was a do it all player, there is no question in my mind he could make a significant impact on either side of the ball,” Abbott said. “He’s just a great kid, a tremendous worker and he’s as tough as they come.”
When pressed, Hrapchak admitted that playing defense is definitely his favorite.
“The coaches at Cal have pretty much told me they envision me either playing as a standup rush end or as an inside linebacker,” Hrapchak said. “I am definitely fine with either. I love to hit, so wherever they feel I am the best fit, I will work hard and be ready to go.”
The decision to choose Cal over IUP was tough, but ultimately, it was the Fairmont connection with the Cal staff, including head coach Mike Kellar and defensive coordinator, Mike Lopez, that made the difference.
“Both coach Keller and Lopez are former Fairmont State University coaches, and my Dad played at Fairmont State, so there was a fit based on that, they made me feel very comfortable,” Hrapchak said. “There’s a sense of pride with the staff at Cal, they have big goals, and thats something I want to be a part of.”
As for his plans besides football, Hrapchak, who maintains a 3.4 grade point average, plans to study Business, and eventually would like to go to law school.
“I’m really excited to head up to Cal and do everything I can to make the most of my opportunity,” Hrapchak said. “The coaches made it clear I will have a chance to make an early impression, and if that means starting out playing special teams, I will be ready to go.”
Abbott concluded that Cal will be getting not only a terrific, versatile football player, but a fine young man.
“Our loss is definitely Cal U’s gain, we are excited for Luke, and I can’t wait to be able to see him play at the next level,” said Abbott.
Photo credit: Times West Virginian