Taking the national stage
Lackey senior Proctor plays in Under Armour All-America Game
Two months passed from the day Nathan Proctor Jr. received his honorary jersey to play in the Under Armour All-America High School Foot- ball Game on New Year’s Day in Orlando, Fla.
And the new year couldn’t have started off any better for the Lackey High School senior as he took part in the an- nual game at Camping World Stadium.
Proctor was among the top senior high school players in the country to play in the game, which was broken up into two teams: Team Highlight and Team Armour.
Proctor, who was one of six players from the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area to represent in the Under Armour event played outside linebacker for Team Highlight.
Team Armour won Sunday’s back-and-forth affair that boasted numerous eye-catching highlights, 24-21.
Just before kickoff on Sun- day, the 6-foot-3 220-pound Proctor, a four-star recruit from Indian Head, announced his commitment to the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Proctor, who has had more than 30 NCAA Division I schol- arship offers, is still on the recruiting trial and plans to visit Pittsburgh and Penn State this month before making his final decision on National Signing Day next month.
He visited Virginia Tech in early December, building for Sunday’s commitment on the nationally televised event and on his Twitter feed.
Orlando’s Camping World Stadium was also the same place that the Hokies played in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship a month ago.
Playing in the All-America game will be a moment that he never forgets and knowing that he had many supporters watching his performance in the stadium or in front of the television made it even more special while being accompa- nied by his family.
“It felt really good to play at a national level and it was a great experience,” said Proctor, who stayed in Orlando for a week. “I got to meet new people and play with the best players in the country. It was even better to go out there with my family.”
Prior to the Under Armour All-America game, there were four practices that Proctor and other players participated in — working with former
NFL cornerback and All-Pro Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, Charlie Ward, Ernie Sims, Bob Golic, Steve Mariucci, Herm Edwards and so many others at this annual showcase of the nation’s elite football talent.
“What can you say, being able to get advice from the best, Deion of the best players in the NFL all-time,” said Proc- tor, who also participated in the Under Armour Skills Challenge. “We went through drills and listened to guest speakers and their stories. It was a fun experience to be on the field with teachers of the game.”
While the practices were intense and with a busy college-like schedule through the week, Proctor did mention that he went to Disney World and went bowling during his stay in Orlando.
“It was a great week and the game was a huge step for me to get used to the speed of the game,” Proctor said, “so when I get to college I will get a ear- ly jump on the transition of the game.”
Proctor, a three-starter for Lush was a key cog on the defensive side of the ball for the Chargers, finishing with 205 total tackles, 19 sacks and 55 tackles for a loss in his high school career.
One person that isn’t sur- prised about Proctor’s success is Lackey head football coach John Lush.
“I thought it was a great experience for Nate to get to prac- tice at a college pace against the level of competition that he will see at college,” Lush said. “Overall, it was a great experience and I think he will enjoy looking back on it as a member of the Under Armour All-America family as he gets older. I was very proud of him because he is truly a kid that worked hard the last three years to put himself in that position. It is something that will resonate for our kids, school and community for years to come.”
Lackey High School senior Nathan Proctor, center, announces, with his family alongside, his commitment to NCAA Division I Virginia Tech on ESPN just before kickoff of Sunday afternoon’s Under Armour All-America High School Football Game.