Tak­ing the na­tional stage

Lackey se­nior Proc­tor plays in Un­der Ar­mour All-Amer­ica Game

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

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.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

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