Interest in Madison County (Fla.) OL Ira Denson is heating up. Over the past two weeks, he's picked up offers from Florida State, Tennessee, and South Carolina. That doesn't even count heavy interest from Georgia and Florida, not to mention Alabama dropping by next week.
"Landing that offer from FSU was a dream offer for me because that's the school I've always followed so I was shocked I got that one so early," said Denson. "But getting these offers are huge because I never thought I would reach that a year ago. I'm just looking at all the schools evenly."
Denson's week was busy, with Vanderbilt, Florida, Miami, Mississippi State and Florida Atlantic stopping by. Other teams are expected in the coming weeks. Although spring practice is in full swing, he plans to make a short visit to Tallahassee soon.
"We have a day off for spring practice, so I would say May 18 is when I will be going over to Florida State for a visit. I want to see the school - the education side to see what they have to offer. I also want to see how comfortable I am with the environment, players and coaches."
Denson has also built an early bond with offensive line coach Rick Trickett. The Madison County lineman isn't afraid of the coach's straight forward approach.
"I know he's a great coach and he's already produced one great offensive lineman at FSU in Rodney Hudson. I also know they have Cam Irving at left tackle there that I think is going to be good so there's no doubt Coach Trickett is a great coach," said Denson. "Coach Trickett has told me he likes that I'm aggressive, but have long arms. Coach is blunt, straightforward about everything and I like that, I don't things to be sugar coated if I'm doing something wrong."
FSU isn't the only school in the mix. Denson also has interest in the SEC conference. He says FSU, Tennessee and Alabama are the three teams that standout rightnow. But what separates this group from the rest of the teams?
"I think it's about fit because all of those teams are downhill blocking type teams and I fit well there. I have the FSU visit (in a few weeks) and I'm also going to try to visit South Carolina and Tennessee this summer as well. Not sure the date. It just depends on my free time so my parents can go with me."
Over the past few months, Denson has made it a priority of preparing for the spring. That hard work is paying off, as evidenced by his standout performance at the recent Nike camp.
"Back in January we started working in the weight room, so I started losing around 7% of body fat and even lost about 18 pounds based off a workout plan we did from the Nebraska strength coach," said Denson. "Then I did a lot of single leg squats that helped my flexibility. I also did sit ups, crunches and push-ups that helped me a lot."
Perhaps the biggest push in his improvement came from his head coach Mike Coe who challenged his talented lineman.
"I believe right before the State Championship game last year Coach Coe came to me and said you need to man up, so I think it started at that point," explained Denson. "I think as a blocker if I get my hands on you, you're going down. But I feel my run blocking is very strong and now with my improved flexibility that has really helped my pass blocking get strong as well."
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