Jason Emerich gets to put the pads one more time as a high schooler, when he will help the best 2012 prospects in Pennsylvania against the best Ohio has to offer in the Big 33 Classic later this month. But in the process of preparing to play in the prestigious All-Star game, the 6-foot-4, 275-pound offensive lineman has been preparing his body for college football.
I've been working with one kid from my school…working on my technique and getting my pass-blocking a little better," said Emerich. "We didn't do a lot of that (passing) last year, so I wanted to sharpen my skill on that."
Emerich - who prepped at Blue Mountain High School in Schuylkill Haven, PA - has also been lifting five days a week and perfecting his already-sound run-blocking technique in addition to completing the workout regimen that the Syracuse coaches have sent him.
"I have better weight on me now than I did in November," he said. "I look and feel better, I feel quicker, I feel faster, it's easier to move and I feel stronger.
"I'm still like 270-275 (pounds)...but the way I feel and the way I move is a lot better and it just looks better."
Emerich, a three-star tackle with the ability to play guard if needed, also keeps in contact with his future Orange coaches.
"I have a real good relationship with Coach (Greg) Adkins, I still talk to him pretty much," he said. "We're on the same page. He hasn't told me anything about playing…but time will tell. As long as I'm on the team, that's what matters to me."
At this stage of the game, with less than a month before he is scheduled to arrive on SU's campus for summer classes and freshmen workouts, Emerich is at a good point with everything out of the way and solely football to focus on.
"It's really relaxing, actually," he added. "It was stressful at the end of the year…but it was worth it. I'm relaxed now, I graduated and I'm just trying to enjoy the time I have but I know I'm going to have fun in the next four or five years."
Emerich's senior highlights are available below:
Catch the rest of Emerich in action