I had the pleasure of speaking with 6-2, 280 pound 2015 center / offensive lineman Brian Chaffin from Charlotte, North Carolina (Charlotte Christian) about his recruitment. Brian is considering Virginia Tech as well as scholarship offers from Wake Forest, Duke, North Carolina State, UNC, UNC Charlotte, Mississippi State, Cal, Northwestern, and Marshall. Brian told me he's going to take as many visits as he can to the schools that have offered him, do his due diligence, try to narrow his list of schools in May before making his decision in June. Because Brian's answers were insightful and detailed, I'm posting this Q&A style.
What's your favorite lift and what's your max?
Squat, and I max at 520. I just like how it translates to the field, that power and explosion really translates to playing offensive line. Quick hips, powerful hips, that's important. It's a good feeling after you squat—you feel like you're accomplished.
As center, is it your responsibility to make the line calls for the rest of the offensive line?
I take care of everything, slides, blitzes, audibles, the whole deal. I take care of that.
If you see a blitz coming, how do you call it out?
We'll call it out to the Mike. So if it's a 4-3 we'll have our four down, plus the Mike, so then we'll just call it to the Mike, so "Mike middle," I'll take him. Then we have different calls we can make depending on what gap he's in, right or left side kind of thing.
Do you prefer to block even or odd fronts?
I think even allows to make more big plays, and I can help out. I would say even, but I don't know if I necessarily have a preference.
Heading into your senior season, what's your biggest strength on the field?
I've been blessed to have been coached by Kevin Donnalley who played in the NFL for 13 seasons, and he's been a great teacher to me, mentored me since I've been in middle school. One thing he really preaches is watching film. I'll watch a ton of film. I'll sit there and break down people just to find the little things to give me an advantage.
On the actual field itself, I would say my tenacity and athleticism. I'm going to get after you for four quarters, try to wear you down, and you're not going to want anything after fourth quarter is over
Pulling around in space is also one of my strengths.
What do you feel like you need to improve on most for your senior season and before heading to college?
This is my first year playing center actually. I played left tackle because that's what the team needed. My first two years I started, because that's what they needed. I would say, fine-tuning that center's position. I feel good where I'm at, but you can always fine-tune your game. Getting bigger, faster, stronger.
Would you like to play center in college?
I love that position, but if they need me to play guard, I'll play guard. I'll do whatever I need to do for the team.
What about VT's offensive system fits your game?
We didn't get into a whole lot of stuff, with Coach Searels being new there. What I'm going to try to do is get back up there for spring ball, sit through an o-line meeting with him, dial up some film, and talk through schemes.
What is it about Virginia Tech, whether it be the school or the football program, that might make you sign with the Hokies next February?
The academic advisor was actually nice enough to come on a Sunday and meet with me and my dad, which I thought was huge. It shows she's really committed, and academics are a big deal to me. They have a pretty good business program at Virginia Tech.
As well as the coaching staff and the players I got to meet. Very personable guys, very family oriented guys, guys you want to play for, guys you can tell are going to be good guys and treat you the right way, which is huge for me.
How did your visit to Blacksburg this past weekend go?
Great visit. I got some really good one-on-one time with Coach Shane Beamer [who offered Brian], as well as Head Coach Beamer, and that was great. I got to meet Coach Searels. Him being new, I didn't get to spend a whole lot of time with him, but it was great to meet him. I really like him alot and his philosophy on the game and coaching. So that was a big deal to me, to start building that relationship.
Is Coach Searels someone you can see yourself playing for?