Former Rockbridge County High School football coach Jason White wasted no time pointing out his exception to the recruiting process.
After all, who could lose sight of 6-foot-6, 295-pound junior Austin Clark?
"You almost have to work your tail off to get kids looks," the nine-year head coach said. "With Austin, it's never been a problem of that.
"He got his first offer from UVa. the spring of his sophomore year, which is about a year ahead of schedule."
Clark holds offers from 15 Division I schools. The polite Lexington, Va.-native politely explained which way he leans.
"I really don't have any favorites," Clark said. "In the next couple months I'll narrow down which ones I'd like to take a look at . . . . probably five or six."
If the masses are worried about his lean off the field, it's partially because they know it won't be an issue between the sidelines.
White, who stepped down after last season to pursue his master's degree, cited his former star player's footwork and balance among his strengths.
"Once he gets his hands on you, you're done," White said.
Clark mostly played left tackle last season. The junior behemoth also spent time at right tackle when needed.
His coach guessed his heavy zone-rush attack followed Clark "about 75-percent of the time."
The soft-spoken lineman described his strongest attribute as "overall strength." White said college recruiters agree.
"Several coaches have been in to see him and they see him lift weights and they literally cannot believe he's 295 pounds," White said. "He's obviously long and rangy. . . . And he's got a lot of upside to him.
"He's definitely not a kid who's going to waste that body."
Virginia Tech's new offensive line coach Stacy Searels impressed Clark on his Feb. 8 trip to Blacksburg for junior day.
"From a coaching perspective he definitely knows what he's doing," Clark said. "He sat in and I got a chance to talk to him. He broke down some film and he definitely knows his stuff."
Clark said his junior day trip was the first time he had a chance to see the campus after a few trips to Tech. The teenager hopes to major in business management in college.
While Searels and Tech's staff have recruited Clark, a current Hokie hasn't hurt the situation.
Guard Caleb Farris played at Rockbridge. When Farris returned to his alma mater throughout the year, he gave an honest sales pitch.
"I know Caleb and he comes back to talk to us sometimes; he's a really cool guy," Clark said. "He's been trying to recruit me a little, but no matter what it's nice to talk to him and learn about playing college football."
Farris joined White and his front line last July for the team's annual offensive lineman challenge.
"Caleb's been active from the moment Tech started getting interested in Austin," White explained. "He spoke to the kids during the challenge and really gravitated to Austin but he's not pushy. That influence means a lot to Caleb whether Austin goes to Tech or not."
The challenge features a tractor push, tire flips and different weight tests.
"For 2-to-3 hours, we try to wear those guys out," White said.
Clark squats 520 pounds. He benches and power cleans 300.
Guess who took first place?
"Obviously, Austin won it going away," White said.
White played guard at Emory and Henry and can tell his blue-chip recruit has what it takes to play at the next level.
He lauded Clark's ability to analyze the game from and intellectual perspective.
The junior exuded humility throughout our conversation.
"You can always improve on everything," Clark said. "Virginia Tech is a school I like a lot and always have liked. . . .It's hard to say. It's going to come down to lot of factors but if I had to pick one over the rest it would be the opportunity to compete for playing time."