August 19, 2007

Vanderink ready to compete

In his career at Crestwood High School in nearby Mantua, Ohio, Alan Vanderink racked up nearly 4,000 yards of offense and scored 51 touchdowns in three years on the varsity squad. The first-team all-Ohio selection became the first prospect in the Class of 2007 to verbally commit to Kent State, who was fresh off a 1-10 season.

That early commitment earned Vanderink, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound wide receiver, a special place in the heart of head coach Doug Martin.

"He will always be one of my favorite guys because Alan Vanderink chose us when we were 1-and-10 or 1-and-11, or whatever it was we were that season," said Martin. "He chose us way back in the summer last year before we made our move and showed we were making progress. He believed in us, and I told him that I believe in him."

Vanderink knows that soft-spot in his coach isn't going to last long if the freshman wide receiver doesn't produce on the field.

"It's awesome, but if he's got his eyes on me that means I can't mess up," Vanderink said. "I want to do everything I can to do what he asks. All he's asking of me is to play hard, represent the team, play as a team-it's a big family here.

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