Polk's Prospects: Abrams Is Kathleen's Lockdown Corner
Thu. September 27, 2012 at 2:46 a.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
GREG ABRAMS, a senior cornerback for Kathleen, has lined up against other teams' top receivers since his 10-grade year. (Photo by HASANI HARPER | LEDGER CORRESPONDENT )
By HASANI HARPER
One interception for 60 yards and a touchdown.
With one play against Winter Haven last week, Kathleen senior cornerback Greg Abrams tallied more yards and points than he has allowed lining up against some of Polk County's top receivers.
Since being thrust into a starting role his 10th-grade year, Abrams has been asked by head coach Irving Strickland to cover some of the top receivers in the county.
"That kid has been through the trials and tribulations, the ups and downs," Strickland said. "And so we are comfortable with his athletic abilities and what he has been through that he can play man coverage on the best receivers in the county.
"Will he get beaten on some plays? Yes he will, but that's just the logistics of it. We feel like he is the best player for the job."
It's a role Abrams has embraced.
"I knew before the start of the season that me lining up against a team's top receiver would be automatic," Abrams said. "I feel like if I'm covering a receiver that is doing big things for the team we are playing, it's my responsibility to stop him. I really don't even think about stats, I just really think about the team and helping us win games."
Last season, Abrams led Kathleen in interceptions and was named to the PolkPreps.com All-County first team. This year, Abrams hopes to have a breakout season.
Chuck Duffey, Kathleen's new defensive backs coach, hopes to help him do that.
"I'm trying to teach the defensive backs college and NFL concepts in recognizing run and pass plays," said Duffey, a 2005 Kathleen graduate who played wide receiver and defensive back at Liberty University. "I recognized that they were playing mainly off talent last season and wanted to help them understand not only their coverage responsibilities, but also their secondary counterparts on the field. If they know what others are doing on the field, then it makes their job that much easier."
Abrams is soaking in as much knowledge as he can from Duffey, not just because Duffey played at the collegiate level, but because they are also brothers.
"I see him more than the other players because we live together, so he'll give me extra one-on-one time when we're at home," Abrams said. "He has helped me with my zone defense and working on different jam techniques to use in games."
Troy State, South Alabama, Western Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky have expressed interest in Abrams, according to Strickland.
"He carries a 3.5 GPA, so doing what he needs to do in the classroom is no issue," Strickland said. "He just has to keep playing and let his play on the field do the talking. Someone will give him that opportunity eventually."