App State’s Price Increase
By BJ Bennett
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Fresh off a 231-yard performance in an upset win over the top-ranked team in the country, it's hard to imagine Sean Price as being a work-in-progress.
It's been a rapid rise to football stardom for Appalachian State's Sean Price. The 6'5'', 210-pound Virginia-native is no stranger to athletic success, but much of his prep prowess came via track -- not from touchdowns. Price earned All-Washington D.C. Metro Area recognition as a junior at South Lakes High School after winning district and regional championships in the triple and long jumps. Track was so much his focus, in fact, that Price played just two seasons of high school football.
Participation on the gridiron is nothing new for the Price family. Sean's oldest brother Brandon played wideout at Division II Lock Haven University. His other older brother played collegiality at FBS Akron. After catching 49 passes for 820 yards and eight touchdowns, Sean signed with Jerry Moore and the Mountaineers in 2011. He joined fellow South Lakes teammate Darius Smith and chose Appalachian State over reported offers from Montana, New Hampshire and Old Dominion.
A medical redshirt season a year ago was frustrating, but allowed Price to further absorb the game of football -- this time at the Division I level. A year off also gave the lanky receiver more time to bulk up, with ten extra pounds of muscle standing as the result. The silver lining of sheer circumstance or simple inevitability just delayed, Price's wait has paid off. After not playing football two of his final four years in grade-school, Price has now quickly emerged as one of the premier perimeter playmakers in the game.
Price entered this past Saturday ranked second in the Southern Conference and leading all FCS freshman in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. On the biggest stage of his career, playing at top-ranked Georgia Southern, he made his biggest splash. Facing the league's top-ranked defense, Price torched the Eagles with seven catches for 231 yards and a bulb-flashing 56-yard touchdown. Despite facing constant double-teams, Price was in position every time his team needed a big play.
"To put up 231 yards at any level is impressive, but to do it against the number one team in the nation is ridiculous. I mean, I've never put up 231 yards against the 80th ranked team in the nation. Hats off to Mr. Price," explained former Elon All-American Terrell Hudgins, the all-time leading receiver in NCAA Division I history.
Price and quarterback Jamal Jackson helped the Mountaineers compile 453 total yards.
"I have played against some pretty good Georgia Southern defenses, with the secondary being a strong point. When you rack up yards like that, there's usually a few other components to having that type of game. The quarterback had time to deliver it to him and the coordinator made some good play calls. But there is no doubt about it that Price still had to catch it and run with it. It's an all-around effort from the guys on offense," Hudgins continued.
Having played in just eight games this year, Price has still compiled 58 catches for 914 yards and eight touchdowns -- totals that best his high school production. He currently ranks eighth nationally with over 114 yards receiving per game. With one regular season game remaining and at least one playoff game left, barring injury, it's fair to assume to Price will top the 1,000-yard mark in his first full college season.
Though just a freshman, Price is drawing comparisons to former Appalachian State great Brian Quick, now a member of the NFL's St. Louis Rams. With his staggering production and 6'5'' frame, Price's name is already popping up on future draft sites. Aspects of his game remain raw, but Price has great leaping ability, remarkable body control and soft hands -- the ideal foundation for any big-play receiver.
"The size of this guy is just unbelievable. And to be a freshman, I expect him to make a big name for himself in the next few years if he keeps working hard," Hudgins concluded.
Fresh off a 231-yard performance in an upset win over the top-ranked team in the country, it's hard to imagine the dynamic Price as being a work-in-progress. As quick as his ascension has been, as rapidly as he has stepped into the spotlight, this is only the beginning.