GLENVILLE - It's been quite the journey for Glenville State College center Jon Rasnick.
Coming out of high school, the now four-year starter thought he might never play again, but the Pioneers came calling and after a redshirt season he's been in the lineup ever since.
"I may have been 6-foot and 250 and that's when (redshirt year) I hit my growth spurt," said the 6-foot-2, 280-pounder who is a preseason All-American candidate.
Photo by Jay W. Bennett
Glenville State College All-American candidate Jon Rasnick at center participates in team drills.
The offensive line should be a strength for the G-men this year. The unit was more than solid last year as tailback Rahman Lee rushed for nearly 1,400 yards and was named the offensive freshman of the year in Division II.
"We are fast and athletic and while we are running around the next thing you know we're going to run right down the middle of your defense," Rasnick said of the O-line.
Rasnick first came to GSC the year after the Pioneers' last conference championship in 2008 and hopes he can leave with a ring this year if the G-men can get through the new Mountain East Conference on top, despite being picked fourth in the preseason.
"We've got to finish games. That's what killed us last year and once we finish games like I believe we will this year we will be just fine," Rasnick added.
Despite being picked to finish fourth in the preseason MEC poll, Rasnick said no one is concerned about such matters.
"To be honest, we don't even mention it," he said. "It's a brand new conference with new teams and new coaching staffs. We don't even worry about that.
"We use it as a little motivation, but we're going to prove them wrong and that's our goal this year."
Luckily for the Pioneers, Rasnick decided to take a visit to Glenville after recruiting coordinator Dave McEntire talked to him in high school about coming to Gilmer County.
"I took the visit and I really liked the place," said last year's first team all-WVIAC selection from Orange, Va. "I made the decision to come here and it's probably been the greatest decision I've made."
Even though Rasnick nearly never played college football, he's been able to use many attributes aside from being a huge physical specimen to be successful on the gridiron.
"I know what's happening and I know where I need to be," he said. "I don't have to put somebody on the ground every time. I just got to work the right angle. You've got be smart and you have to understand where the ball is going. You have to know what angle you need to block with.
"You don't have to be the biggest, fastest guy, but you have to have good footwork and as long as you know where the ball is going and the leverage you need to work with, I think that's what has made me a good player."