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August 27, 2014

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high school football:

Faith Lutheran lineman Molchon has 8 scholarship offers, takes humble approach to process

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Faith Lutheran lineman John Molchon.

Faith Lutheran lineman John Molchon.

Faith Lutheran lineman John Molchon.

John Molchon isn’t trying to keep a secret. It just appears that way.

When Molchon, a senior offensive lineman at Faith Lutheran, received a football scholarship offer in the spring from Fordham, he told only his coaches and parents. That was the first offer.

Early this month, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound tackle attended the elite camp at Boise State. He was so impressive, he left the camp with a scholarship offer — his eighth. He kept that quiet, too.

Rivals.com, which tracks recruiting for college football and basketball, doesn’t list Molchon as having any scholarship offers. Also, it doesn't issue him a ranking.

That’s because Molchon, unlike other recruits, isn’t into self-promotion. Most recruits take to social media to document every step of the process, announcing when they’ve received an offer, taken a visit or committed.

He won’t be able to stay under the radar for long.

“I don’t like to tell a lot of people,” said Molchon, who also has offers from the University of Buffalo, Colorado State, Kent State, UNLV, UNR and Montana State.

“It’s very humbling. I want to get (the news) out the right way. I like to keep it personal between me, my coaches, family and close friends,” he said.

Molchon isn’t your typical prospect. And not because of his meek approach to the recruiting attention.

He played tight end as a freshman and was a blocking fullback as a sophomore. Last season, when first-year coach Vernon Fox arrived, Molchon asked to move back to tight end.

After giving him some reps in the passing game, Fox and line coach Nate Knight quickly realized Molchon’s potential at tackle. All they had to do was convince him of the benefits of playing on the line.

Six months later, Molchon was awarded a state championship ring. When he presented the ring, Fox made sure to remind Molchon of a conversation they had when he was asked to switch positions.

“I figured he would be like any 16-year-old kid and pout about switching positions,” Fox said. “But he smiled and said, ‘Coach, I just want to win a ring. Whatever it takes.’”

Molchon blossomed into a force, becoming the Division I-A lineman of the year and helping Faith Lutheran win its final 12 games to capture the state title.

When college coaches stopped by to recruit at Faith Lutheran last season and this spring, they would seemingly always ask about the Crusaders’ big lineman. He quickly became the most-recruited player in the program’s 25-year history.

“It's obvious how athletic he is,” Fox said. “He moves really well for a big guy. You look at him and can see his frame has the potential for growth.”

Molchon never thought he’d be a college football player. He assumed his ticket to the next level would be in basketball, where he’s been a regular in the post for the Faith Lutheran varsity team since his freshman year. He started playing football as an eighth-grader in the offseason because he wanted to have fun and stay in shape.

Turns out the recruiting trail has had its share of memories, especially at the camp on Boise State's unique field.

“It was awesome to get to play on the blue turf. I’m really blessed to have that experience,” he said. “It was crazy stepping foot in that facility. I couldn’t grasp it.”

That’s something others would have shared on social media, but it’s just not Molchon’s style.

“I’ve learned from my parents. They’ve instilled the humble approach,” he said. “The people who need to know (about his recruiting) will find out the right way. I don’t want (the schools recruiting him) to get the wrong message.”

When it comes time for Molchon to make a college decision, he’ll take the same approach. He’ll consult parents and coaches, and consider the school’s academics.

“I want him to enjoy his senior year and not get overwhelmed by this,” Fox said. “He wishes he can turn off (recruiting) and just play his senior year. The reality, however, is the attention will pick up. The better he plays, the more exposure he’ll get.”

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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