It was only a scrimmage, but if there is a yard to be gained, River Hill senior running back Brent Kluge is going to go get it.
This past Saturday as his Hawks offense practiced against Arundel’s defense, Kluge broke two tackles and carried three defenders out of bounds before being dragged down awkwardly. He gained the first down on the play.
On the way back to the huddle, a River Hill assistant coach told Kluge not to go so hard, after all, it’s only practice and you don’t want to get hurt in a scrimmage that means nothing.
But Kluge isn’t that type of player. You can say he has a totally different outlook on practice than say, Allen Iverson. It is just in the DNA of the 5-foot-10, 210 pounder to go hard every time he steps on the field.
“I don’t like to give in for anything. If there is something on the line, I’ll fight for whatever it is for as long as I can,” said Kluge. “I don’t know what it is but I have something in me that if someone hits me, I want to see him on his back and I just keep going.”
Over the summer, Kluge worked out at a camp at Navy and spoke with the coaches there. They said he was too small to play linebacker at the college level and would probably be moved to another position.
That statement didn’t sit well with Kluge. He is already a determined young man that plays with passion and a undeniable love for the game. Being told that he can’t only adds more lighter fluid to the already burning flame.
“I don’t like that,” he said about being called too small. “I like a challenge. When they say at linebacker that I’m too small, I just think of Gary Brackett [of the Indianapolis Colts]…”
He added: “Just give me a shot and I’ll show you what I can do.”
This season, Kluge is looking to build on the success he has already had at the high school level. At Hereford, where he spent his first two seasons, he was the Bulls leading tackler on junior varsity as a freshman and on varsity as a sophomore.
Last year with River Hill, Kluge made an immediate impact, leading the Hawks in tackles with 113 including 12 for loss and nine sacks.
Not bad for a guy too small to play linebacker.