Rashan Gary explodes off the line, then uses a meaty forearm to propel the offensive tackle backward and to the right before Gary makes a quick move to the left to knock down the tackling dummy at Nike’s The Opening football camp last month in Oregon.
The move is emblematic of the talent that makes Gary, a defensive tackle for Paramus Catholic (Paramus, N.J.), the No. 1 recruit in the 2016 class, according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings. The 6-4, 286-pounder has offers from more than 30 schools. If he goes on to the success that recruiting services are predicting, a lot of people could be taking credit, including his three personal trainers.
Gary’s case might be extreme, but the use of personal trainers by top-level high school football players has surged in the past decade. That rise has many high school coaches questioning the need and the effectiveness of personal trainers beyond their own high school team’s strength and conditioning coaches. Others wonder if personal trainers are using their connections with elite players to insert themselves into the recruiting process.