Hrinya turns orange

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    WARWICK-So who ever said stats were important? Obviously not Derik Hrinya, who accepted a full athletic scholarship to play football at Syracuse University beginning in the fall of 2006. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior only rushed the ball 54 times, for 428 yards, and six touchdowns for the Wildcats last season. But toss in a 4.41 forty-yard dash and a 35-inch vertical leap at an invitation only camp at the Carrier Dome and those numbers are a wash. Add his ability to give receivers anxiety attacks when traveling across the middle of the field when he is patrolling the secondary and the Orangemen have uncovered a stud. Syracuse head coach Greg Robinson was so impressed his Hrinya, he offered him a scholarship just one day after his visit to Central New York. Either that, or he was afraid that another school would scoop him up, as he had planned to visit Big East Rival Rutgers later in the month. Hrinya said schools still call hoping to pry him away from Syracuse before he officially signs in February, but he says his mind is made up. Robinson and his staff are not allowed to comment on Hrinya until they receive his written commitment. "This is a real credit to his hard work," said Warwick Coach Greg Sirico. "You are looking at a kid that can do anything if he puts his mind to it. There are not too many objects that can stand in his way." Sirico put together a highlight video of 22 plays, including a breathtaking 67-yard touchdown run against NFA in the Class AA semifinals. "When I get the ball in my hands I am not even thinking about it," said Hrinya. "Something else takes over." According to Sirico, Syracuse has given him the option to play running back in 2006, but his future will most likely be as a defensive back. If Warwick, the smallest AA team, wasn't the favorite to capture the title this year, news of Hrinya's signing won't make the Wildcats any less of a target. "I don't think people are going to be gunning for us any more than they already would have been," said Sirico. "We are champs (Division II) and we must defend. Everyone already knows about him." "If everyone is looking to stop me, we have other weapons," said Hrinya. "I'll do whatever coach wants me to do." Sirico says that since Hrinya verbally committed to Syracuse, he has not let it go to his head. "The kids on this team respect him," said Sirico. "That's why they selected him to be a team captain. He will lead this team." Hrinya said he can't wait for this year because he gets to play with all of his buddies that he grew up with. "The highlight of my career was when I was a freshman and scored five touchdowns against Pine Bush," he said. "I want to do something special this year with those guys." Get the camcorder ready, because Hrinya's entire 2005 season could be a highlight.