The Washington Post

St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes WR Sam Gallahan finds niche in combine showcases

Even after turning heads with a solid performance during a 7-on-7 tournament in Florida in February, Sam Gallahan doesn’t expect recruiters to take the bait on that achievement alone. The St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes receiver has been receiving more attention this winter from schools – the most coming from Cincinnati, Old Dominion and James Madison – and incoming offers could be largely dependent on his production next fall as a senior.

But Gallahan is still devoting most of spring and summer to competing in combine-like workouts. Over the past two years, he has carved out a reputation as a solid combine player who can excel as a route runner and is dangerous in space after the catch. The camps have provided an opportunity for Gallahan to work on his speed, he said, an aspect of his game that needs to improve to play at the next level.

He will travel to New Jersey this weekend with his team, Perfect Performance, which features other top area juniors including Briar Woods quarterback Trace McSorley and Yorktown running back MJ Stewart, he said, adding that he had to turn down another invitation to a combine tournament being held in Baltimore this weekend. Gallahan will travel to another event in Richmond next weekend.

St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes wide reciever and defensive back Sam Gallahan, seen here making a tackle against Bullis last fall, has been picking up recruiting interest this offseason and excelling in combine-style workouts. (Mark Gail / The Washington Post) St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes wide reciever and defensive back Sam Gallahan, seen here making a tackle against Bullis last fall, has been picking up recruiting interest this offseason and excelling in combine-style workouts. (Mark Gail / The Washington Post)

“There’s a bunch of guys that have a ton of offers on the team, so it’s good working with them. It makes me better,” Gallahan said. “I don’t know how much you can actually get recruited off 7-on-7. I really just do it to keep my skills, to keep getting better in the offseason.”

Gallahan caught 42 passes for 631 yards and nine touchdowns last year at St. Stephens/St. Agnes.

The 7-on-7 circuit has also been a way for Gallahan to visit schools he’s interested in attending. He saw North Carolina and Duke back in February during the Florida trip and plans to do the same when he competes in a camp at the University of Nebraska this summer, he said. Getting exposure in unconventional ways has become a priority, and he’s not sulking about where he currently stands on the recruitment front. Playing alongside highly-recruited players like Stewart and McSorley, he is reminded frequently that he is still awaiting his first offer.

“I think I really excel in 7-on-7. I think it helps get me noticed,” Gallahan said. “It’s tough because all my buddies have, like, tons of offers and stuff. And I work with them every day…I’m patient. Like, you know, I don’t deserve anything. So I’m going to just keep working.”

The time Wednesday morning when Friendship Collegiate defensive back D’Andre Payne committed to the University of Tennessee publicly, via his Twitter account. While most onlookers expected his announcement to come at 10 a.m., Payne had to wait to get ahold of Volunteers Coach Butch Jones, who was in a meeting, he said.

— St. John’s star and Notre Dame recruit Lindsay Allen scored four points and grabbed six rebounds in Wednesday night’s McDonalds All-American game in Chicago. Allen’s East squad lost to the West, 92-64.

— Loyola (Md.) men’s basketball coach Jimmy Patsos left the school for the same position at Sienna earlier this week, and now Oakland Mills’ Lavon Long and North Point’s Marquis Wright are re-thinking their commitments to the Greyhounds.

— Lake Braddock’s softball team fell behind twice early against South County on Wednesday night, but the Bruins found a way to rally and then hold on in the final inning to earn the 7-5 win in AAA Patriot District play.

— South River field hockey Coach Katie Corcoran, who led the school to Maryland 4A state titles in 2005 and 2012, is stepping down after 13 years with the program.

Montrose Christian vs. Findlay Prep (Nev.), 6 p.m. at Georgetown Prep

The National High School Invitational gets underway Thursday with four boys’ quarterfinal games at the Hanley Center – and Montrose Christian (19-4) draws not only the top seed in the tournament, but also arguably the nation’s best team in Findlay Prep. The Post’s Preston Williams and Brandon Parker preview the event here.

Have a high school sports question? Start a new thread in our forums and I’ll do my best to weigh in. (Click on ‘New Topic‘ to start your thread.)

Roman Stubbs covers the University of Maryland athletics for The Washington Post.



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Roman Stubbs · April 3, 2013