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Cluley shines on national stage

August 18, 2011

WALL — Wall High School quarterback Steve Cluley has gotten plenty of local recognition for his play as a member of the Crimson Knights over the past two seasons, but that local recognition may soon be going national, following the senior’s recent performance at the IMG All-Madden Camp in Florida.

Competing with and against 130 of the top athletes from all over the United States, Cluley was the offensive player who shined brightest, earning the 2011 Offensive Most Valuable Player at the prestigious camp.

The camp was an invite-only event, with players having to be selected based on their performance at previous Under Armour camps across the nation.

Cluley was grateful to be selected for the IMG All-Madden Camp and to win offensive MVP, having been originally unsure if he was going to make the trip down to Florida.

“It was a real honor to go down there,” said Cluley, at the Crimson Knights first practice of 2011 on Monday afternoon. “I went to the Under Armour Combine in April and you get selected from that. I wasn’t sure if I should go, but then I saw it as a good opportunity.

“It was nice to compete against kids from all over the country,” Cluley added.

The camp was led by director Chris Weinke, who won the 2000 Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football while playing quarterback for Florida State. Weinke went on to play seven seasons in the National Football League [NFL] as a member of the Carolina Panthers and the San Francisco 49ers.

Ken Dorsey, who earned a 38-2 college record while playing for the University of Miami from 1999-2002 and Vinny Testaverde, a former number-one pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who went on to have a 21-year NFL career, were also quarterback coaches at the camp.

Cluley felt it was Weinke who he gained the most knowledge from.

“Chris Weinke he was awesome and was one of the best guys I have ever worked with,” said Cluley. “He knew his stuff like the back of his hand. He was very big on throwing with a purpose and footwork.”

On Monday, of the 130 football players in attendance, 28 were selected as members of the 2011 IMG All-Madden Team. As suspected as the offensive MVP, Cluley was selected as the first-team quarterback for the team, beating out Mike Fafaul, a quarterback from Fork Union Military Academy in Baltimore, Md., who earned second team honors.

Cluley was happy to not only represent himself and Wall High School, but also the entire state of New Jersey. With players from the typically known state football powers such as Florida, Georgia, Texas, California and Ohio on hand, the Crimson Knights field general felt he had a chance to prove there is quality talent in the Garden State.

“That was a big confidence boost, and it was nice to go down and win that,” Cluley said. “It feels good to show people that there are some good players up here [in New Jersey].”

For live up to the minute updates on #WALLFOOTBALL in 2011, follow me on twitter @!/SamCostantino

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