FFE SPOTLIGHT: Hunter Rice, Gunner Givens highlight loaded Lord Botetourt roster

Virginia’s Class 3 runners-up have the college-level talent to make another deep playoff run in the spring.
Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 7:31 PM EDT
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DALEVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Though their season was scrapped and pushed to the spring, Virginia’s reigning Class 3 runners-up are taking no days off.

“You know Botetourt, we’re all big, strong," said junior offensive tackle Gunner Givens. "That’s kind of the way we play our football, we just like running the ball down people’s throats. So we love the weight room.”

And few Cavaliers love it more than Givens himself.

“He’s putting up numbers that would put him near, or at, NFL combine numbers right now,” said Cavaliers head coach Jamie Harless.

Lord Botetourt’s 6-foot-6-inch, 275-pounder now has 50 college offers as a junior, and he’s been named an All-American by CBS Sports analyst Tom Lemming.

“It was kind of slow in the beginning," said Givens on his recruitment. "I had like three or four [offers] and then it just took off this summer. I started getting like three or four a day, and it’s crazy. Just a huge blessing.”

Givens has been recruited by the likes of Clemson and Alabama since he transitioned from tight end to tackle last year, his first with Botetourt after playing in Covington as a freshman.

“It’s kind of the same principles," he said on the position change. "I was more of a bigger blocking tight end. I caught the ball very rarely, and blocking is my best attribute in football, by far.”

He’s used to blocking for some pretty good players, too, including recent Army commit Hunter Rice.

“My dad was in the military. My grandpa was in the military so, I mean, it’s big," said Rice. "Military is big in the family, so I’m really proud to be going there.”

Rice is a senior this year but said he plans to stick around for a shortened spring season at L.B. and a chance at championship redemption.

“I knew that this season was going to be a special one," said Rice. "I knew that it had the potential to be a 15-0 season.”

And while that may no longer be possible, these Cavaliers no doubt have the next-level talent to make it a special spring in Botetourt.

“I think it really shows that Coach Harless knows what he’s doing here," Rice said. "He knows how to get players to the next level. He knows how to develop players into big-time athletes and that’s the main thing that’s happening here.”

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