TAMPA – Gaither lineman Mikey Rovellada is headed off to college after two highly productive seasons as a starter on both sides of the ball. The 6’2″, 238-pounder recently graduate high school and he’ll begin his college football career at Jacksonville on August 1st.

Rovellada served as a starting defensive end and right tackle as both a junior and senior after proving he belonged as a sophomore contributor.

He totaled 67 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception in his three prep seasons. Last season, he was named to the Hillsborough County All-Star team while being the only defensive end in the county with an interception.

“I accomplished all my goals that I set out for. I wanted to make the Hillsborough County All-Star team and I did that. I wanted to sign on signing day and I did that.”

He says he realizes that the team didn’t have a great season going 4-6, but he was proud of what he was able to do (30 tackles, three sacks, one interception).

During the second game of his junior year, Rovellada built confidence because he saw that the coaches were building around him as one of the better players.

As for his biggest strengths, he says that is his strength, consistency, knowledge and passion. He wants to make sure he can adjust to speed and the flow of the college game.

After receiving five offers from Jacksonville, Bethune-Cookman, Stetson, Mount Union and Warner, Rovellada says he ultimately chose Jacksonville because of the new staff that came over from Army led by head coach Ian Shields.

“I felt comfortable and connected with the coaches. I saw the way the ran things and there was no slacking. I like to be really organized and disciplined and I felt a connection in that aspect.”

He also had interest from Ball State, Carson-Newman and Florida A&M.

The Cowboys went 17-15 in Rovellada’s three seasons on varsity all under head coach Jason Stokes. Gaither last made the playoffs in 2013, his sophomore season. Stokes, who is now entering his sixth year at Gaither is someone Rovellada has known since 7th grade and values as a person and coach.

“The first day I met him I saw how much passion he had for coaching. I just really liked him as a person and not just a coach. We had a special bond together. We talked more than football. I consider him more as a mentor and a part of my family…

“He always tell me to be different and to be the hardest worker in the room whether it’s in school, football or a job. Don’t be mediocre.”

Starting his football career at age 6 playing both quarterback and linebacker, Rovellada moved to defensive end after becoming one of the bigger guys following the summer of his freshman year.

He takes his weight training seriously which is evident by his 365-pound bench press. His academics are also very important to him as he was named to the National Honor Society with a 3.6 GPA and earned a $1,000 scholarship from Reality Speaks for an essay he wrote.

Here’s his favorite portion of his essay:

“The key to being happy and successful is making sure you have to have a balance. My parents have always instilled in me a few things that as I have grown up I firmly believe in and share with various people daily, ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated, always be the hardest worker in the room, working hard is free the only thing it requires is effort'”

Speaking of his parents he calls them his biggest role models because they sacrifice so much for him and have been there for him no matter what while not missing a single game.

Rovellada’s ultimate goal is to be a standout player in college and to work everyday to make it to the NFL. He is planning to major in Sociology and minor in Criminal Law.

This kid is a load on the field. He takes his weight training seriously and it is evident with his superb upper body strength. Being a two-way starter in Class 7A is a great accomplishment that should help him plenty at the next level.

Mikey Rovellada has a great head on his shoulders and with his determination off the football field as well, he’s destined for big things at Jacksonville and beyond.

***

Quick Hitters

Favorite player to watch – Ray Lewis, Clay Matthews, Dwight Freeney
Playlist before games – Future, 50 Cent
Favorite movies – Remember the Titans, Rudy, Fast and Furious
Favorite TV show – King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, NFL Network
Fun fact about you that you think no one knows – “I love writing. Anything I just like writing. It’s my favorite subject.”
Nickname from teammates or friends – “Hardest Worker In The Room”

Game film: Rovellada’s Hudl tape

Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at jake.perper@hotmail.com.

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