While some of the 19 invitees to the NFA’s early January first annual OpC4 camp in Tampa had little or no varsity experience, the same cant be said for Alex Hornibrook of Malvern Preparatory School of Malvern, Pennsylvania.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound pro style quarterback from the class of 2015 not only started, but led his private school division team from the northwestern outskirts of Philadelphia, that doesn’t compete for a state championship, to an 8-2 record and a 24-20 victory in their final game over a Philadelphia St. Joseph’s Prep team that went on to win a PIAA 4A state championship.
The Wing-T offense of Malvern Coach Kevin Pellegrini means Hornibrook doesn’t rack up the huge numbers of some quarterbacks, since the Friars run the ball 80-percent of the time, however he still passed for 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Big numbers aren’t what has attracted major college interest and invites for Hornibrook from a multitude of top-notch quarterback camps like the OpC4 and the Nike Regional Elite 11 camp in Virginia last year.
What attracts attention to the left-handed throwing Hornibrook are the big and little things colleges are looking for in a signal-caller, like physical attributes, leadership skills and the ability to perform under pressure.
“Alex shows no breakdowns under pressure. His drive and attention to detail allow him to compete at an extremely high level, and he’s smooth and consistent yet he still has potential to be even better,” said Will Hewlett, Hornibrook’s quarterback coach and the NFA Director of Player Development who worked with and evaluated him in Tampa.
Having previously worked with Hewlett and after also attending so many other quality camps, Hornibrook knew exactly what the coaches were looking for at the OpC4 camp, the four C’s, Confidence, Character, Consistency and Commitment.
“As one of the older guys I wanted to impress the coaches and take charge,” Hornibrook said. “Obviously some things on the field like accuracy and velocity are what coaches are looking for but I feel my leadership sets me apart. I like being in charge and leading the team.”
NFA Founder and President Darin Slack saw some of the same things Hewlett saw in Hornibrook.
“Alex was among the best at the OPC4 in all phases of the position. His size and arm strength are legit, his leadership is evident, and he can make all the throws that will be asked of him on the next level. Book it that Alex will be a Saturday star.”
Besides having all-around top-notch skills on the field, Hornibrook does it in the classroom as well, maintaining a 3.8 GPA taking all Honors courses at academically challenging Malvern.
Not surprisingly, Hornibrook is on the radar screen of several schools, and already has an offer from Akron. He also has interest from Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburg, Purdue, Temple, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wake Forest.
He is scheduled to attend junior day in mid-February at Pittsburg and Purdue.
When asked about his goals for next season only things about the team were on his mind.
“We want to have a better season than last year and it will start in the first week when we play Holy Spirit from New Jersey and beat them.”
Holy Spirit, from the Atlantic City suburb of Absecon, lost last year in the New Jersey non-public school Group 2 state championship game, but prior to that they had won three-straight state titles.
Hornibrook looks forward to his senior season as a mentor as well.
“I can’t wait to start working with the young guys coming back at the skill positions.”
Like the hard worker that he is the part of the camp that impressed Hornibrook the most is not surprising.
“The best part of the camp was how hard we got pushed, like at 6am on the beach with the Navy Seals. Those were some of the hardest workouts I’ve ever had.”