By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
The kid was only a freshman, but already a specimen, checking in at approximately 6-foot-2, 250 pounds.
It’s no wonder that Spackenkill coach Clint DeSouza was intrigued by Ozzie Hutchinson the first time he saw him walk onto the field. Still, there was one problem facing DeSouza: His first glimpse of Hutchinson came with him donning soccer gear.
After a recruiting pitch by DeSouza, Hutchinson reluctantly agreed to play football, and has evolved into one of the most formidable offensive linemen in Section 9. Now a senior, Hutchinson checks in at 6-4, 280. He is a kind, soft-spoken young man, but brimming with power and confidence.
“Ozzie wasn’t hard to miss,” DeSouza said. “You don’t see many kids his size walking around campus. We had to kind of turn on the mean switch with Ozzie and tell him you can be physical when he started playing. It’s OK to hit because you can’t get a yellow or red card in football. Ozzie is a great kid and has come into how own. His size and physical play will be unmatched in Class C this year.”
Hutchinson has started on Spackenkill’s offensive line for the last two seasons and is expected to play full-time on the defensive line this year. The Spartans graduated star two-way lineman Kyiev Bennermon last year and he is now playing at Boston College. Hutchinson admits that he initially had some reservations about playing football.
He never played the game and grew up in a soccer family. His father, Hugh, is from Jamaica and is a soccer fan. Hutchinson’s mom, Jasmine, is from another soccer crazed country, Trinidad and Tobago. Both of his parents are still learning the nuances of American football.
“Initially, I wasn’t too sure about playing football, but it grew on me,” Hutchinson said. “When you play football, it’s like you have a family. I liked the vibe with the team and it just grew on me. The game has just become easier and easier for me, and it definitely builds character.”
Once a project, Hutchinson is now a legitimate college recruit. He was impressive at a camp at Wagner College this summer and through his performance gained attention from New Hampshire and Morgan State. DeSouza expects Hutchinson to gain even more attention this season.
“I’ve definitely grown as a football player over the last three years,” Hutchinson said. “It’s definitely crazy to receive the feedback that I have from college coaches. They see a lot in me and I think that’s great. I’m lucky to have such a supportive coaching staff and incredible teammates. I wouldn’t be here without them.”