The Hargrave Military Academy is a prep school located in Chatham, Virginia, and it served as one of the nation's premiere spots for high-caliber football recruits to play post-graduate football before heading off to the NCAA before the program was discontinued after the 2012 season. It's also a place that Buffalo Bills fans might want to keep in mind during this busy 2016 NFL Draft week.
Hargrave has been home to many great players over the years, and a long list of them have eventually gone on to play in the NFL.
How is that relevant to the Bills and this Thursday's draft? This may not be anything more than pure coincidence, but in Bills head coach Rex Ryan's six years with the New York Jets, two of their first-round picks - defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson (2011) and Quinton Coples (2012) - were products of the program.
Four more Hargrave alumni are considered strong bets to be selected in Round 1 of this year's draft: Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed, Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd, and Clemson defensive ends Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd. Reed and Dodd were on the 2011 postgraduate squad, while Lawson and Floyd were on the 2012 team, the last in the school's history.
Reed and Floyd were both pre-draft visitors with the Bills this spring (or, rather, Floyd was, and the Bills traveled to see Reed after the birth of his second child postponed their originally-planned meeting). Ryan's ties to the Clemson program are well-known in these parts, where both Lawson and Dodd starred in their excellent 2015 season. It's reasonable to think that the Bills have interest in all four players, to varying degrees.
Long story short: don't be surprised if the seventh first-round draft pick made on Ryan's watch as a head coach ends up being the third to hail from Hargrave.