When you think of HS Football in CT, how could you forget the most UNSTOPABLE player during his time. Andrew Pinnock of Bloomfield HS 99′

by CTalentTv on February 15, 2011

Andrew Pinnock was one player that I’m sure anybody who follows High School sports will NEVER forget.  Amasing over 6,000 yards on his way toward over 80 TD’s during his career at Bloomfield High.  His next step would be South Carolina where the competition would be more challenging and just as big as Mr. Pinnock. So what does the stout back from Ct do, just become the number 2 rusher in South Carolina history.  Its clear to see that Pinnock was destined for greateness in the world of football.  Pinnock provided CTalent.Tv with an exclusive on growing up in Ct.

What’s going on Mr. Pinnock? How has life been treating you these days? Life has been great!! Lots of ups and downs, and lessons learned. Through it all I wouldn’t trade any of it. Today I’m proud to say I’m back in the community helping out at the North West boys club in Hartford where I started as a youth before moving to Bloomfield.

We have followed your career since your days as a Bloomfield Warhawk. Can you explain what it was like playing for Coach Cochran during your years there? Coach Cochran was more than just a coach to us. Despite all the negative press on him, he took all of his players under his wing and taught us how to deal with adversity. Yes adversity, which some may say it’s hard to believe because of us blowing everyone out! What people failed to realize by my senior year besides the state championship the starters didn’t play longer than a half and it was the freshman and J.V going out and continuing to do dominance against other schools varsity squads.  He prepared us mentally. There was nothing that could distract us when we walked on that field. It wasn’t about just winning and being successful but putting in the hard work both on and off the field.  He was able to get us young men at an early age to believe that no matter what success we had in the past, it means nothing if we don’t win tomorrow. So we worked all summer in weights and conditioning while every other school was on summer break. Bloomfield High School has the most division 1 players than any school in Ct. We also had 2 Ivy League full scholarships. Tony Lucus/QB/DB Bloomfield 95-99 attended Columbia, and Fred Jelks 96-2000/DB attended Yale.

It seems like Jack Cochran has a few players in the NFL. Do you think he has what it takes to coach at the college level? Yes I do believe he has the ability to coach on any level. There aren’t that many coaches or people that have that natural ability and patients to work with kids. He just has the God given talent to be able to instill the confidence or change a troubled teen.  He is able to get young men to believe that they can be something in life by just putting your mind to it.

While you clearly dominated the stat sheet in Connecticut, was there a defense that you found it tough to dominate? Weaver High School was always tough. They were our rivals. They were always keying on me. At times it felt like I had 11 guys coming after me whether I had the ball or not.LOL.  That would allow other players on BHS to shine. I don’t think there would ever be a football rivalry in Ct again like the Bloomfield Weaver rivalry from 95-about 2002. I mean it was a heated rivalry in every sport.

You were a man amongst boys in high school, so did you notice a huge difference at the collegiate level from high school? Yes the speed of the game was the biggest difference. Especially playing in the SEC conference which is arguably the best conference in the NCAA to this day. Just like any new level of work you will eventually will adjust.

What would you say was the biggest adjustment for you at the collegiate level? The biggest adjustment on the college level was managing my time and being on my own in what seem like another world coming from Ct.

If South Carolina didn’t offer you, who would you have committed with? I would have either gone to Syracuse with Dwight Freeny, Auburn, Iowa, Purdue, or Tennessee. When Lou Holtz came to Bloomfield High then to my home in the winter of 1999 it sold the deal lol. I was a die-hard Notre Dame Fan growing up when he was the head coach there.

Since your days of playing HS football, it seems like the kids are getting smaller and the talent isn’t the same here, how do you feel about this? I feel the same as far as size. Talent wise Ct has just as much talent as any other state. The problem with Ct talent is that unfortunately most of our elites never really get the opportunity to compete in other states, or go to big nationally recognized camps and tournaments. When they eventually get out there, it’s like they are star struck. The lights seem to be too big for them. That’s why my hats off to Reggie Hatchet who coaches Basketball at the north west boys n girls club in Hartford, along with their boys and girls  AAU teams. He takes those boys and girls on some of the most prestigious tournaments in the country. These kids go out and compete against the best of the best and dominate them. They win tournaments after tournaments after tournament. This allows the kids to see a bigger picture so when they finally get out there the moment isn’t to big for them.. He funds out of pocket most of these AAU tournaments, because he also understands what the kids need to prepare them for the next level. It really bothers me to see that no one is recognizing this kids and help their funding so they can have a Van, hotel far, uniforms, Tennis Shoes, practice equipment etc.. There is one kid on the 6 grade squad that can barely see because he needs glasses and his parents can’t afford to purchase them. He squints probably 24hrs a day. This kid still goes out and plays his heart out against bigger competition and is one of their leading scores.

Have you ever thought about getting into coaching? Yes I do plan on coach again at some point. I do also plan on getting back on the field for the Hartford Colonials UFL team. In the meantime I’m holding football camps which is sponsored by the Mandell Jewish Community Center in West Hartford. I am having a short clinic on Feb 21st. Then a week long camp on July 11th-15th. The ages are from 8-13. By next year I plan to expand the camp to an overnight camp with more sessions and also include the high school kids. This year we will have many special guest from current and former NFL players. Registrations have begun on the www.mandelljcc.org website for both the 3 hour clinic on the feb 21st and for my weeklong camp July 11th-15th.

Where do you rank yourself as one of the greatest players from the state of CT? I hate to toot my own horn LoL, but I rushed for all those yards and scored all those TDs from a 3 point stance as a fullback. I also weighed 250lb and out ran smaller and quicker defensive backs on 70-80yd touchdowns. Lol I’ll let the critics decide and rank who was the most explosive high school football player in Ct. One thing I am sure. Is my son Andrell Pinnock who is 13yrs old and plays for the Bloomfield Raiders A Team will be 100x a better player than me. I’m not being bias either. I have never seen anything like him I swear.

Would you be able to name the top 5 players you have ever seen or played against from CT?

1. Dwight Freeney/DE/TE Bloomfield 94-97

2. Latroy Oliver /RB/DB weaver 95-98

3. Titus Lumpkin/WR/DB Bloomfield 92-95

4. Dieon Shabazz/DE Bloomfield 97

5. Corey Johnson / DT/OL  weaver 95-98

6. Ian Whittenham/Bloomfield/ LB 93-96

7. Albert Davis/ Bloomfield/ RB 94-96

8. Jermelle Lewis/Bloomfield/RB 97-01

9. Jamal Riddle/ Platt/WR/KR Platt 95-98

10. Baray Montiero/WR/DB Bloomfield 96-97

I know you said 5 but I had to give my top ten. Lol I know most are Bloomfield weaver but it’s my honest opinion based on who I felt could have played on the next level and beyond.

Personally, I think you were a running FB, but the NFL clearly must have not seen what we saw. Did you ever feel unappreciated as a RB at the NFL level? At first especially after being the 2nd all time leading scorer in South Carolina school history behind Heisman trophy winner George Rogers. It still didn’t take me long to realize the NFL is a business and you are going to do what you are paid to do. I just accepted my role and learned from future hall of fame fullback Lorenzo Neal. He taught me how to approach the game as a blocking fullback and how to make it fun. The fullback in the NFL is the most underrated position. U must be ready for a war week in and week out. We also have to take extra care of our bodies and see chiropractors up to 2 times a week. I feel that I have mastered that position and I will one day teach and coach the mindset and fundamentals you will need to be a great fullback to the youths.

Being that you played FB and your high school teammate Dwight Freeney played DE, I’m sure that was a hell of a kick out block and conversation afterwards. Speak a little about that. Honestly in high school me and Dwight never went against one another. We were a small school so when we were on offense he was also. In the NFL 2 of the 5 times we played the colts I wasn’t the starter and I literally watches him dominate our defensive Tackles. The other 3 times he didn’t play due to injury. I can tell you though our coaches were scared as all hell lol whenever we would go against Dwight. Lol I’m mean though he would be out from injury they would still prepare as if he was there for caution that he might just play anyway. Lol Dwight is by far the best athlete and competitor I have seen on any level. I mean he takes a Madden game just as serious as a real game. Lol he is also a great basketball and soccer player also.

Well, thanx for your time Mr. Pinnock, we wish nothing but success for you and your family. God bless. It was my Pleasure anytime. N if free come on out and to my camp and do some and do a write up. Maybe interview some o the kids they will love it.


2 Responses to “When you think of HS Football in CT, how could you forget the most UNSTOPABLE player during his time. Andrew Pinnock of Bloomfield HS 99′”

  • BeaverForLife says:

    Drew Pinnock was an explosive athlete a rear breed of size and speed. He had his opinion of top ten players he played against in High School but he seems to forget another runnning backs whom i thought could play in the league and that is John Weaver, Joseph Balfore, Stanley Williams , Jermell Lewis , even a Conard running back named Pinto. Ct definelty at that time if they had the same exposure could contend nation wide.

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