2003-04 was a remarkable time for Greenbrier product Rashad Dunn. He went from being a pretty good high school player to being a major college prospect.
Now, Dunn didn't do it with smoke and mirrors. He can play. Not only is he strong and athletic, but he is a terrific young man who would impress any college scout he runs across.
This fall, there are plenty of Columbia County football players who would like to follow in Dunn's footsteps. We may not have anyone get a full-ride scholarship to play in the Big Ten, but a few kids will sign in February 2005. Here are a couple of potential college bound players.
Eugene Rogers (Greenbrier)
With Tim Camp headed to the Air Force Academy, Rogers assumes the role as the county's best all-around athlete. Also, he is likable, well-spoken and a good student like Rashad Dunn. Rogers was a landslide winner as last year's County Player of the Year, and he should have a monster senior season. He can play receiver or defensive back with equal precision.
College coaches and recruiting analysts who have seen Rogers are instantly impressed. His size is not ideal, but it will not hurt him too bad. Where he will end up depends heavily on how much exposure it gets.
I think Rogers can play almost anywhere - he is that good! At this time, I would say teams like Georgia Southern, Wake Forest and Vandy aren't out of the question.
Tanner Hayden (Greenbrier) - Offensive Line
Hayden will definitely play on Saturdays. It is just a matter of where.
He has good size, and more importantly, he has a strong desire to be a college football player.
Coaches will be happy to find out that he is a full qualifier with a great SAT score.
Reggie Porter (Lakeside) - Linebacker
Porter did not get the attention that some of the skill position players get, but he is a quality defender.
He has good speed and is outstanding in pursuit sideline to sideline. Porter is a kid who really needs to get to work marketing himself. No longer can you just get a coach to "make a call for you."
Times have changed considerably. The coaching staff at Lakeside will certainly do their part, but Porter's family should also be prepared to put in some work as well. If so, this kid could be busy the first Wednesday in February.
Cheng Ho (Evans) - Running Back
An injury during his sophomore season slowed him down last year (literally), but Ho is back up to speed and then some. He ran a blistering 4.43 at the Georgia combines and along with teammate Josh Gibbs, he's been selected to participate in the National Combine in June.
His height may hinder him some, but he is an extremely hard worker and a joy to coach - both of which will help him.
Also keep an eye on Josh Gibbs (Evans), Donovan Lowe (Lakeside) and Brandon Hicks (Lakeside). These are just a few kids to watch. There are many other county players who could play on the next level.
A lot can happen between now and Signing Day. Iowa bound Rasgad Dunn is a perfect example of that. Dunn, however, had what the new breed of recruiters are looking for.
No longer is it strictly athletic ability.
Obviously, you have to have talent, but academics, attitude and work ethic have all become hot button questions for college coaches. Our athletes should think about that when they begin their work this off-season.
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