Tyler Dent's dream was to have his parents see him play college football.
Family and friends surround Tyler Dent as he signs the papers to play football for Allen University in Columbia. It's the dream of the Greenbrier grad to have his parents watch him play college football.
The Greenbrier graduate wasn't sure he would ever receive the opportunity after receiving little attention leading up to and following National Signing Day in February.
"My coaches and principals just told me to keep my head up," Dent said. "They said someone out there will find you."
Dent's dream will come true now that Allen University, a historically black college in Columbia, has offered him a scholarship.
"Man, I can't tell you how happy I am," Dent said. "It's a dream come true. I'm going to play college football. And I'm close enough so that my folks can see me play."
The Yellow Jackets will move Dent from fullback to tailback and feature him as a ball carrier. He rushed for 720 yards and two touchdowns last season for the Wolfpack, but he split carries with Reggie Rice and Eugene Rogers.
"I've been working hard this offseason, trying to get faster and quicker," Dent said. "I have to be ready to carry the ball 25 or 30 times a game if I need to.
"I see myself as a Ricky-Williams-type back, power through the hole and hitting the burners in the open field."
Greenbrier coach Mickey Derrick said that he thought Dent was one of the hardest workers on the team last season and that his former team captain would be ready for college football.
Allen wasn't Dent's first choice, though. Bellhaven (Miss.) - the college choice of former Wolfpack teammates Tanner Hayden and Brooks Robinson - recruited him but pulled off after singing three other running backs.
"I think this is a case of things not happening for a reason," Dent said. "If I went out to Bellhaven, then it wouldn't have been easy for my family to see me play. Now they will, and that is important for me."
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