Mike Leverett Jr. had a shot to start Saturday at middle linebacker in his debut as a college player at Clark Atlanta University.
A few weeks ago, he never would have thought it was a possibility. He imagined everyone would be bigger, faster and stronger than the competition he faced while playing at Harlem High School last year.
Leverett thought Clark coaches might deem him too small to play linebacker, and he was prepared to move to strong safety. But on the first day of full contact, coaches told Leverett his spot was at middle linebacker.
He said he'd be battling for the starting spot with a senior who didn't play last year.
"I thought I wasn't going to be able to play with them," Leverett said. "But I'm up there with them."
Leverett's debut pitted him against a former teammate. Clark played host to Fort Valley State, where former Harlem linebacker Maurice Dorsey plays.
Leverett said he hadn't talked to Dorsey during the week, but expected the two would meet after the game.
Leverett's decision to choose Clark came late in the process. Leverett was almost ready to head to Louisburg (N.C.) College, and then visited Albany State. But when Leverett's pastor recommended Clark, the player and his father, Mike Leverett Sr., went for a visit. Clark coaches watched Leverett's tape and told him to come on.
Leverett had played middle linebacker his senior year as a Bulldog and outside linebacker his junior year while Dorsey filled the middle.
It appears he'll have the shot to fill the middle again.
"You got to throw off linemen more than you have to on the outside," Leverett said. "That's about it. You're more physical."
Gamblin keeping options open
Harlem baseball player Patrick Gamblin sneaked in behind the crowd at the Bulldogs' softball game Wednesday to get in some throwing with his dad.
The senior played travel ball with East Cobb this summer and said he led the team in batting average and got to pitch some.
Gamblin talked to Kennesaw State University last season, and that's where he'd like to end up. He's also heard from Winthrop University, which he's familiar with from having played travel ball at Rock Hill's Cherry Park. Campbell (N.C.) University is also on the radar, though he thinks the drive would be too long.
"Hopefully, one of those schools pulls through," Gamblin said.
Here's the prep sports schedule for your four-day work week:
Tuesday -- Lakeside volleyball is at Westside starting at 5 p.m. Augusta Prep volleyball plays at Cross Creek at 6 p.m., and Cavaliers cross country runs at the Gilbert (S.C.) Invitational.
Wednesday -- Augusta Prep boys soccer plays Weber at home at 4:30 p.m. Greenbrier softball plays region foe Stephenson at home, starting at 5 p.m.
Thursday -- Harlem softball welcomes Evans at 5 p.m. Lakeside softball plays host to Glenn Hills, also at 5 p.m.
Friday -- Big day for county football. Lakeside plays at Evans, and Harlem plays at Greenbrier. Augusta Christian plays at Fox Creek. Greenbrier softball begins play at the Shaw Invitational in Columbus, Ga., and various area softball teams will compete in the Evans Invitational, beginning Friday.
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