Thomas Dale champs struggle to find college scholarships after remarkable season

Thomas Dale football coach Vic Williams is no stranger to success. Though a state title was 23 years in the making, he has developed more than 100 kids into student-athletes.

This kind of track record deserves some recognition, and looking at his numbers begs the question: Why haven’t any players from the 2009 State Championship team gotten any scholarship offers?

That’s right. Despite these kids accomplishments on the field, no students have signed to play for any university on any level as of yet. Williams hopes this changes, the sooner the better.

“It doesn’t have to be a Division I-A scholarship,” said Williams, “but these kids in the classroom and on the field have the talents needed to succeed at the next level. I’m really surprised not to see any offers at this point.”

Two players will be visiting colleges soon. Spencer Randolph is visiting Bloomberg College, a D-II school, in Pennsylvania next week. Greg Gallop II will be attending a weekend visit at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution and the home of the Quakers, in the coming weeks.

Williams put in lots of time for the promotion of his players, sending out over 50 DVDs of game footage and highlights to schools that his players were interested in and felt they could compete at.

“Out of the 50 DVDs, I was very surprised to only get a handful of responses,” said Williams. “I got a few e-mails asking for transcripts, but not a lot more than that.”

Williams said the extended schedule to win the state championship may have delayed the recruiting process for some of his players. While the extra games provided a great deal of exposure for the Knights, it was also a time for colleges to go out and visit other players that weren’t still playing. Typically colleges do not actively recruit players in person during their season, so it does not serve as a distraction.

Once the Knights won, it was time for finals, then winter break, so time has been scant for colleges to actively recruit Dale players.

“We didn’t have a lot of guys on the radar at first this year,” said Williams. “The extra schedule slowed down recruiting a bit. Because of the extended season and winter break, there’s only been a week or two that schools have actually been able to come in and recruit.”

Williams is hopeful that players will be signed and others will be given an opportunity to walk on.

“Hopefully these offers come rolling in,” said Williams. “I have faith that all 10 of these gentlemen will succeed at the next level if given a chance.”

AIREK GREEN
Height: 6’1” Weight: 205 GPA: 3.5
Positions played: Wide Receiver,
Running Back, Strong Safety, Cornerback

Green was first team AP All-State and Defensive Player of the Year in both the district and region, Williams said. He is an extremely talented athlete, and has great cover skills and can knock heads off with his hits, the coach added. Green can play outside linebacker or strong safety at the D I-A level. Williams considers him a sleeper, because he didn’t play his junior year, but was on varsity his sophomore year. Green was a team leader on the field and in the classroom. In his academic game, his strengths are his study habits and ability to deal with challenges. “My mom and dad always said I had to get the grades to play the sports, so I got the grades,” said Green. “It just so happens I’m going to need those in college, too. I put in a lot of work on the field and in the classroom.” Green’s favorite classes include forensics and calculus. His parents are his biggest influence toward success in life, he said, and he aspires to graduate with a degree in physical therapy. His accolades include: First All-District, Metro, Region and State, Second team All-American.

GREG GALLOP II
Height: 6’2” Weight: 285 GPA: 4.4
Positions played: Offensive guard,
Defensive Tackle.

Gallop started three years at offensive guard and two years at defensive tackle, Williams said. He’s got good quickness, strength and leverage, the coach added. Gallop should be able to play defensive tackle in college at a DI-AA school, Williams said. He’s active in the community, and he tutors and works with underprivileged kids through his church. “Before my grandfather passed,” Gallop said, “he told me to always do the best at whatever it is that I do. I try my best to do this in everything that I do, both on the field and in the classroom.” He cites his father as the biggest influence in his life. “My dad is over 50 and still plays basketball with high school players and young guys and dominates,” he said. “He just retired from kick boxing this year as well.” Gallop’s accolades include: First team All-District, First team All-Metro, Second team All-Region, First team AP All-State. He has also won 11 different academic awards thus far in his high school career.

SPENCER RANDOLPH
Height: 6’3” Weight: 300 GPA: 3.9
Positions played: Offensive Tackle,
Defensive Tackle

Randolph, too, was a leader on both the field and in the classroom. He has garnered interest from several schools, including Virginia Tech, Richmond, William and Mary and Columbia. He wants to pursue a degree in biology. “My parents always taught me that academics come before anything else,” said Randolph. “If you work hard you can accomplish anything and those academics will take you far in life.” He is a hard worker in and out of the classroom, and he already has a strenuous exercise routine, working out five nights a week in the off-season. Williams said Randolph was a two-year starter at offensive tackle. He blocks with an attitude, and he was a tackle on a team that ran the ball 65 percent of the time, the coach said. Randolph’s got good quickness and good feet, and could likely play guard at the D-I level, Williams said. His accolades include: First team All-District, Second team All-Region, First All-Metro, AP First team All-State, All-Academic.

JACOB STEINES
Height: 6’1” Weight: 190 GPA: 3.4
Positions played: Tight End, Defensive Line, Linebacker

Steines’ future goals include playing college football and becoming a pharmacist. An intense player, he was known to lead pre-game chants in the locker room to get everyone ready to play.  Williams said Steines is very quick, and the strongest at his weight on the team. He had a great championship game with two quarterback sacks and two hurries, Williams said, and he can play at the D-II level. Steines missed most of his sophomore season because of a broken arm, but rebounded nicely to start on varsity in his junior and senior years.

MICHAEL EDMUNDS
Height: 5’8”  Weight: 205  GPA: 2.5
Positions played: Fullback, Tight End,
Outside Linebacker

Edmunds started for three years as outside linebacker and two years as the running back and fullback, Williams said. He is a tireless worker, and he had a phenomenal state final with two interceptions, six tackles and two offensive touchdowns, while contributing excellent blocking, the coach added. Edmunds lists his biggest influence as Ken Oxendine. He wants to own his own business and work with athletes in a sports complex. His accolades include: First team All-State Utility Player, Team Captain, First team All-District, Second team All-Metro, All-Region. Edmunds isn’t afraid of hard work on or off the field.

DRAKE EVANS
Height: 5’10”  Weight: 190  GPA: 2.7
Positions played: Middle Linebacker

Evans was a two-year starter at inside linebacker, Williams said. He is a very intense player, and a super linebacker that is able to read the offense quickly and hit hard, he said. Evans could start at the D-III level immediately, he said. Evans lists his biggest influences toward success in life as his mother, Jackie Girard, and his uncle, Donnie Girard.

MICHAEL DUDLEY
Height: 6’4” Weight: 232 GPA: 2.8
Positions played: Tight End

 “I couldn’t have done any of this without my dad,” Dudley said. “He’s been there every year and pushed me to do my best.” He’s got good quickness and speed to go with his size, the coach said. He consistently made catches in crunch time, Williams said, and he should be able to play at the D-II level. His accolades include: First team All-District, All-Region, All-Metro and AP First team All-State.

RODERICK DOGGETT
Height: 5’8” Weight: 160 GPA: 2.4
Positions played: Defensive Back

Roderick is quick and a smart defensive back, Williams said, and a hard hitter. He’s a great cover person who plays with intensity and a chip on his shoulder, he said. Now that Roderick’s done covering receivers on the field for Dale, he enjoys math. His future goals include attending college and majoring in education in order to become a teacher. He has visited Bridgewater College. Roderick said his family has served as his biggest influence toward a path to success.

BEN SAUNDERS
Height: 5’10” Weight: 205 GPA: 3.1
Positions played: Linebacker, Fullback

Saunders father and grandfather are his biggest influences toward success in life, he said. His academic strengths include math and history, and he would like to be a high school football coach. Saunders was a two-and-a-half-year starter at inside linebacker, Williams said. He’s got a great nose for the football, the coach said, and he lead the team in tackles for the season and the state championship game. Saunders could potentially be an All-Conference linebacker at the D-III level, he said. Saunders’ accolades include: 2nd Team All-District, CBS News 6 Player of the Week and Digital Sports Player of the Week

DEMETRIUS CAMPBELL
Height: 6’2”  Weight: 180  GPA: 2.7
Positions played: Quarterback

Campbell completed 60 percent of his passes and threw for over 1,300 yards in 13 games, Williams said. He carried the team on his shoulders for its big win against Meadowbrook, Williams said, and he could potentially play at the D-II level. “I’m a winner,” Campbell said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win. If you want a true quarterback, you can find that in me.” His accolades include: Offensive team captain, Central District Honorable Mention, and RTD player of the week. Campbell, who is also on the basketball team, wants to be a sports agent. His grandmother is his biggest influence toward success.

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