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Special day for Troup players

By Kevin Eckleberry keckleberry@civitasmedia.com

5 months 5 days 5 hours ago |722 Views | | | Email | Print

One thing is certain for Troup’s Daryl Dunlap.


Where he’s going next, he won’t have to worry about snow storms.


Dunlap, a standout running back for the Tigers the past two seasons, is heading west to play college football.


Dunlap signed his letter of intent on Wednesday with San Diego State University.


Four other Troup players also announced their college destinations, while two others took part in the signing-day ceremony but haven’t yet made a decision, although they have received offers.


Dunlap made a verbal commitment to San Diego State last spring, and while he continued to look at other schools, in the end he decided he wanted to be an Aztec.


“I’m ready to get it started. The sooner the better,” Dunlap said. “I’m ready to go to work.”


San Diego State is getting an exceptional all-around player.


Dunlap ran for more than 2,000 combined yards the past two seasons, and he was also one of Troup’s top defensive players from his linebacker position.


Wednesday morning, surrounded by friends, family members, and coaches and teachers who have made a big impact on his life, Dunlap announced his decision.


“There are a lot of emotions running through,” Dunlap said. “I’m happy, I’m sad, I’m nervous, I’m scared. But it was fun. I’ll never forget this day. It was one of the most important days of my life.”


Troup’s other signees are Dikembe Billingslea (Point University), Devonte Cofield (Point University), Devonte Swanson (Point University) and R.J. Hairston (Garden City Community College).


Brandon Heard and Wellington Callaway have both received offers but haven’t made a decision.


“You get so close to these guys,” Troup head coach Lynn Kendall said. “A day like today, to see the parents happy, and the guys are happy and excited, is so great, and it gives your underclassmen something to shoot for.”


Three of the Troup players will remain teammates.


Billingslea (defensive lineman), Cofield (defensive lineman) and Swanson (linebacker) were each standout defensive players for a Troup team that went 6-5 and made it to the state playoffs.


Now they’ll try to make a similar impact on the college level at Point.


“I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t wait,” Billingslea said. “I want to go play.”


Cofield is eager to continue his football career, and he’s also excited about getting a chance to attend college.


“I’m the first one in my family to go to college. There are a lot of emotions,” Cofield said. “My whole family is excited about it. This is what I’ve been working for, for this day.”


Hairston, a defensive lineman and tight end, opted to go the junior-college route, and he’ll head to Kansas to join the Garden City Community College program, which is usually among the country’s best on that level.


“It’s going to be pretty fun. Garden City, that’s a big-time junior college,” Hairston said. “They’re producing three or four top-50 prospects every year. It should be a real good experience.”


Hairston said Garden City offers a chance to “get my foot in the door, get the college experience. That’s why I wanted to go to Garden City.”

 

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