One of the biggest in-state names in the Class of 2012 plays at one of the state’s smallest schools.
Williston-Elko tailback Kendric Salley figures to be one of the state’s top prospects next season. Plenty of colleges are already showing interest in the 5-foot-10, 215 pounder, who has put up huge numbers in each of the last two seasons.
“I think he’s a big-time Division I player,” Williston-Elko coach Dwayne Garrick said.
Salley has rushed 155 times for 1,751 yards (11.3 per carry) and 31 touchdowns this season, despite sitting out four full halves in games that got out of hand. After last week’s first-round demolition of McCormick in the Class A, Division II playoffs, the Blue Devils are averaging 52 points per game.
Salley is a big part of that offensive success. He rushed for nearly 2,000 yards in 2009, narrowly missing out on the milestone due to an injury that kept him out of the state championship game.
“We don’t run the zone, but he would be a great zone back at the next level,” Garrick said. “His vision is so good. He does a great job of running behind his shoulder pads. He’s a competitor. He likes to make big plays. He’s got the speed, too. He can take off and run by you.”
South Carolina, Clemson, Nebraska, UCLA, Florida State and others are showing interest. Garrick said it’s just a matter of time until somebody pulls the trigger and makes the first scholarship offer.
FBS interest in Williston-Elko’s standout senior quarterback, Tamyn Garrick, Dwayne’s son, is starting to pick up. Middle Tennessee and Marshall have shown interest in Garrick, who holds offers from Presbyterian, Newberry and Wingate.
The 6-3, 210-pounder has thrown for 2,148 yards and 29 touchdowns this season, completing 65 percent of his passes. However, his father said that schools have been scared off partially by the quality of competition and the fact that he’s not a really mobile quarterback. He’s more of a pro-style, pure passer.
“He probably throws the ball as well as anybody in the state in all honesty,” Dwayne Garrick said. “He could use some work on his [footwork].
“This thing isn’t over yet, though. I expect for him to get an [FBS offer] down the line sometime.”
The numbers are almost unbelievable, but Orangeburg-Wilkinson assistant coach Jackie Robinson promises they are correct.
His senior quarterback, Cyril Davis, threw for 4,147 yards and 43 touchdowns this season, completing 62 percent of his passes and throwing just 10 interceptions. There are only a handful of quarterbacks in state history to cross the 4,000-yard plateau, especially in the regular season.
But the numbers haven’t pushed him into the limelight. He wasn’t among the quarterbacks selected for the Shrine Bowl (Two of the state’s most prolific signal callers, Justin Worley and Everett Golson, were taken instead) or the North-South game and he hasn’t earned any scholarship offers.
“He’s the most accurate kid I’ve seen,” said Robinson, who played with former Clemson star Woody Dantzler in high school and college. “He throws a very catchable ball. He’s got a 70-yard arm. He can throw [all the routes]. His arm is big time.”
Size may be the limiting factor in Davis’ recruitment. Though he is 6-foot-3, he weighs just 175 pounds. That’s small for an elite quarterback, though Golson is just 6-1, 180 and multiple schools didn’t hesitate to offer the North Carolina commitment a scholarship.
Davis’ stock was likely hindered by a sub-par junior season that saw him throw for just 1,200 yards. He was injured and played in just six games, keeping him from showing off his arm to the masses.
“That really hurt him,” OW coach Tommy Brown said. “Nobody knew he had the arm he has.”
With most FBS schools having already secured commitments from quarterbacks, Davis may be forced to play at an FCS school. Hampton, S.C. State, Coastal Carolina, William & Mary are among the schools that have shown interest recently.