The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

June 27, 2014

Athens, West players drawing college football offers

Limestone County has produced at least three active NFL players, and dozens of athletes who are suiting up this fall for college football programs.

Athens defensive back Paxton Schrimsher and West Limestone lineman Dakota Siniard are among the blue-chip rising seniors from the city and county’s seven high schools.

Schrimsher, a 6-foot-3-inch, 225-pound free safety, is spending the summer sharpening his defensive skills at college football summer camps, which are often a springboard for scholarships. He has attended six SEC camps at Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Vandy and Mississippi State.

Athens coach Allen Creasy said seven schools from the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and two from the Division I-AA Football Championship Subdivision have extended scholarship offers to Schrimsher.

His offers are from D-I mid-majors South Alabama, UAB, Middle Tennessee, Memphis, Southern Miss, Alabama A&M and Arkansas State, along with D-I AA Samford and Central Arkansas.

“He is being recruited more as a linebacker because of his size,” Creasy said. “We had 30-something schools come through this spring and going to camps last summer got him started. He is getting recruited for his size and athleticism. We run a pretty complicated defensive scheme and he is able to grasp it and gets everyone lined up because of his football knowledge and feel for the game.”

Siniard, a 6-foot-4-inch, 290-pound offensive and defensive tackle, has played for the Wildcats’ varsity since ninth grade.

“He is an exceptional football player, a very big kid. He plays very violently and has a very good work ethic. He’s going to help us out this year, and he’s getting highly recruited by many schools,” West Limestone coach Jordan Cantrell said.

He said Middle Tennessee and Troy already have offered scholarships to Siniard.

“He has the summer to develop, and he’s been working hard in the weight room like all our players. He’s also getting better by going to summer camps, including ones at Mississippi State and Middle Tennessee,” Cantrell said. “We hope to see some offers from Mississippi State and Southern Miss coming up in the near future.”

In addition to the summer-camp circuit and player questionnaires, Creasy said technology is helping prep athletes get seen by more colleges. He said Athens, as with many high schools in North Alabama, uses HUDL software that allows players to make their own highlight clips.

“HUDL gives immediate access to highlights of our players, and pretty much all the schools in this area subscribe to it,” he said. “It’s not like how it used to be where you had to wait on a coach to send it to a college. It allows recruiters to Google a player and instantly see his highlights, rather than having to go through a box of VHS tapes and DVDs.”

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