Orig­i­nal signs to Chowan

McDonough High School grad­u­ate pre­pares to play foot­ball at NCAA Di­vi­sion II pro­gram in N.C.

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com Twitter: @aj­ma­son301

Listed at 5-foot-9 and 145 pounds, Messiah Orig­i­nal was of­ten praised by McDonough head foot­ball coach Jonathan Briscoe as be­ing one of the tough­est kids on the team.

Orig­i­nal, who was a ball-hawk­ing start­ing cor­ner­back in his fi­nal two years of high school, played big­ger than his size and will now show­case that tough­ness at the col­le­giate level af­ter sign­ing his na­tional let­ter of in­tent on May 5 to con­tinue his foot­ball ca­reer at NCAA Di­vi­sion II Chowan Univer­sity.

“He is just a hard-work­ing kid that al­ways played through in­juries and never came out of the game,” Briscoe said. “He has a never-say-die men­tal­ity and you can’t teach his will and tough­ness.”

Hav­ing grad­u­ated with his se­nior class on Satur­day, Orig­i­nal now set his sights on Chowan, lo­cated in Murfrees­boro, N.C.

“It feels like a dream come true to sign to col­lege to play foot­ball,” Orig­i­nal said.

Orig­i­nal was re­cruited by Di­vi­sion III out­fits Steven­son Univer­sity, Frost­burg State Univer­sity and Le­banon Val­ley Col­lege (Va.), but Chowan was the per­fect fit.

“I liked the coach­ing staff when I went on my visit be­cause as soon as I stepped on cam­pus it felt home,” said Orig­i­nal, who vis­ited Chowan in Fe­bru­ary. “I just felt a pos­i­tive vibe from the team and coun­selors.”

Orig­i­nal im­pressed col­lege scouts at the Don­nie Zim­mer­man Se­nior Show­case back in Jan­uary on Martin Luther King Day at An­napo­lis Area Chris­tian School with his speed and agility and cover skills dur­ing drills. He also clocked in with 4.5 40-yard dash time.

Charles Wright, a McDonough alum, is the of­fen­sive line coach at Chowan and helped Orig­i­nal with the re­cruit­ing process.

“He re­ally did well at the show­case. That def­i­nitely helped him get looks,” Briscoe said. “Scouts were able to see what he does and Chowan will be get a very good player for their pro­gram.”

Orig­i­nal, who played pri­mar­ily cor­ner, also played some line­backer and as a run­ning back for the Rams. In his se­nior sea­son, Orig­i­nal rushed for 506 yards and scored nine touch­downs. He also had 32 to­tal tack­les, 15 of them solo, with eight pass de­fensed and five pass breakups.

“I will miss all my coaches and teach­ers at McDonough that helped guide me through high school,” Orig­i­nal said. “Also I want to thank my fam­ily, I couldn’t have done this without them.”

The for­mer Ram is look­ing for­ward to con­tribut­ing to Chowan, which com­petes in the Cen­tral In­ter­col­le­giate Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion and fin­ished with a 6-4 over­all record a year ago.

“I want to con­trib­ute to the team in any way pos­si­ble,” Orig­i­nal said. “I feel as though my ath­letic abil­ity and team­work phys­i­cally and men­tally can help build the Chowan foot­ball pro­gram.”

Orig­i­nal, who plans on ma­jor­ing in phys­i­cal ther­apy, has been play­ing the game of foot­ball since the age of 6. He knows the col­lege level will be a dif­fer­ent tran­si­tion.

“The play­ers are big­ger, faster and stronger and are stu­dents of the game,” said Orig­i­nal, who re­ports to train­ing camp on June 24. “I just want to be the best player that I can be and learn and de­velop as much as pos­si­ble.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

McDonough High School grad­u­ate Messiah Orig­i­nal signed his na­tional let­ter in­tent on May 5 to NCAA Di­vi­sion II Chowan Univer­sity (N.C.) to play foot­ball. Seated from left, are Messiah Orig­i­nal and Orig­i­nal’s mother Daphne Orig­i­nal.

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