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