DINWIDDIE QB GETS FIRST COLLEGE OFFER
School’s winningest QB gets 1st offer from Chowan
DINWIDDIE - When it came to Dinwiddie Football’s all-time winningest quarterback Bryce Witt, something was missing.
It wasn’t the talent. He’s shown he’s got that in droves, from his careful and accurate passing game to his ability to make adjustments for the gamewinning play.
It wasn’t the leadership. A three-year starter at quarterback and a team captain for all three years, Witt is no stranger to the responsibilities that come with being at the helm.
It wasn’t the results. Over 6,300 passing yards, 69 passing touchdowns, 10 rushing TDs, 31 career wins as a starter and a 14-1 record plus a state championship game appearance are nothing to sneeze at. But what was missing was something that would be a big part of determining his football future. It was the attention. Leading up to his senior season - and going on through his stellar 2016 campaign - the six-foot-three, 205-pound-quarterback had no collegiate offers to his name. The wait was long, going on past the end of his final football outing.
That wait has ended. Witt, who concluded his high school career at Dinwiddie with a 31-7 record as the starting QB, received his first collegiate offer in early January from CIAA school Chowan.
“It is definitely like a weight being lifted off my shoulders - realizing that all the hard work I had put in over the years is being recognized by their coaches,” said Witt, who in 2016 threw for over 2,600 yards and 30 touchdowns.
As a senior Witt led his Generals to a 10-0 regular season, to championships in the Central District, Conference 20 and 4A East Region and to the Generals’ second state championship game in four years, in which Dinwiddie Football finished as 4A state runners-up on a narrow 31-27 loss to Salem. Witt helped his team win 14 straight games this past season and had two games where he threw for over 300 yards against Matoaca and Caroline.
Witt has received multiple honors, including all-conference and allregion, and has served as team captain during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Despite his success, he had no offers up until earlier this January, which somewhat baffled Dinwiddie Football head coach Billy Mills II back in the summer before the Generals flexed their dominance throughout their 2016 outing.
Mills said this past preseason that “one of those teams” was going to get a “championship caliber QB” in Witt. Generals Football praised Witt’s grades, character, leadership and work ethic.
Witt said he felt that “leadership, character and being a proven winner as a three-year starting QB for Dinwiddie HS are some of the things that attracted Chowan” to him.
Witt’s senior season, featuring 2,623 passing yards, followed his first two seasons where he compiled 3,702 yards and 39 touchdowns. Heading into his final high school football year, Witt was completing 60 percent of his passing attempts as he had connected on 255 of his 428 tries. Witt stepped that up as a senior, completing 155 of 248 passing attempts for a 62.5-percent completion rate. In 15 starts in 2016, he had just five games where he went over 200 yards passing, but in his playing style, he proved both accurate and careful. He threw only four interceptions all season, and he gave away zero picks in the five-game playoffs.
Behind his strong arm, he’s also got the legs to make plays. To his 376yard rushing total and eight TDs in his first two seasons, he added over 270 yards and two scores, including a highlight of a tear where he burned first-round playoff opponent Courtland on a blistering 70-yard run for a touchdown.
Witt has also proven evasive, particularly when he eluded tacklers and escaped pressure in the Generals’ road game at Hopewell.
After that game against the Blue Devils, Mills said of Witt: “Bryce does a great job ... he did a great job keeping his eyes down field, he’s got a good feel for it, he feels the rush and he does a great job of picking a correct escape and keeping his eyes downfield and making plays.”
Witt also epitomized his determination in the third round playoff game against Lake Taylor, when he led the Generals, then trailing the Titans by one-point, on a 12-play, 81-yard drive that put Dinwiddie back into the lead for good.
He captained a clutchplay clinic, converting on third down with the help of a slippery run, and then doing so again on a crucial fourth down play with a pass to teammate K’Vaughan Pope. And then, both Witt and his teammate Tye Freeland made adjustments on the final play of the drive, resulting in Witt firing the ball to Freeland, who darted into the end zone 36 yards for the lead-getting score.
In getting ready for his final season as a high school QB, Witt said he worked hard to get bigger, faster and stronger. He also looked at last year’s film to find areas that needed improvement.
“I feel like I improved in my decision making and protecting the football,” he said. “However, experience definitely helps in the aspect of the game slowing down, and knowledge of what your opponent is doing.”
Witt and Coach Mills spent Sunday evenings watching and studying film of their opponents.
“We would think of plays that would work against their defensive scheme,” Witt said, “which kept Coach and me on the same page.”
From his Dinwiddie teammates, Witt learned that “unity and camaraderie go a long way in the success of a team.”
Witt’s not only carved his place in Dinwiddie’s athletic history - he’s also continued the sports legacy of the Witt family, as his uncle Randy Witt led Dinwiddie Football at quarterback in the 1980s.
“It has been fun over the years going back and forth with my Uncle Randy on who was the better DHS QB. I think I have a few more touchdowns than he did,” Witt said while adding: “Not only my Uncle Randy, but my entire family has given me an amazing amount of support. I am extremely grateful for the family support, but also for the support of all of Navy Nation throughout my career.”
The first team to offer Witt - Chowan - is coming off of a 2016 season where they finished 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the CIAA Conference. The Hawks, based in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, are in the NCAA II division and are members of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association conference along with locally based universities Virginia State (Ettrick) and Virginia Union (Richmond).
A future in collegiate football now lies ahead of Witt, and for his preparation, he remains focused on getting even bigger, even faster and even stronger, as well as on bettering his throwing mechanics and footwork.
“I will watch my senior season film to find other areas to improve upon,” he said.
Witt has the talent. He has the leadership. He’s reeled in the results.
And now he’s reeling in the long-awaited attention.
In this file photo, Dinwiddie’s Bryce Witt looks down the field during a pass against Caroline at home. The Generals won 70-0 over the Cavaliers. Witt threw a season-high five touchdowns against Caroline.
In this file photo, Bryce Witt at quarterback launches a pass during a Dinwiddie Football practice in August 2016.