NR’s Alford commits to Va. Tech football

Published 3:46 pm Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dewayne Alford, a rising senior at Nansemond River, verbally committed to a football scholarship offer from Virginia Tech Tuesday.

“I made my mind up (Monday) and made it official Tuesday morning, then I called the coaches,” Alford said.

Alford, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound defensive end/tight end, was being recruited at the college level on the defensive side of the ball. He had earned interest from other ACC schools and had scholarship offers from Football Championship Subdivision (Div. I-AA) schools James Madison and Old Dominion.

Alford went to a camp in Blacksburg last summer, when he was 195 pounds. He went to the same camp this summer and the Hokies made an official offer a day or two after the camp.

“This year I went back and I was faster, stronger and bigger,” Alford said.

“I thought about it for about a week,” he said.

“Dewayne’s been a mainstay in the weight room for us. He’s a mental and physical leader for us. The younger kids can really see what hard work can do for you,” said Warrior head coach Tracey Parker.

Alford transferred from Portsmouth Christian to Nansemond River last summer. Last fall for the Warriors, he recorded 61 tackles and six sacks. He ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash earlier this summer during a recruiting camp at Marshall University.

When Alford started at Nansemond River, it wasn’t obvious he’d quickly become a team leader and high-level college prospect.

“It’s something he grew into,” Parker said. “To start with, the level of play was a lot different and he realized he really had to work hard to get where he wanted to go.”

Along with Alford’s athletic ability and potential though, he said Virginia Tech’s coaches repeatedly spoke about character as a big reason they wanted him.

“What he’s done has rubbed off a lot on the younger players this offseason,” Parker said.

“Many guys have dreams, but they haven’t figured out how to acquire those dreams. Dewayne shows how it can be done,” Parker said.

“Character-wise was what they really focused on, and then it was what I can do athletically,” Alford said.

Even with the choice made on Tuesday, there was no time off from offseason workouts at Nansemond River.

“Oh no, the only time I’ve taken a day off was for travelling to football camps. I’m right back at it,” Alford said.

“A kid like Dewayne’s a good student, the ideal student-athlete, a 3.0 student. He’s a ‘yes sir, no sir’ type of kid and he leads by example,” Parker said.

Alford would be the third football player from a Suffolk school to play at Virginia Tech since 2009. Nansemond-Suffolk’s Matt Tuttle was a walk-on and lettered as a long snapper during 2009, his senior season. King’s Fork’s Dominique Patterson is on scholarship and will be a freshman free safety this coming season.

“They’re one of the top defenses in the nation. Who wouldn’t want to play for them?” Alford said.

The Hokies were 10-3 overall and 6-2 in the ACC last season. Virginia Tech beat Tennessee 37-14 in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl and finished the season No. 10 in the AP Poll.