Warrior signs to Hokies

Published 11:20 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Support: Nansemond River senior defensive end Dewayne Alford, Jr. signed his National Letter of Intent, accepting a scholarship to play football at Virginia Tech, Wednesday morning at Nansemond River. Dewayne’s parents, Dewayne Sr. and Linda, seated, Warrior head coach Tracey Parker and Dewayne’s younger brother Alan joined him as he signed the official paperwork.

Dewayne Alford couldn’t wait for National Signing Day and to become a Virginia Tech Hokie.

First of all, Alford gave a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech back in July and his pride in being a newcomer to the Hokie football program has only grown since then.

Second, Alford had to have been one of the first of thousands of high school football recruits to accept collegiate football scholarships on Wednesday, the first day recruits can sign scholarship offers.

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Early Wednesday morning, before classes started at Nansemond River, Alford held a quick, quiet ceremony to sign his name to a National Letter of Intent and accept a full scholarship to go to Virginia Tech.

“This is a special event in any young player’s life,” said Nansemond River head coach Tracey Parker. “Dewayne, he’s really a hard-working young man and he’s a good student. Football’s important to him but so are his academics.”

“It feels good. It’s a weight off my shoulder,” Alford said.

Alford, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound defensive end and tight end, was recruited primarily for his defensive play. Despite missing the first part of his senior year due to injury, he still totaled 90 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and five sacks for the Warriors this season.

Alford transferred from Portsmouth Christian to Nansemond River between his sophomore and junior years. Parker was touting Alford’s work ethic as much as his ability soon after. The Warrior coach said Alford’s effort in the weight room and in conditioning was contagious for many of his teammates.

“I’ve still been working. I’ve been working out with the team (Nansemond River). I know I’ve got to stay in shape and keep my conditioning up,” Alford said.

Alford took his official visit to Blacksburg a week-and-a-half ago.

“The more and more I go up there, even though I’d made my commitment, I’m sold even more on being there. It just feels good,” Alford said.

“I just thank God. There have been some ups and downs,” he said. “I thank God, my parents and my little brother, everyone who’s helped me and everyone who’s encouraged me.”

Alford will be the second former Suffolk football standout on the Hokie roster come next season, joining King’s Fork’s Dominique Patterson, who was a true freshman linebacker this past season.

The Hokies won their fourth ACC title last season with an 11-3 overall record. VT beat Florida State 44-33 in the ACC Championship before losing 40-12 to Stanford in the Orange Bowl.