Rhodes, Varina Impress in Opener

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DeAntre Rhodes and the Varina Blue Devils turned in a fantastic performance last Friday, soundly defeating a GW-Danville team featuring top senior running back David Wilson. Rhodes, a 6-3, 265-pound defensive tackle/offensive guard, showed why he is also considered a top in-state prospect in the 2009 class.

Varina defeated GW-Danville 35-6 last Friday night, in a game that was called with four minutes left in the third quarter due to a sparking transformer. Rhodes impressed in his first performance in new head coach Stu Brown’s 4-4 defense.

“DeAntre put up some numbers, he had some tackles, but mainly he controlled the line of scrimmage,” Brown said. “We teach our defensive linemen to control the line of scrimmage. We move him throughout the line and we slant him a lot. His first responsibility is wherever we slant him. He creates a new line of scrimmage. He is so fast. GW pulls both guards, but DeAntre was beating whichever guard he was pulling with. He played a heck of a game.”

This of course was Coach Brown’s first live game experience with Rhodes, who performed well on both sides of the ball.

“He is more dominating this year,” Brown said. “You have to see him play live because he just plays so hard. And he showed he could play the 2-gap. He would jack up one offensive lineman while keeping his butt in another gap. He did a great job.

“We also had to start DeAntre on the offensive line because of injuries. His most impressive stat of the night was that he had five legitimate pancake blocks.”

Recruiting-wise, Rhodes is considering scholarship offers from Boston College, Clemson, East Carolina, Maryland, Michigan, Purdue, South Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech, among others. He seems to have put recruiting on the back-burner, however.

“He has been quiet,” Brown said. “He really hasn’t said anything. One thing he does still mention is that he wants to see places. He is a man with strong values. He looks at his situation as a God-given gift to be able to get a free education, so he wants to really take a look at a lot of places.”

According to Brown, Rhodes has yet to set any official visits but would like to take at least a few before making his college choice. He has taken unofficial visits to South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Rhodes not the only one to impress…