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Dalrone Donaldson: From Hardwood to Gridiron

By Barry Every
SouthernPigskin.com
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Through three games this season Donaldson is averaging a whopping 24.4 yards per reception with three touchdown grabs. He has also recorded two tackles and an interception in the end zone, which he returned 52-yards in the win over Brunswick.

Head Coach Robby Pruitt has his Douglas (Ga.) Coffee squad off to a (3-0) start in 2017, with wins over Guyton (Ga.) Effingham County, Brunswick (Ga.) and Waycross (Ga.) Ware County. Each of these opponents are projected to be playoff teams.

One of the most intriguing prospects on the Trojan roster is 6-foot-3, 190-pound two-sport star Dalrone Donaldson. Last season he helped guide the Trojans to the GHSA-AAAAAA quarterfinals, something that hadn’t been accomplished since 2008. He grabbed 38 passes for 668 yards and seven touchdowns during his junior campaign.

Through three games this season Donaldson is averaging a whopping 24.4 yards per reception with three touchdown grabs. He has also recorded two tackles and an interception in the end zone, which he returned 52-yards in the win over Brunswick.

“He’s only played football for two and a half years, and he is just starting to gain the confidence needed to be a difference maker for us,” Pruitt said. “He’s already made huge improvements from last year, Dalrone is learning how to use his big body and run all the routes precisely.”

No one should be shocked by his talents on the gridiron. This past winter he was the Trojans second leading scorer (12.4 ppg) and second leading rebounder (6.8 rpg) on the hardwood. Donaldson does not intend to skip his senior season of basketball, where he plays all five spots on the floor.

This past spring Donaldson was a busy man on the camp circuit. He took part in four 7-on-7 tournaments as a member of the Cam Newton sponsored squad, which captured two championships.

Donaldson also made college camp visits to Florida State, Mercer and UAB as well as the Rivals.com Combine held in Alpharetta. The highlight of the spring camp season came when he took home top offensive honors at the SEN Showdown in Atlanta.

It was in Tallahassee where he put up testing numbers that would make most college recruiter’s salivate. Donaldson ran an impressive 4.5 40-yard dash, but more astonishing were his numbers in the vert and broad jump. He hit 37.5-inches and 10-foot-10 respectively.

At this time the budding star has offers from Chattanooga, Colorado State, MTSU, North Carolina Central, Troy and Tulane. Other schools still showing serious interest are Alabama, Arkansas, Central Michigan, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Kentucky, UCF and Western Kentucky.

“Right now the two college recruiters that are standing out the most are Jeff Beckles at MTSU and Juston Wood at Georgia Southern,” Donaldson said. “When I need to know anything they are always willing to keep me up to date on what’s going on at their universities. They have both done a good job of building a good relationship, and they talk about more than just football.”

But there is one school he would like to hear more from and that’s Miami. 

“When I was a child I lived in Miami, it’s still home to me and I simply love the Hurricanes,” Donaldson said. “My cousin Devonta Freeman loved Miami but ended up at Florida State because they didn’t offer. But he still talks highly of them.”

This past summer he took unofficial visits to Florida State and Troy. This fall he has already been invited for unofficial visits for games at Arkansas, MTSU and UCF. I’m sure he will receive a dozen more invites before the football season is over.

He knows he still has some work to do in the classroom. Donaldson currently has a 2.7 GPA and is still working on hitting his magic number on the SAT, which is a 1,000.

But his focus remains on the football field with his Trojan mates. Coffee still has non-region road games at Tifton (Ga.) Tift County and Warner Robins (Ga.), who are a combined (6-0). Then of course there is the gauntlet of games in the Region of Doom (1-AAAAAA) versus Warner Robins (Ga.) Houston County, Warner Robins (Ga.) Northside, Valdosta (Ga.) and finally Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County.

If the Trojans are to make another long run in the playoffs they will need Donaldson to continue his prowess on the field, offensively and defensively. His production in a winning effort will go a long ways towards attracting more scholarship offers.

Maybe even the Canes will take notice and bring this Miami native back home to live out his dreams.