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Desmond Tisdol: “Three-Sport Dynamo”

By Barry Every
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As a sophomore Tisdol lead the team in rushing with 945 yards, earning Second Team All-Region Honors at running back. Even more amazing is the fact that he has been a full-time starter since game, freshman year.

In the previous five seasons prior to the hiring of Rob Stowe as head man at Rochelle (Ga.) Wilcox County; the Patriots failed to make the playoffs while compiling a paltry (11-39) record. Let’s not forget, this is the same program that was one of the most dominant teams in the Peach State from 2007-2012. Wilcox captured the 2009 State Championship while reaching double digit wins in six consecutive seasons.

In his first season at the helm Patriot Football Coach Stowe led his squad to a (5-6/3-4) and a first round playoff appearance. This may not seem prolific by some standards but Wilcox County does compete in Region 2-A, many consider this the SEC of small school football. With 18 returning starters for the upcoming season, the future looks bright and a deep run in the GHSA-A (Public) playoffs is a distinct possibility.

One player Coach Stowe will be heavily relying on for leadership and production on both sides of the ball is senior Desmond Tisdol. The 6-foot, 215-pound two-way Tasmanian devil racked up 105 tackles on his way to being named Region 2-A Co-Defensive Player of the Year.  His gridiron accomplishments were also recognized by the Atlanta Journal Constitution as he was named First Team All-State at linebacker in GHSA-A (Public). 

As a sophomore Tisdol lead the team in rushing with 945 yards, earning Second Team All-Region Honors at running back. Even more amazing is the fact that he has been a full-time starter since game, freshman year.

“I simply love this kid, he is super nice and humble and someone that always shares the limelight with his teammates,” Stowe said. “He is the type of team player that will do anything for you; he sort of reminds me of Georgia Tight End Charlie Woerner who I coached at Tiger (Ga.) Rabun County.”

Tisdol is more than a dynamic football player; boldly put he is a t a three-sport superstar. On the hardwood this past season he led the Patriots to a (22-4/15-1) mark, averaging 18.4 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game. He was named First Team All-Region and the team’s Offensive MVP. During the spring he shined on the diamond leading the Patriots with a .340 batting average while roaming centerfield.

For all his athletic accomplishments, success on the gridiron has escaped Tisdol. As a freshman the Patriots finished (1-9/0-7) and as a sophomore (2-8/1-6). But last season Wilcox County finished (5-6/3-4) and they are only losing five seniors off that squad, so 2019 looks extremely promising.

“When Coach Stowe took over as head coach a lot of things changed,” Tisdol said. “He just brings a lot of energy and everyone on the team started following his lead. I know I have to continue to work on my reads and turning my hips in coverage. Hard work and enthusiasm will take this team a long way.”

His athletic feats have not gone unnoticed earning over 20 scholarship offers which include, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Purdue and South Carolina. On June, 14 he announced a final five of Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and South Carolina, but has since opened it up to every school that has offered.

“At running back he is someone we want to give the ball to as many times as possible in space,” Stowe said. As a linebacker we put him in a position to stop what are opponents do best, sometimes that means lining him up on the end depending on what are opponents do offensively. So that should let everyone know what he means to us as a football player.”

Tisdol camped at Georgia and Florida State this spring. He has also made multiple unofficial visits to both Auburn and South Carolina. Last fall he took in games at Georgia and Georgia Tech. Despite all the recruiting attention Tisdol has yet to set up any official visits.

“Everybody is primarily recruiting him as a linebacker, though I know UCF was looking hard at him as a running back,” Stowe said. “I really think he is a high end Power Five guy, a definite SEC type player. This kid is fast twitch and can jump out of the gym. He is also a very hard worker in the weight room.

Speaking of the weight room, Tisdol boasts a 275-pound bench, 500-pound squat and what Coach Stowe is most proud of a 265-pound power clean. Academically he holds a 2.71 core GPA and is awaiting the results of the most recent ACT. Once that score comes back I have to believe the official visit wheels will begin to turn.

As the season inches closer Tisdol realizes in order to make noise in Region 2-A he has some work to do. This means going head-to head versus Homerville (Ga.) Clinch County and Ocilla (Ga.) Irwin County. The Panthers have won three of the last four GHSA-A (Public) Titles. Irwin County has played in four of the last five State Championships and are currently riding a 14-game region winning streak.

“We have to come out ready to play in each game, I know the other players will follow my lead,” Tisdol said. “Versus Clinch my main job will be to stop Tyler Morehead and versus Irwin that means stopping both DJ Lundy and Jamorri Colson. If we can stop them we can win those games.”

Mark your calendars for September, 27 as the Patriots head south to Homerville, Georgia to take on Clinch County. On October, 25 they will host the two-time reigning Region Champion Irwin County. Both matchups will pit multiple elite prospects and Tisdol may be the best of the bunch.