It wasn’t the fault of Portal (Ga.) High LB/DE/WR Theo Rich—he had missed his sophomore and junior football seasons at Statesboro (Ga.) High with unrelenting sinus headaches.
So he had concentrated on basketball. But finally, with the headaches under control, doctors gave him the okay to play football again, just as he was transferring to little Portal for his senior season.
“I didn’t know who the young man was until he was already enrolled,” Portal coach Justin Chester said a few minutes ago. “He sort of came out of nowhere. Once he took the practice field, though, we all knew we had a blessing.”
Chester said the coaches had to get Rich back on track as far as fundamentals were concerned, but that he improved by leaps and bounds.
As Rich, who is 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds with 4.75-second speed in the 40-yard dash, got better and better, N.C. State began to take notice.
The Wolfpack offered recently, and at that point Georgia State and Buffalo were Rich’s only other offers.
“Theo really liked what he saw with them,” Chester said. “And he really liked the idea of playing in the ACC.”
The Wolfpack will likely use Rich at DE if he grows a bit more, or possibly at LB. But almost certainly on the defensive side of the ball, Chester said.
“For now, he’s getting ready to play basketball for us. That will keep him in shape, and he’ll have some fun as he finishes his senior year.”
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