July 7, 2011
Incoming freshman Dwayne Randall is a complete RB
Running back Dwayne Randall won't be the first in his family to attend a service academy. That distinction is held by brother, Jamall, a 2010 Air Force Academy graduate.
Jamall, a finance officer, who's currently in training in Biloxi, Miss., will return to his base in Okinawa in a few weeks. At about that time, Dwayne will be in the first weeks of his service career. He will soon arrive at United States Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS) at West Point.
Dwayne Randall, who starred at Fredrick (MD) Linganore High School, got Army's attention when the West Point staff was watching the 2009 highlight film of Randall's teammate and star running back Zach Zwinak, who's now at Penn State.
What Randall said may have gotten Army's attention was his ability to block lineman much bigger than is 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame.
"They saw this little guy busting up kids three times his size,'' said Randall, who quickly sent Army his own highlight tape when asked.
On Memorial Day weekend 2010, Dwayne Randall was offered to play football for Army. It was the first offer he'd received.
"They told me not to rush into the decision," he said. "They said, 'Go out, look around, and explore your options. Just make sure you save an official visit for us. Army told me not to commit right away.''
When Black Knights' intentions became clear, but with West Virginia Wesleyan, Maine and even Navy showing interest and Randall not completely sure, brother Jamall stepped in.
"What are you thinking?,'' recalled Randall of what his brother said. "Army is the top academic school in the country.''
One visit to West Point was enough.
"Hands down,'' Randall said. "There was no way I was going anywhere else.''
Dwayne Randall said his brother, a member of the Air Force chess and racquetball teams, gave up football his junior year in high school. He was a talented wide receiver, Dwayne said. Jamall showed what kind of athlete he was in his senior year at Air Force when asked to run a 40-yard dash. He was timed in 4.32.
"I'm very jealous,'' Randall said. "It took all my might to go 4.8 and for him to have gone that fast�.''
Dwayne Randall, who considers himself a "complete back,'' also has great speed. He ran a state-best 14.19 for the 110-meter high hurdles this past season. He also ran 49.8 for the 400.
"I see myself as a complete back,'' said Randall, adding that he considers Sean Alexander and Warrick Dunn as great examples of what it means. "I went to a camp at (the University) Maryland and they didn't really care if you could run. They wanted to know if you could be a complete back. I didn't know what that was."
"They meant a back who can run, can catch, one who can read a route and the one thing running backs don't like to do which is block. I can run the ball. I don't have a problem with that. But I went to these camps wanting to become more valuable. So I worked hard on my blocking. I'm going to do whatever it takes. If you want me to block, I'll push that guy up into China.''
He can't wait to block for new teammates. He's been getting up at 5 a.m. to walk his dog and going to bed at 10 a.m. He has also been running 3 � miles at a time to get prepared.
"It'll be a challenge, but I'm excited for it and it'll be a team building experience too,'' Randall said. "A great way to get to know people is to go through hell with them.''
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