Cyclone senior glad gave football a try

High School Football Previews

SUNDAY

Top 10 players in the Lowcountry

Region 7-AAAA and 8-AAAA

MONDAY

Top 10 teams in the Lowcountry

Region 8-AAA and Timberland

TUESDAY

Bishop England’s band of brothers

Region 6-AA and 6-A previews

WEDNESDAY

Porter-Gaud’s Michael Preddy

SCISA preview

ThURSDAY

Sertoma a family affair for Kinlaws

BY PHILIP M. BOWMAN

pbowman@postandcourier.com

For two years, Michael Preddy heard the sales pitch. But the Porter-Gaud basketball star had no desire to play football.

The school’s football coach, Rick Reetz, always pointed out that major college football programs offered 85 scholarships while basketball programs handed out 13. In other words, high school football players had a better chance to play at the next level.

But even with those odds, Preddy preferred the hardcourt to the gridiron.

“I love basketball. Basketball is my favorite sport,” said Preddy a 6-5, 250-pound senior. “But last year, I heard the football team was missing a lot of players because of graduation. I felt like I should offer them a hand.”

He offered his hand and Georgia Tech handed him a scholarship offer after just one full season as a football player. Preddy, a defensive lineman, made 98 tackles for the Cyclones, including 16 sacks.

“I am sure he will continue developing even further at the college level,” Reetz said. “He is athletic, has a big frame and size, and he has such great potential. He has all of the attributes of a successful Division I athlete and now you can see him really starting to come into his own on the field. It’s going to be exciting for everyone here at Porter-Gaud to see him play this year, and to later see his progress at Georgia Tech.”

Preddy admits there was a transition period from basketball to football.

“In basketball, you tried to avoid getting hit,” he said. “On the football field, you know it’s going to happen. The best part of it is when you get to hit.”

Georgia Tech wasn’t alone in pursuing Preddy. Louisville and Wake Forest also offered, while Clemson and Maryland showed interest.

Preddy is the No. 21 senior in the state, according to the website 24/7 Sports. Opposing coaches will come up with numerous double-team options to slow him down. Preddy wants to help the Cyclones capture an elusive state championship before he heads to Atlanta.

He’s not the only player from the Lowcountry who will be part of the Yellow Jackets’ 2014 recruiting class. Goose Creek running back Caleb Kinlaw also has committed to Georgia Tech.

“He is a great football player,” Preddy said of Kinlaw. “I’ve been hearing about him for four years, and now we’re going to be teammates. He is a very good running back. Georgia Tech is a great school with a great program and great coach. I love the coaches, and the academics are outstanding. It’s a win-win situation.”