Fordham doing it all for Timberland

Timberland's Aldrick Fordham is headed to South Carolina to play college football.

One week he intercepts a screen pass from his defensive end position, returning it 22 yards for a touchdown in a playoff victory over Bishop England.

The next week, he catches a 15-yard touchdown pass from his tight end position in a playoff victory over two-time defending state champion Cheraw.

Meet Timberland's Mr. Versatile, Aldrick Fordham.

His skills will be on display Friday when Timberland hosts Dillon in the Class AA Lower State championship game.

Fordham will sign to play for the South Carolina Gamecocks in February. He's 6-4 and weighs 238 pounds. When Wolves coach Art Craig talks about his speed, he doesn't talk about a specific time. He talks about how deceptive his speed is.

"South Carolina recruited him as a defensive end," Craig said. "He had gotten some offers from smaller schools, but he went to their camp, worked out, did some drills. They offered him on the spot. I think the thing that makes him so attractive is that if he doesn't work out at defensive end, they can flip him over and have him play tight end. Or they can put 40 more pounds on him and have him play inside (on defense). He reminds you of Cliff Matthews.

"When you watch him run a 40, you say he's not that fast," Craig said. "But when you watch him on Friday night, he's everywhere he should be."

Fordham has caught only two passes for 36 yards this season for the Wolves, who are 13-0 entering Friday night's game.

His statistics are much more impressive on defense. He's recorded 48 tackles, and 12 have been for a loss. He's sacked the quarterback 11 times and has scored three defensive touchdowns this year.

Fordham was recruited by Tennessee, but picked the Gamecocks because of the way they play defense.

"And, it's close to home so my parents can see me play," Fordham said.

He's had a season good enough to be selected to play in the North-South All-Star Football Game, which will be held Dec. 13, one week after the state championship game.

"I'm kind of excited about that. That was one of my goals, to make North-South," Fordham said. "The other is to win the state championship."

He was a sophomore in 2006 when Timberland lost a heart-breaking 23-21 decision to Blythewood in the Class AAA state championship game. The game was decided when Aaron Mayes kicked a 23-yard field goal as time expired.

"We remember it," Fordham said. "We remind each other there was two seconds left when he attempted the kick. We don't think about it too much. But we talk about it."