Saturday, May 11, 2013
247 athletes of all shapes and sizes swarmed the Laney football field Saturday for one reason; to become a Paine College football player.
The Lions held an open tryout to fill out Augusta's college football team, and players came from all over. There were some from Florida, North Carolina and even Michigan.
And of course, the local contingent was very strong. That included former ARC star Don Quarles. He went to East Georgia to play basketball, but now he's ready to get back on the gridiron and come home to do it.
"I heard about it, and I didn't believe it was true," Quarles said. "I heard a lot of people talking about it so I went up to the school and talked to the coach, and he told me it's for real. So, I decided I was going to try out, work hard and try to make the team. I woke up really early this morning ready to get out here and grind like the rest of these kids."
To make the team, you have to catch the eye of the man in charge. Greg Ruffin put the potential Lions through a number of drills trying to see who has what it takes to be a part of Paine's new team.
"I don't need to see a kid doing a vertical. I need to see a kid, during a ball drill, jump up," Ruffin said. That tells me about his vertical. That's more important. That tells me "something. From the start like this, I just want to see kids move around out here and play football."
Ruffin said the official roster probably won't be announced until right before the season starts. He's actually still working on finalizing his coaching staff as well.