Introduction: Daryl Rollins

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It burns. It kills. It can't be taught.


Daryl Rollins has it — and plenty of it.

Hitting the hole before the SAM gets off a block. Turning the corner after a safety takes a bad angle. Speed shows up time and time again on the football field.

Pair that raw skill with a state championship ring and production out the ying-yang and it's easy to see why Daryl Rollins is a college football prospect.

The Fulton (Tenn.) High School running back burst onto the national scene by clocking a laser-timed 4.41-second 40-yard dash at the Nike SPARQ Combine in Atlanta. His shuttle time was 4.0 and his vertical leap was 35 1/3 inches.

In 2012, Rollins rushed for 2,440 yards on 196 attempts. He totaled 2,774 all-purpose yards with 31 touchdowns.

He has four offers currently — Austin Peay, Bucknell, Georgia State and UT-Chattanooga. Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt are all showing heavy interest.

Tennessee is amongst several schools showing interest. Rollins was on Shields-Watkins Field to take in a Saturday scrimmage earlier this spring. Getting a Vol offer would put a smile on the face of the Knoxville resident.

"It'd feel great. I've grown up watching them play," the 5-foot-9, 170-pounder told InsideTennessee after the IMG 7v7 Central Regional Series at the U.S. Cellular Complex.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian recruits the Knoxville area for Tennessee. Thus, he's Rollins' contact in learning more about the Big Orange.

"He's cool," Rollins said of the first-year assistant. "He's down to earth. So, it's been nice."

Daryl Rollins (right) goes up for a pass while playing for D-Block at the IMG 7v7 Central Regional Series in Knoxville.
(Danny Parker/
Rollins, as well as Fulton teammates like Akeem Cooperwood and Michael Scates, have been on campus getting to know the new coaches on The Hill.

"I like it a lot," Rollins said of the first-year staff. "It's cool. Family atmosphere and that's what I love."

With Jalen Hurd and Treyvon Paulk already committed in the 2014 class at running back, Tennessee likely has just one more spot available there. However, Rollins is using his spring and summer wisely with the 7-on-7 circuit to develop his pass catching skills and says he can help a college program in a variety of ways.

"I look at slot all the time because of my stature. So, I look at slot, DB, wherever they want to take me," said Rollins, who patterns his game after former West Virginia wideout Tavon Austin and Oregon's Heisman Trophy candidate DeAnthony Thomas.

"I can catch the ball out of the backfield. I can play wherever you need me. I go hard every play, 100 percent every time."

Fulton steamrolled through District 3-AA before eliminating Carter, Greeneville, Livingston Academy and Giles County en route to the TSSAA Class 4A state championship. The Falcons finished their postseason run by defeating Covington 39-14 in Cookeville on Dec. 1.

"It's very special," Rollins said of the championship road. "Everybody comes together. Every game we talk and get close. It's real nice, real nice. I like it a lot.

"It was good knowing the last time we had went was 2006. So, we're just building our history back."

In the state final, Rollins carried the ball 28 times for 142 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown run. He also caught two passes for 41 yards.

Behind all-everything back Dennis Rogan, Fulton beat David Lipscomb 24-14 to win the '06 championship. Rogan went on to sign with Tennessee and became a starting cornerback. Rollins admires Rogan.

"He comes to a lot of the scrimmages and stuff. I've seen him a couple times, talked to him. I get a lot of guidance from him, try to mimic my game after him a little bit."

With so much talent returning to coach Rob Black's Fulton roster in 2013, the odds of repeating as state champs appears high.

"Chances are looking good right now," Rollins said. "We've got a lot of young players coming back — Dominique Williams, Penny Smith our quarterback, Xavier Hawkins the receiver, D.J. Campbell another young player. So, we should be good."

Rollins carries a 3.3 grade point average and scored a 23 on the ACT. He plans to major in Business or Sports Medicine.

See Rollin's explosion on film with the junior highlights below:

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the FOX Sports NEXT team July 2011.
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