Heavily Honored Prospect To Visit Tigers

This Florida high school football star committed to another college earlier, but has reopened the recruiting process and will be checking out the Tigers.

Miami, Fla.--Most college football players grew up dreaming about playing football for a living, but that's not the case with quarterback Courtney Denson from Central High.

The 6-0, 185 speedster, who could play any number of positions on the football field, didn't begin playing the sport until his junior season. However, it didn't take long to see he was a natural under center.

In his first season as a starter in 2001, Denson passed for 1,600 yards and 23 touchdowns and also added four rushing touchdowns for good measure. While those numbers caught the attention of football fans in the Miami area, it wasn't until this summer when the college coaches began to notice Denson.

Courtney Denson

Attending several football camps along with teammates, including Auburn's summer camp, Denson showed a very strong arm and good pocket presence as a quarterback, but it was his running ability that was the buzz over the summer. Showing consistent 4.4 times in the 40-yard dash, he is the type of player coaches covet in this time of complex and speedy defenses. While his size is a concern to some it hasn't kept many colleges from wanting him as a part of their program. After a strong senior season when he threw for 1,900 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for 612 yards and 11 more scores, Denson says that he has narrowed his choices to Auburn, Virginia Tech and Nebraska heading into crunch time for recruiting in early 2003.

After committing early to the Hokies after a visit to Blacksburg, Denson tells Inside The Auburn Tigers that he's looking around to make sure his decision was the right one. Having already visited Nebraska as well, he's not sure what he's looking for but he's coming to Auburn this weekend to see what the Auburn program has to offer. He will also take a visit to South Florida on Jan. 24, but this appears to be a three-team race for his signature.

"I'm not really looking at anyone else besides the main three," Denson says. "They have a good team coming back next year," he says of Auburn. "It's pretty close to home, within driving distance. I went up there earlier this year for a camp and it was nice up there. The football facilities are nice and my friend (Mike Sherill) played for them this year. I grew up with him since elementary school and I played with him at Central."

Despite his team having to forfeit five games during the season because of an ineligible player, Denson was impressive enough to earn a boatload of awards following his senior season. Named All-Dade County and the county Offensive Player of the Year along with the Miami Dolphins/NBC6 High School Player of the Year, Denson won nearly every major award in Miami this season. That's a feat not easily accomplished because of the high level of play in the area.

Tiger Ticket Extra: Denson isn't the only high-profile prospect on the Central team. In addition to him wide receiver Marcus Daniels, linebacker Arlington Highsmith and defensive end Bryan Pata are all receiving attention from schools around the South. Both Daniels and Pata have expressed interest in the Tigers while Denson says Highsmith appears bound for Miami.

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