Tigers Checking Out Young DL/TE Prospect

Pepperell High's Dakota Ball is attracting attention for his potential as a football prospect.

Lindale, Ga.--Although he is almost a half year away from going into his junior season, Dakota Ball has been discovered as a football prospect.

The six-foot-two, 282-pound defensive tackle and tight end from Pepperell High School broke into the starting lineup as a freshman.

He started three games as a sophomore before his season ended prematurely when he broke a bone in his leg while catching a touchdown pass, but that has not reduced the interest from college coaches or his interest in the sport.

"I love football," he says. "I love everything about it."

Commenting on whether he prefers offense or defense, Ball says, "I will play either one. I don't really have a favorite."

Auburn is one of a large group of colleges showing interest in Ball, who received his first two scholarship verbal offers from Clemson, Alabama and Maryland.

Although he played power forward on his school's basketball team, Ball notes that he is still not fully recovered from his football injury. "I am maybe 70 percent now," he says. "I am trying to get my strength and speed up. Speed is the main thing."

Dakota Ball

A good all-around athlete, in the spring he plans to compete on Pepperell's track and field team throwing the shot put and discus. Athletics runs in the family. His dad played a variety of sports and his mother was a nationally ranked collegiate gymnast at Jacksonville State University.

College coaches have been stopping by Pepperell High to check on Ball. "The offensive line coach (Jeff Grimes) from Auburn came by my school," he says.

Ball notes that other colleges recruiting him include Mississippi State, Florida and Georgia. Commenting on if he has a favorite team, the sophomore says, "I really just like all of the SEC teams. I pull for them."

Academically he is doing well with a 3.66 grade point average in his core subjects.

Look for Ball to grow literally and figuratively as a football prospect before it will be his time to sign a scholarship as a member of the Class of 2012. "I have grown an inch taller since football season ended," he says.

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