A Special Runner

Southern (NC) Guilford tailback Reggie Gallaspy was regarded as one of the top tailbacks in the state as a sophomore but his junior season didn't go as expected.

Southern (NC) Guilford tailback Reggie Gallaspy was regarded as one of the top tailbacks in the state as a sophomore but his junior season didn't go as expected.

His team struggled and he battled a lingering ankle injury that sapped him of some of his explosiveness. According to his head coach, Darryl Brown, it wasn't all on Gallaspy.

"Last year we lost 10 starters the first three weeks of our season," said coach Brown. "We were really struggling offensively to find ways to do things. A school our size, if you lose that many guys, it hurts. Reggie was outstanding, but everybody keyed on him."

Southern Guilford bounced back in a huge way. The Storm finished the season 13-1, losing 56-55 to Eastern Wayne in the state playoffs.

Gallaspy had a season to remember.

He totaled 3,318 rushing yards, the eighth-best single-season total in North Carolina High School history. His 54 total touchdowns is the third-most ever in the state, trailing only T.A. McLendon (71) and Kevin Parks (59). His 3.86 touchdowns per game mark only trailed McLendon's 4.73 in 2002.

The 6-foot, 220-pounder finished his career with 98 rushing touchdowns and 101 total scores.

"There's nothing he can't do well," said coach Brown. "He has great vision and great balance. Everyone knows about his power.

"They often ask if he's fast enough, well, he's definitely fast enough. No one ever catches him, and he'll go to these camps and run great times. He has the speed to pull away at 220 pounds."

"We don't throw the ball a lot to him but when we do, he catches it," coach Brown added. "He has great hands, and he's an outstanding blocker, whether it's in the run game or the passing game. He's very physical, and that translates to his blocking."

Gallaspy's physical style of play really sticks out on film. A linebacker prospect for several high-major programs, he was actually picked to play that position in the Shrine Bowl.

"He's real physical, but he's so explosive," coach Brown stated. "When he goes to block a guy or tackle when he's on defense, he just runs through them. He just has that explosive power you don't find much in kids. It's rare."

Brown picked the Wolfpack in September over offers from programs like Duke, Arkansas, Michigan State, and Vanderbilt among others.

"I think deep down it came down to the fact that he wanted to stay in-state," coach Brown said. "He wanted to be where his mom could watch him play every weekend. He had it down to Duke and NC State, and both recruited him really hard the last two years.

"NC State recruited him so hard, showed so much interest. Their facilities... it doesn't get much better than what they have there."

NC State assistant Clayton White recruited Gallaspy for the Wolfpack, but a close relationship with tailbacks coach Des Kitchings also played a role.

"Coach Kitchings, I've known him ever since I started here ten years ago," said coach Brown. "He was at Furman and when I started here. We were doing things similar to Furman and our staff spent some time down there... he was my connection.

"I've known him for a long time, and I think he's a great guy. I can't be happier that he will be Reggie's position coach. I know they'll take good care of him, with coach Kitchings and coach White there."

"Coach Doeren, he's doing a great job," coach Brown added. "I think the future is bright for NC State. They are getting a lot of in-state kids. I think it's outstanding."

Gallaspy will enroll at NC State for the spring semester, which should give him a chance to contribute as a true freshman for the Wolfpack.

"Enrolling early is going to help him," said coach Brown. "The fact that he can get in there in January and get acclimated to college life... that's going to help him next fall.

"NC State is getting a great player in Reggie. I've been with Reggie all four years, and he's an outstanding young man. He's a great player but an even better kid. He always wants to do the right thing. It's been a pleasure working with him."

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