RB Rod Chisholm was named the Charlotte Observer's area player of the year in 2006. That was quite a feat when you consider some of the talent that region produced this past season. He was instrumental in helping lead West Charlotte High School to it's first state championship game in 11 years after racking up 2,237 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns despite missing two games due to injury.
At this past weekend's Shrine Bowl combine, Chisholm measured in at 5-8, 180 pounds and recorded an impressive 4.36-second 40-yard dash and 34.4-inch vertical jump. While somewhat diminutive, Chisholm was nearly impossible to stop as a junior. He gave Pack Pride a quick, personal scouting report on his strengths.
"I consider myself a speed back," said Chisholm. "I like to put down moves but if I have to, I'll lower my shoulder and get anyone out of the way if I have to."
The rising junior won't be using those moves at West Charlotte in 2007 after deciding to transfer to nearby Independence High School recently. That move raised a few eyebrows but Chisholm said he's simply trying to give himself the best chance possible to make it to a division one college next year.
"It's not surprising," said an assistant coach at another local high school. "Chisholm is going to go from getting 30 carries a game to getting 15, but I hope it works out for him."
"Really, it was like a last minute thing," he said. "It was a decision I thought I had to make. I knew I had to face a challenge if I wanted to make it to the next level. At Indy, coach Tommy Knotts, he runs it just like a division one program. I think by the end of my senior year I'll be ready."
On the recruiting front, Chisholm said he doesn't have any favorites currently. However, there are four schools that are showing serious interest in his talent.
"I just went to Chapel Hill last Saturday for a junior day," he said. "South Carolina, North Carolina State and Clemson, they're also showing me some interest. I hadn't got a scholarship yet, but I think NC State is close. At least I hope NC State (will offer). But really, I don't want to commit or make any decisions until next year."
Chisholm broke down the two in-state programs on his list.
"Well, Carolina, they have coach Davis and he's a great coach," said Chisholm. "He's really working on turning the program around. I went to watch them practice and they were going at it full speed. I may go back to UNC on April 14th for the Blue-White game.
"At NC State- coach Tom O'Brien, he's coming from Boston College and I feel like he can turn North Carolina State around. He's going to be a great coach this year and State's going to do big things."
How talented is Chisholm? In an area that featured senior D1-recruits Steven Howard (NC State), Ryan Houston (UNC), Justin Byers (NC State), Dominick Magazu (Boston College), Jason Barnes (South Carolina), and Daryl Vereen (Tennessee), Chisholm was tabbed Charlotte Observer Offensive Player of the Year for his efforts on the gridiron.
"He's a special player," Independence head coach Tom Knotts. "Everybody is calling about him."