Sophomore Shine to Junior Domination

Running second on the depth chart behind standout Victor Anderson, Rolandon Finch finally got a chance to show what he could do. It just didn't come the way he would've drew it up.

Anderson, a Kentucky Mr. Football candidate at the time and now a running back at Louisville, could not play in St. Xavier's first playoff game because of an injury.

"It had always been a dream of mine," Finch stated of being the featured back.

"I had Victor Anderson in front of me and he got hurt, and in that game in the playoffs it was against one of the best teams, Manual, and I had 18 carries for 197 yards."

A star was quickly born.

St. Xavier lost the next week against Male High, but the taste of being the regular runner had the 5-foot-10, 200-pound Finch itching for his junior season to quickly get here.

When it finally did, Finch ran like crazy.

"I was just excited about getting that starting job," Finch said. Since his freshman year, he has commuted from his New Albany, Ind. home to the Louisville high school. "I got hurt, but we made it all the way to the state championship and I played well the whole year."

Finch missed four games because of a sprained MCL coming the ninth week of the season. He returned to the lineup in the state semifinals. Despite missing some time, "Deuce" still put up some ridiculous numbers, and has been offered a scholarship by N.C. State, Stanford and Kentucky. Notre Dame, Louisville, Virginia, Alabama, Auburn, Minnesota and Illinois are a few of the many showing interest.

Finch ran for 1,557 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging 9.16 yards per carry. In helping lead the Class 6-A runner-ups, Finch was named the District Three Player of the Year. St. Xavier was nationally ranked most of the year, until they lost to cross-town rival Trinity in overtime of the title game. The two teams split their head-to-head match-ups this fall with Finch running for over 100 yards in both contests.

Against Lexington Catholic, Finch and his 4.45 speed ran for a school-record 322 yards and five touchdowns on just 18 carries.

"Colleges have seen my film and I guess they respond to it," Finch said. "Me personally, I think I run hard and I run with speed."

Finch camped at Notre Dame for a few days following his freshman year, where he worked with Irish assistant coach Mike Haywood. He has also met assistant coach Rob Ianello, and Notre Dame has sent coaches down to Finch's school.

He will make his second trip up to campus for Junior Day this weekend. Finch will arrive on Saturday. His teammate, Trevor Foy, a defensive end may also be coming, but Finch wasn't sure.

"It was a real nice place to be in," Finch said of Notre Dame. "A true football atmosphere up there.

"Just the tradition, they have real good academics and things like that. The facilities are top of the line everywhere. The indoor facility is real nice and there is like four or five practice fields, it's great.

"This weekend, I'm just looking to see the atmosphere and see how everything is up there. I just want to come away with a good experience."

Finch can bench press 315 pounds, and squat 450. He has a GPA of 3.3, and his father played college football at Montana and Indiana State. He is nowhere near making a college decision of his own.

"In May, that's when things are going to start picking up for me even more," Finch explained. He went to games at Auburn, Kentucky and Louisville this past season. He has also seen the campus at Ohio State. "I'm just waiting, and when it happens it happens.

"Just good academics and an interest in me," is what Finch is looking for. "I'm not concerned with the depth chart. I think I can go in and compete wherever I go. I want to be able to compete and have a good chance. And wherever I go, I want to graduate. That's big for me too, to graduate."


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