Flintall Wake's First '05 Commitment

Jim Grobe and the Wake Forest football program picked up its first verbal commitment of the class of 2005 this past week when running back/defensive back L.J. Flintall committed to play his college football for the Demon Deacons. Flintall, a Burlington Cummings standout, measures 5'10, 172-pounds with a 4.55 forty.

With the ability to play both defensive back and running back at the collegiate level, L.J. Flintall could play a variety of positions at Wake Forest. However, the Deacon coaching staff has told the Burlington native that he will get a shot at running back first. "[The Wake coaches] said they'd give him his first opportunity as a running back," Burlington Cummings coach Steve Johnson said. "It'll be up to L.J. to see if he can stay in at running back or if he ends up as a defensive back."

This past season, Flintall gained 886-yards on the ground, scoring ten touchdowns. He also caught 240-yards in receptions. Defensively, Flintall totaled 79 tackles and two interceptions.

Johnson noted that he believes that Flintall can be a successful running back at the next level. "He really sees the holes and accelerates through them," Johnson said. "I think that his best asset is the way he accelerates through the holes. That's definitely a big thing for him."

On the other side of the ball, as a defensive back, Flintall has started since his freshman season for Cummings – and been impressive. "Next year when he plays for us will be his fourth year starting for us in the secondary," Johnson said. "During those three years, we've played in three consecutive state championship games and won the state in 2002." Cummings is 44-4 with Flintall at defensive back.

While Flintall is a winner on the field, he is also a winner off the field. In a day where many of the top high school athletes don't value their education, Flintall is quite the opposite and has his head in line.

"I think Wake Forest was his first choice that he was hoping for – an opportunity to play in the ACC and having strong academics," Johnson said. "He made a good statement in our local paper that not everyone can play in the NFL but Wake will allow him to come out with a good degree and a good job if he doesn't make it."

"L.J. is one of those good kids, he's a very polite gentleman," Johnson said. "He's a guy who sells himself. He knows how to carry himself in a very positive manner, he knows how to carry himself in a respectable manner. That's two attributes you don't often see in 16 or 17-year old kids."

Flintall also received interest from Vanderbilt, Duke, and others before deciding on Wake Forest. He has visited Wake Forest in the past and plans to take another visit to Wake Forest in the coming weeks.

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