Community Captain Nominee Chad Diehl

With Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes' football team's national success, many assume that the football players focus on only one thing – football. However, Chad Diehl, a 6-foot-2 235-pound linebacker for the Rebels, says nothing could be further from the truth.

"We also focus on our community," said Diehl. "Our community is full of real big football fans. We go to elementary schools here and read to the kids and sign autographs.

"We help people out as much as we can as a team, such as help people move furniture."

Add his community contributions and football success to his academic achievements – Diehl is a 3.87-student – and we have the perfect mixture for a Carolina Panthers Community Captain nominee.

"I think it'd be awesome [if I would be named a Community Captain]," said Diehl. "It would really mean a lot to our program and community, also."

The Carolina Panthers Community Captains program will honor student-athletes that have exhibited outstanding leadership on the football field, in the classroom and in their communities. The first Community Captain will be announced on September 10th.

Diehl does, however, credit his participation with Byrnes' football program for his involvement in the community.

"I think it's a mix of our coaches and knowing that we're representing something that's a lot bigger than ourselves," said Diehl. "When you think about a football program it's a lot bigger than any individual on the football team. We know that we got a role because we have a lot of people that look up to us in the community."

Whether in the community or on the football field, Diehl represents his football program well.

"Chad has always displayed a high degree of integrity, responsibility, and ambition," said Byrnes head football coach Bobby Bentley. "He is definitely a leader rather than a follower and has been a great role model for the youth in our community."

On the season, Diehl has accumulated 28 tackles and three sacks, while Byrnes is off to a 3-0 start.

Not surprising, Diehl is among the Rebels sporting division I-A scholarship offers (Duke and Virginia Tech). He's looking to make a verbal commitment within the next two weeks and is leaning in the direction of the Hokies.

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