REYNOLDS – The wait is over.
Reynolds senior Rico Dowdle committed to play his college football for South Carolina on Friday.
Dowdle was named the 2015 Citizen-Times All-WNC Player of the Year as well as the Mountain Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season after setting a Western North Carolina record for single-season touchdown responsibility (63).
The 6-foot, 207-pound former tailback thrived as a run-first quarterback for the MAC 3-A champion Rockets (11-2) – Dowdle carried the ball 247 times for an area-best 2,545 yards and 51 touchdowns. He passed for 1,434 yards and 11 touchdowns with four interceptions and had a 55-yard touchdown reception.
Dowdle is a native of Gaffney, South Carolina.
“It was very exciting to go through this process,” Dowdle said.
“This is where I am from originally. Everyone I met at South Carolina felt like they were great coaches and great guys. It felt like home. South Carolina was my dream school. And I’m glad that everyone here, from my family to my friends, will have the chance to come and see me play.”
Dowdle was a Shrine Bowl player who scored two touchdowns as a running back and slot receiver in North Carolina’s 54-39 win on Dec. 19. He also had scholarship offers from N.C. State, Wake Forest, Boston College, Vanderbilt, Appalachian State, Charlotte and Georgia Southern.
Reynolds coach Shane Laws agreed that South Carolina was a good fit for Dowdle.
National-signing day for football recruits from the Class of 2016 is Feb. 3.
Asheville High senior lineman Pete Leota has also committed to play his college ball for the Gamecocks. He and Leota were teammates in the Shrine Bowl.