Justin Simpson signs with Wingate

Published 12:46 pm Monday, March 24, 2008

The phrase was the theme for the Wolverine football team last season.

?That defined him as a player,? Ollis said.

Simpson was Polk County?s ?lockdown conerback,? Ollis said.

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He had ferocious speed and a defensive tenacity that lended itself to a
man-to-man situation,&bsp; allowing Ollis to trust that the opposition?s
best receiver was in good hands.

?He was our lockdown corner and every team should have one,? Ollis said.

Simpson will be going to play in the secondary at Wingate. The Bulldogs were

7- 4 last season and Simpson should have a chance at some snaps in the
secondary. There are only two or three corners returning to the
Bulldogs?s secondary, Simpson said.

But what won him over was the atmosphere at Wingate, which is located 35 miles east of Charlotte.

When Simpson walked into the entry hall, he said, the coaching staff
met him in suits and the recruiting trip proceeded, impressing Simpson.

?It?s just a top-level campus,? he said. ?The football facilities are amazing. It was like being here at home.?

Simpson, who was also courted by Mars Hill, is receiving a scholarship from the Bulldogs.

What the Bulldogs will be getting, Ollis said, is a worry-free player who handles his business.

The coaching staff, Ollis said, will not have to worry about Simpson
maintaining grades, showing up to practice or missing workouts,

He?s done all of those things for the Wolverines, including playing injury-free football, Ollis said.

?He?s the consumate team player,? Olllis said. ?He?s a guy I could trust.?

Simpson confirmed that on Tuesday. He gave much of the credit for his
opportunity to his teammates and the leadership of the coaching staff.

But his mom includes a higher power in Simpson?s high school career.

?God gave Justin the opportunity to be under the leadership he?s under
because without them I don?t believe he?d be where he is,? his mom
Patricia Simpson said.

If he plays corner anything like he did for the Wolverines, opponents may need to beware.

Simpson had 40 tackles last season, one interception, three tackles for a loss and seven pass deflections.

He also ran for 518 yards and five touchdowns and caught 14 passes for 210 yards and four touchdowns.

He was a part of 29 wins during his three varsity seasons, including two conference championships.

Next season, he?ll line up against teams like Carson Newman and Mars Hill.