Deandre Torrey’s story isn’t exactly an uncommon one among many in South Mississippi — but it’s quickly evolving.
The speedy running back put up impressive numbers throughout his prep career at Gautier but at least in part because of his 5-foot-9, 182-pound frame, four-year colleges were hesitant to extend the lead Gator an offer.
Torrey opted to sign with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and after putting together one of the nation’s top rushing seasons, recruiters who passed over Torrey last year are finally coming around.
Central Arkansas and North Texas were the first schools to extend offers to Torrey. Troy offered Torrey last week and South Alabama also joined the fray in the last couple of days.
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“It’s been great. I’m glad I had the opportunity and some people are starting to give me looks,” said Torrey, who is listed by MGCCC at 5-10, 190 pounds.
The spike in interest comes on the heels of an impressive freshman season where Torrey rushed for 1,298 yards and 12 touchdowns on 185 carries. His 144.2 yards per game average is second nationally, while his dozen touchdowns are good enough for 10th.
“I guess my work on the field was undeniable,” Torrey said. “A lot of the coaches said they love my film and maybe I was overlooked in high school, because I was small.
“They’ve seen me prove myself on the next level so now they’re willing to give me a chance.”
Torrey burst onto the junior college scene in Gulf Coast’s 42-41 season-opener, rushing for 189 yards and four touchdowns. He proceeded to eclipse 101 yards in all but one contest this season.
“I had a great start. It was nothing that I expected, really,” Torrey said. “But once I got going it was like I couldn’t stop and there was no turning back.”
With more colleges showing interest as time goes on, Torrey said he’s in no rush to make a decision ahead of the Dec. 20 mid-year transfer signing day.
“I’m still weighing my options,” he said. “I have a couple offers I really like but I don’t want to make a decision too fast and miss something.”
As of right now Torrey’s only official visit date is Dec. 8 to North Texas. He hopes to take other trips, but nothing else is finalized yet.
Following the 2017 season, MGCCC parted ways with long-time coach and coordinator Chad Huff. Torrey, who could potentially return to MGCCC next season, said the Bulldogs’ hire could impact his decision.
“(The coaching change) was kind of devastating for me. Coach Huff is the one who recruited me and gave me my shot. He was also my position coach. It was really tough,” Torrey said. “I think the new coach will play a role in my decision. A new coach could come in and bring a whole new offense where we’re not run first.”
Ultimately, Torrey said he’s looking for a run-first team where he can build a relationship with the coaches.