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Football: Colleges get creative while recruiting Forsyth County prospects
Dayne Shor
Denmark sophomore Dayne Shor's recruitment has taken off since the coronavirus outbreak shut down in-person recruiting. He's collected offers from Oregon, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami and Michigan since the beginning of April. Photo submitted

It started off like any other normal day.

Denmark sophomore Dayne Shor was cycling through stretches ahead of a Tuesday practice in October when head coach Terry Crowder walked over to him.

"Coach Crowder came up to me and said, 'Do you want to hear some good news?'" Shor remembered. "And I was like, 'Yes, sir.' He was like, 'Georgia Tech offered you a full-ride scholarship.'"

The news marked Shor's first scholarship offer, just a couple of months into his sophomore season.

Now, about half a year later, Shor has emerged as one of the Class of 2022's top offensive tackle prospects. At 6-foot-6, 295 pounds, Shor has offers from more than a dozen schools.

"I didn't expect to get an offer so early," Shor said. "I didn't expect to get any of these offers so early, especially the ones I have now, you know — I have 15. That was pretty insane. It was a pretty good feeling and I was trying not to freak out. I was freaking out inside, and I might have cried a little bit, but it was cool."

Shor's recruitment has taken off since the coronavirus outbreak shut down in-person recruiting. He's collected offers from Oregon, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami and Michigan since the beginning of April.

Though the sports world is essentially on pause, college recruiting continues to roll on. Such is the case with other top prospects in Forsyth County.

Lambert sophomore Kojo Antwi collected 21 offers since the start of the calendar year, with 18 of those coming the past two months. 

Kojo Antwi
Lambert sophomore Kojo Antwi powers past a diving Gainesville defender on his way to a long touchdown on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. File photo
"He's getting all kinds of attention," Lambert head coach Tommy Watson said. "There's still some schools out there that he's really interested in that he's always wanted to be a part of. You know, he tells me those schools and those things and I reach out to them for him. I'll tell you one thing, I'm glad he's on our team." 

Meanwhile, West Forsyth junior Dylan Fairchild saw his recruiting take off earlier in the school year, allowing him to carve out a top-six list, which he announced a couple of weeks ago.

In fact, Fairchild was offered by Alabama head coach Nick Saban on May 7, though the Crimson Tide failed to make the cut.

A couple of Shor's teammates at Denmark, quarterback Aaron McLaughlin and defensive back Justin Bradford, even committed last week, with McLaughlin picking NC State and Bradford choosing Troy. 

College coaches are getting creative with how they coax top prospects, from making sure their staff stays in constant contact with recruits to offering those players virtual tours.

"I've actually had a couple of virtual tours with TCU," Shor said. "So, that's the only college I've gone on a virtual tour with. As far as I know, they're not letting high school prospects on campus (until) around September."

Shor said the TCU coaching staff took him on a virtual tour of the football complex, showing off the school's practice field, indoor facility and weight room. 

"It's been kind of funky, because we're not allowed to go on campus or to camps and all that stuff, but I've been calling coaches every week," Shor said. "I mean, that's the usual. They can't call me yet because I'm just a sophomore, but I've been calling a lot of coaches every week."

Florida State posted a 2 1/2 minute virtual tour to YouTube last month, beginning with a message from the school's director of on-campus recruiting, before panning over to show campus hotspots such as players' housing, football facilities and Doak Campbell Stadium.

It offers a glimpse at campus life, which is traditionally a strong selling point for many universities. So, in a time when in-person recruiting is halted, the virtual tours offer prospects some sort of on-campus experience.

Still, coaches are anxious to get prospects on campus for not only visits but also camps, which allow for exclusive looks at on-field ability. 

Until then?

"There's not much they can do, really," Shor said. "Honestly, at this point, just playing it by ear when things start to get back to normal. But, you know, we're still waiting on that at this point. Hopefully, this stuff ends pretty soon and I can start getting the visits and all that good stuff."