According to the NCAA’s website data, only 7.1 percent of high school football players get to play any level of college football. The percentage shrinks even further when only counting Division 1 schools, in which only 2.8 percent of high school football players move on to play at these higher level institutions.
Camden’s Jalyn Dubose has recently become one of the 2.8 percent.
Dubose, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound safety, recently picked up a preferred walk-on spot to play football at the University of South Carolina. This means that while he will not be on scholarship, he will still be given a spot on the team without having to go through the rigors of walk-on tryouts.
Dubose, a member of the Camden High School graduating class of 2019, was a multiple-sport standout while at CHS. He lettered in both football and basketball, picking up all-region honors in football as well as being invited to and playing in the inaugural Columbia Metro Bowl all-star game, while earning defensive player of the year honors in basketball for the Bulldogs. Dubose also excelled in the classroom earning the South Carolina High School League’s Scholars Award.
Dubose was pursued by multiple schools in the football recruiting process, as a result of his coaches convincing colleges to come watch some of his games. Despite heavy interest from other schools, Dubose always knew that USC was where he wanted to be.
“After the end of my senior year, the USC recruiter sent an email saying how they were watching me throughout the season. So after the season, I went on another unofficial visit and decided that was the path I wanted to take,” said Dubose detailing the recruiting process.
Many people see college football players and look toward the more superficial perks that they have as reasons to play. The endless supply of gear, the rock star status on campus, and the sound of being cheered for by thousands is what many in the public fixate on. However, Dubose simply is looking forward to play the game he loves on a higher level.
“I’m looking forward to the football experience on the collegiate level as a whole. Being able to play and compete with big names from all over the country excites me,” said Dubose.
Dubose also recognizes the challenges that coming in as a walk-on presents. They have to work hard every day in order to keep their place on the team and perhaps, one day earn a scholarship.
“I know I’m going to have to start from the bottom, but my goal is to keep making progress in my role for the team until I’m satisfied,” Dubose said.
Dubose does not take sole credit for his success and recognizes those in the community that helped make him the athlete he is today.
“I have multiple people that helped me become the athlete I am today and it would be impossible to name all of them. However, I would like to give special recognition to (CHS defensive coordinator) coach (Earl) Chaptman, (former CHS and USC football player) Cedrick Malone, coach Avery Fields and my dad,” said Dubose.
Playing football in a large conference like the SEC is a massive honor that is reserved for less than one percent of high school football players. Jalyn Dubose is fortunate enough to be a member of this exclusive club.
Whether it is on the scout team, coming in off the bench, or as a starter, he will no doubt have a positive impact on Will Muschamp’s Gamecock squad.
(David Bishop is a rising senior at Camden High School and is a member of the Bulldogs’ Region 4-AAA championship golf team. He is a summer intern with the Chronicle-Independent.)