Roland is rolling in offers

Lexington star draws attention of Div. 1 football and basketball programs

jhoke@thestate.comSeptember 8, 2010 

Shaq Roland

C. ALUKA BERRY/CABERRY@THESTATE.COM

As Shaq Roland continues to make plays, the scholarship offers continue to roll in.

The two-way dynamo has six of Lexington’s nine touchdowns this season. However, it’s not as if college coaches didn’t already know who he was before he started his junior campaign with a bang.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder has 24 offers in football and two in basketball, Wildcats coach Scott Earley said this week. South Carolina and Florida are the schools that have offered in both sports.

“He’s a lot like Everett [Golson],” Earley said of his former quarterback at Myrtle Beach, who will attempt to play both sports next year at North Carolina. “He’d like the chance to play both.

“He’s special, really special. We’re going to try and do more and more with him. In basketball, he’s special, too.”

Unlike Golson, whose best sport is unquestionably football, Roland’s skills in both sports may be more equitable. Plus, he projects as a wide receiver in college, meaning he won’t face the same challenges as Golson, who will need to learn the offensive scheme inside and out while attempting to show the leadership needed to gain the trust of his gridiron teammates.

Two schools, Georgia Tech and Maryland, have offered Roland as a quarterback, but it would be a major coup if either of them scooped him up over the bigger schools involved in his recruitment.

Roland has the size, speed and elusiveness to make an immediate impact on the gridiron as a freshman. He is playing both sides of the ball for Lexington. The Wildcats line him up in multiple ways offensively, use him as a lockdown corner on defense and let him return kicks.

“Overall athletically he’s the best I’ve ever coached,” Earley said. “He’s got that extra gear. He can make all the cuts. He can do it all. He’s not going to have any limitations in football or basketball at any level or any school.”

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