Last season Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison wide receiver/defensive back Dominque Vinson (6-0, 175, 4.51) was UCLA bound quarterback Nick Crissman's go to guy when Edison needed a play.
There was no doubt that he was a D-I talent, but what is a common place problem with many athletes, Edison has a slow start academically when he started high school and had to work overtime to earn qualification.
Vinson was getting serious interest from many schools including Purdue, Tennessee, Washington and Arizona.
In addition to Vinson's academic problems, he had developed a chronic shoulder injury. When the schools began requesting transcripts, they all backed off thinking that he would not be able to clear the NCAA requirements to be eligible to receive a D-I scholarship.
Sadly the Edison standout that helped his team make it all the way to the CIF finals in one of the toughest Divisions in the entire state of California wasn't going to get a D-I scholie.
At that point, many high school kids would have given up. Not the very competitive Vinson. He decided to simply refocus and put all of his attention towards finishing his senior year with the highest grade point average possible.
The backup plan was to attend junior college, but he decided to tap into his competitive spirit and do his best to qualify for a NCAA D-I scholarship now rather than wait two years.
After an intense academic campaign that included administrative difficulties with course credits, Vinson finally got word this month that he is fully certified by the NCAA to accept a Division I scholarship to play football.
The good news for Vinson continues. He had his shoulder surgically repaired last month and should be done with rehab and 100% physically ready to play football by January.
Almost immediately, the news of Vinson's eligibility status resulted in renewed recruiting efforts from many teams including Boise State.
"Right now, I'm hoping that I can get offered to start with a good program in January," Vinson said. "I'm dying with only being able to watch football on TV and not be able to play this season.
"At least I got to watch my older brother (Terrell Vinson) pick off Jimmy Clausen live on a nationwide broadcasted game when Notre Dame was playing Purdue."
Vinson played against some of the best teams in the Pac-5 include powerhouses such as Long Beach Poly, Mater Dei, Mission Viejo, Servite, Notre Dame Sherman Oaks, and many others.
Vinson possesses an outstanding combination of speed, playmaking ability and hands as a wide receiver. Some think Vinson is a better defensive back. He had such a dominant junior season defensively that most opposing quarterbacks didn't want to throw anywhere near him his senior year, and he still had seven interceptions with three being returned for touchdowns.
Now Vinson will have the opportunity to join the ranks of D-I college football players that includes many of his former teammates and of course his brother Terrell Vinson a two year starter at cornerback for Purdue.
Many have told Vinson that he had more potential than his brother due to his height, faster speed, and incredible football instincts.
Finally, after a lot of hard work in the classroom, Vinson will have the opportunity to show big brother what the younger brother can do in college football.