At 6-foot-3, 270 pounds, Dalvin Tomlinson may have the size of a high school defensive tackle, but he has thrived at defensive end. The reason for that is simple, according to someone who knows the player's game well.
"He's very quick," said McDonough (Ga.) Henry County 's Mike Rozier.
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That's not all.
Tomlinson also has excellent footwork and power, two things that get a boost even when he isn't on the football field, his coach claimed.
"He's a heavyweight state wrestling champ," Rozier said. "And he's probably going to win it again this year. [Because of wresting], his footwork is a lot better the last couple of years. He's got quick hands and very good balance. Because of that, he's excelled in both sports. Being a wrestler has helped his play tremendously."
A member of the Rivals250 to watch for 2012, Tomlinson is expected to be among the most sought-after prospects in talent-rich Georgia. Already, he has compiled an impressive list of offers. A week ago, Southern California became the latest to pull the trigger, joining programs such as Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina (the first to offer) and Virginia, Rozier said.
The Trojans have a nice lifeline to the school. Southern California receiver Markeith Ambles is a Henry County alum.
Because of wresting season, Tomlinson has not been able to attend any junior days. And at this point, no leaders have emerged.
"Not at this stage yet," Rozier said.
While Rozier suspects Tomlinson's future is on defense, the standout player, who has started since his freshman season, also plays offensive tackle.
"The Alabama offensive line coach loved him, and the Alabama defensive line coach loved him," Rozier said. "He really plays pretty well on both sides of the ball."
That said, Tomlinson's greatest impact has come at defensive end. During his junior season, he recorded 83 tackles and 11 sacks despite constant double teams, according to Rozier. He was not an all-state performer in 2010, but did earn that honor a year earlier.
"Like I said, he's very quick," Rozier said. "He runs a 4.8, which is pretty fast for someone his size. He's powerful, he's smart. He just makes plays and is a very good football player. He's got good DNA, good jeans. But he does work his butt off in the weightroom, too.. He's doesn't look like he weighs 270 pounds. College coaches will say, 'Man, he doesn't look that big. There ain't no baby fat or anything."