DHS players sign with colleges

Malachi Williams signs his letter of intent, flanked by his family. PHOTO BY BOBBY BRYANT

Jose Rivera signs his letter of intent. Behind him are his sister Serena, aunt Ashley and mom Peggy. PHOTO BY BOBBY BRYANT

By Bobby Bryant, Editor


Last week, Darlington High School football players Malachi Williams and Jose Rivera signed to play football for South Carolina colleges. As far as their coach, Raymond Jennings, is concerned, those colleges got a great deal. Of Williams, Jennings says: “His best days are ahead of him. … He’s just a very good kid.” Even though Williams didn’t play football his first two years in high school, his performance in 10 games his junior year and five games in 2020 convinced South Carolina State University that “they found some raw talent.” Of Rivera, the coach says: “Jose has played every sport known to man. … He’s very well liked, very well liked.” Rivera will play for Erskine College after he graduates from DHS. “Erskine did him right” with a scholarship, Jennings said, noting that tuition at the private college is about $50,000 a year. Williams is an offensive tackle. He recorded 30 pancake blocks over 15 games for the Darlington Falcons to go along with 11 tackles, including two for loss, as a defensive end, the school district says. He also participated with the team’s community service initiatives. Jennings says Williams is “very quiet and reserved. You wouldn’t know he was in the room unless you asked him a question.” Jennings says Williams’ father, Eugene, also played football for Darlington High and for South Carolina State, as his son will do. Williams, who plans to major in digital media, said his mindset is “I will.” “So … I will accomplish becoming a starter at wherever I can bring the most impact and become one of the best at that position. I will accomplish becoming a millionaire … I will accomplish being drafted into the NFL.” Rivera primarily plays along the offensive line. The school district says he averaged four pancake blocks per game over his final 15 for the Falcons, recording 60 total in that time. He’s a four-year varsity letterman and a team captain. He, too, participated in the team’s community service initiatives. Jennings said Rivera has played football, at various levels, pretty much all his life. “I’m going to be a first-generation college student, so I’m learning as I go along,” Rivera said. “I am giving it my best in the classroom, then on the field.” Rivera will major in business. “After school, I plan to open businesses across the country. I also want to come back to Darlington and try and create jobs. I’m going to put our city on the map.”


Author: Stephan Drew

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