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By CINDY CROSBY
Ja'Carre D'Andre Stevens is heading to Danville, Va., where he will not only begin his pursuit of a college education but will also suit up on Saturdays for a little pigskin. Stevens signed a scholarship Monday Feb. 10 to play football for NCAA Division III Averett University in USA South Athletic Conference.
Stevens committed to Averett on January 26 after fielding offers from Arkansas Baptist, Judson University, Defiance College and Palmetto Prep Academy.
Playing the sport of football since he was seven years old, Stevens grew up on the playing field. A four-year veteran of the Cougar football program, he spent two years at the junior varsity level and lettered two years on varsity. Stevens’ primary position was at linebacker for Colleton County, but he figures to contribute at defensive back at Averett. In addition, Stevens participated in baseball and track in school.
He is a member of the National Honor Society and earned recognition as Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Player of the Game–White Knoll, and Player of the Game–May River.
Why Averett? According to Stevens, he received an email his junior year from an Averett recruiter who had been following his Hudl highlights. “Every Friday night before games and Saturday after games, Coach McConnell, recruiter and DB coach, would text to encourage me,” said Stevens. “He kept in constant touch during the recruiting process. After I visited the campus twice with my family, I knew it was a family-oriented environment,” he said.
“Also, Head Coach Adams stressed the importance of education first and ensuring that I become a man and not just a football player,” said Stevens. “He holds all his players to maintaining a 3.0 GPA to perform on game day. Looking at his sidelines on the game day, I was amazed because I realized they were not just athletes but also academic scholars who will be ready after leaving his program for the working world.”
Stevens expressed appreciation to Coach Singleton and Coach Jones for helping him reach this point in his high school career.
“I'd like to thank God for blessing me with my academics and talent,” said Stevens. “Also, my parents for their loving support and always encouraging me to do my best, while traveling all over with me,” said Stevens. “All my coaches beginning in recreational league, the Colleton County Allstars, Colleton County Middle School, and Colleton County High School — they have definitely laid the foundation and paved the way for me.”
Stevens, who maintains a 3.10 GPA and is currently ranked 141 in his class, plans to pursue a degree in business administration. He is the son of Keith Stevens and Donna Grant of Walterboro.