Justin King will play linebacker at Tennessee and was supposed to play the position this year at Dunwoody High School.
However, the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder was shifted to quarterback after his team’s 0-2 start and King accepted the call, leading Dunwoody to three straight wins.
Dunwoody plays Southwest DeKalb at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (televised live on WSB-TV’s digital channel 2.2 and at wsbtv.com).
The future Tennessee defender is fine with playing quarterback because “the team is winning ballgames” and said his college coaches approve of it. “They like that I’m athletic enough to play different positions, especially QB. Tennessee’s coaches don’t have any problems with it. They want the best for my team, and right now that’s me playing quarterback.”
The original plan was for King to play linebacker and running back. “Having Justin at quarterback gives us a big-time weapon at the position,” Dunwoody coach Jim Showfety said.
King committed to Tennessee one day after attending UGA’s Dawg Night prospect camp last summer. He picked the Volunteers among 15 offers, which included Virginia, Central Florida and Cincinnati. He wasn’t offered by UGA or Georgia Tech and says “there are no hard feelings.”
“Georgia and Georgia Tech have to do what’s best for them, and only they know what they are looking for,” he said. “They are trying to find the players that are the best fit for their systems. I don’t have any grudges against them, and I wish both nothing but the best.”
King will make his official visit to Tennessee next month for either the LSU or South Carolina game. He may travel to Rocky Top this weekend for the UGA match. His pick? “I’ve got to pull for the Vols. That’s my future team and teammates. I can’t go wrong with picking the Vols.”
King has a 2.8 GPA and plans to major in Special Education. He got involved with a club at Dunwoody that volunteers to help children with learning disabilities and other handicaps. It stole his heart.
“There’s just something special about helping those kids,” King said. “I feel so comfortable around them every day. If you’re having a bad day, you can go in there and talk to them. You can tell by the way they are smiling and laughing, they love life. They bring me a lot of joy.”
King said when he reports to Tennessee to play football, he wants to volunteer with special-needs kids in the Knoxville area.
“The Meat Cleaver’s” nephew, Connor Weaver, is a 5-foot-11, 280-pound nose tackle for Dunwoody. Connor’s father, the late Mike Weaver, played offensive line for UGA.
“He’s a very good student and has some very good bloodlines,” Dunwoody coach Jim Showfety said. “Connor’s biggest disadvantage is his height. But once people see him in action, he can be a very effective noseguard in a 3-4 defense. I don’t know if he will go Div. I-A, but he will definitely sign I-AA.”
“The Meat Cleaver” tutors his nephew in track with the shotput during the spring.
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