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Wofford junior Scioneaux making name for himself
Linebacker leads SoCon in sacks, tackles for loss
Wofford football head coach Mike Ayers saw two plays on video and was on a mission to get high school linebacker Alvin Scioneaux.
Virginia-Wise (4-2 NAIA) at Wofford (4-1, 3-0 SoCon)
1:30 p.m., Gibbs Stadium, 97.1 FM, 1400 AM
5.5 — Alvin Scioneaux, Wofford
4.0 — Josh Williams, Chattanooga
4.0 — John Douglas, Georgia Southern
3.5 — Alex Goltry, Wofford
TACKLES FOR LOSS
11.5 — Alvin Scioneaux, Wofford
8.0 — Wes Dothard, Chattanooga
7.5 — Derek Douglas, The Citadel
7.0 — Brent Russell, Georgia Southern
7.0 — Joshua Jones, Elon
4 — Alvin Scioneaux, Wofford
2 — Six players tied
The all-district player for East St. John in Garyville, La., between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, wasn’t making an interception or a sack or a tackle for loss. In fact, both plays were long gains for the opposing offense.
“In two different games, he did the same thing,” Ayers said. “He was rushing the passer and the ball-carriers, guys who could run, broke free and were 15 or 20 yards ahead of Alvin. And he ran the guys down. The first time, I said, ‘Man, oh, man.’ Then we saw him do it again and I said, ‘We’ve got to get this guy.’ ”
Scioneaux, a third-year sophomore in his first season as a starter at outside linebacker, leads the Southern Conference in sacks (4.5), tackles for loss (11.5) and forced fumbles (four) while ranking 10th in total tackles. He had 10 tackles by halftime last week and finished with 11 as he barely played in the second half of a 43-14 win at The Citadel.
“We’ve got some pretty good linebackers with Alvin, Mike Niam, Mike McCrimon and Phillip LeGrande (the top four tacklers on the team),” Ayers said. “Week after week, Alvin is coming up with huge plays, making sacks and causing fumbles.”
Scioneaux, who had 38 tackles last season, set a career-high (11) at The Citadel. He had 10 in the season-opener against Presbyterian, eight against Clemson and has led the team in three of the five games.
“Athletically, he can do things that other guys can’t do,” Ayers said. “His change of direction, his speed, his ability to beat a blocker is amazing. He can cover a pass and put his hand down and rush was well as anybody. He’s just an unbelievable athlete. If you’re looking for a prototype linebacker, it’s him.”
Scioneaux (6-foo-2, 215 pounds) was recruited by a couple of smaller schools in Louisiana and had actually verbally committed to Bucknell of the Patriot League.
“Wofford had given away all its scholarships for the fall (of 2009),” Scioneaux said. “They wanted to gray-shirt me, bring me to campus but not let me start until spring ball. I wasn’t really a fan of that. I had marked Wofford off my list.
“Then here comes Coach Ayers to visit me and meet my family and he told me the good news that a scholarship had opened up. I was next in line to receive it and I took it with open arms. Wofford, especially Coach Ayers, won me over.”
Ayers said he hit it off with the Scioneaux family.
“Great people. We had a good time,” Ayers said. “His mom is all business, let me tell you. She let me know that it was all about Alvin’s education.”
Scioneaux, a physics major, was honored by his high school team for having the highest grade-point average.
“I think he wants to be great,” Ayers said. “And he’s headed in the right direction.”
Scioneaux said the two plays that got him noticed by the Wofford coaches are examples of what he is all about.
“You can never give up on a play, a game, a season or anything else in life,” he said. “That’s the attitude you need to keep in order to be great. I would say that I’m a confident player. I know what I’m capable of. I try to do it on every single play. And when I fall short, I make sure I get it right the next time. I’m ready to do whatever it takes to win a SoCon championship and a national championship.”