Dabney to play football for the Keydets

Published 10:01 am Thursday, January 25, 2018

Fuqua Schools senior lineman Warren Dabney will be utilizing his talents at the Division I level of college football this fall as a member of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Keydets.

Dabney took advantage of the early signing opportunity in December, which served as the culmination of a recruitment process that began last fall.

Of being able to sign to play D1 college football, Dabney said, “It means everything, really. It’s been a childhood dream for me since I was 7 years old. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”

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He noted that he has played football since he was 6 years old, getting his start playing in a youth league in Cumberland.

Dabney went on to star for Fuqua’s varsity squad. This past season, he was named to the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III all-state first team as both an offensive and defensive lineman.

During the college selection process, he was also considering Hampden-Sydney College and West Virginia Wesleyan College, but VMI edged them out.

“Really, they made me feel like a priority every day, just by calling me and texting me,” Dabney said of VMI. “It made me feel like they really wanted me, like I was high on their board, like I meant something to them. I wasn’t just another recruit.”

Dabney noted that for the Keydets, he will be playing on the defensive line, where he has played his whole career.

He will be joining former Fuqua teammate Brad Davis, who plays on the offensive line at VMI.

Fuqua Head Coach Ben Manis said he thinks Dabney and VMI are a good fit for each other.

“The coaches were there and talking with him,” Manis said. “They said he’s liable to get a good portion of playing time next year as a freshman. Brad did as well. It’s just kind of a great testament to their work ethic and their abilities. It’s nice to have D1 coaches on campus, and it helps when you have great kids.”

Manis said that probably one of Dabney’s most significant attributes is the fact that he’s a great young man, a great leader.

“He’ll end up doing something great with his life, and I’m sure that Fuqua and VMI will have a part of it,” Manis said. “It’s been a blessing to coach guys like that here recently.”

He highlighted what Dabeny brought to the Falcons as a player.

“When you’ve got a guy that can kind of shut down one whole side of the offense … and can seal the edge against defenses, a smart kid, a kid that can kind of help coach on the field. Football intelligence is there, football knowledge is there, work ethic both in the classroom and on the field and in the weight room.”

Dabney said he is going to major in psychology with a minor in leadership studies.

As for who helped him reach his current level of achievement, he said, “My mom, of course. She’s been there since day one, and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without her.”