|Rebel back has earned ‘Fair’ shot with UTM |
|Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 7:00 pm |
| By KEVIN WEAKS |
Seeing is believing.
LaDevin Fair certainly made a believer out of Jason Simpson.
“The No. 1 thing about LaDevin is that he’s another one of our camp guys,” the UT Martin football head coach said. “We were able to see him in our 7-on-7 camp, and because his team reached the championship round, we had a chance to see him play a lot of games. He was one of the best, if not the best, skill player out there.”
The Obion County Central senior will now get to show those skills to Simpson and the Skyhawk coaching staff on a daily basis after signing a national letter of intent to play football at UTM on Wednesday.
“It’s close to home, and they have a run-based offense,” Fair said of the reasons that led him to sign with UTM. “When I was on campus, I felt at home, and I felt I could come in and play and not redshirt.”
Following an outstanding 2011 season, Fair was looked at by schools such as Murray State, Arkansas State and Memphis.
As a senior, Fair rushed for 1,421 yards and 18 touchdowns while catching 27 passes for 313 yards and three scores. In a two-year stint, he had 2,466 yards and 33 touchdowns on 324 rushing attempts and 661 yards and six TDs on 58 catches.
“He’s very versatile,” Simpson said. “He’s a great running back who can catch the ball very well and make plays there. We have juniors and seniors there now, so we hope he can come in and add to our backfield.”
Fair’s coach at Central, Shawn Jackson, feels that Fair’s skill set and UTM’s offensive style are a perfect match.
“Where you fit the best is the biggest thing,” Jackson said. “They run the ball. They do a good job of establishing the run, and LaDevin runs between the tackles and can get the job done.”
Another selling point for Fair was the coaching staff, especially the main players in his recruiting process. He pointed out his admiration for Simpson and running backs coach Jordon Hankins.
Simpson likes Fair’s 5-9, 200-plus pound frame, pointing out he is already bigger than the team’s top returning tailbacks, Tevin Barksdale (5-8, 200) and Jason McNair (5-8, 191).
He’s very impressive, and he’s an every down player because of his size,” Simpson said.
Fair joins an impressive group of running backs signed by UTM, including Shaq Allem (5-9, 195) of Henry County and Roland Genesy (6-1, 220) of Millington
Fair plans to major in sports science.
Simpson confirmed that Fair’s grades are on par to make him eligible upon arrival on campus in the fall.
The Skyhawks are coming off a 5-6 season where they lost five games by a total of 20 points, including four conference games by 17 points combined.
UTM is 37-31 in Simpson’s six years at the helm, the team’s 29-18 OVC mark in that time ranking second behind only Eastern Kentucky. Published in The Messenger 2.2.12