West Orange High alumni Dexter Williams of Notre Dame and Dajour Nesbeth of Tennessee State stood out this past weekend among a host of local alumni who made an impact during the first week of college football.
(Above images courtesy of Karl L. Moore / Tennessee State University and Mike Bennett / Fighting Irish Media)
It was a big weekend for local alumni in college football, especially those who attended West Orange High. Headlining the opening weekend of college football for locals were two Warriors alumni: Notre Dame's Dexter Williams and Tennessee State's Dajour Nesbeth.
Dexter Williams, a West Orange High alum who also attended Olympia, had a big game for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the team’s 49-16 win over Temple to open the season. Williams was one of three Notre Dame players to rush for more than 100 yards, finishing the game with 124 yards on six carries and a touchdown.
West Orange High alum Dajour Nesbeth, a sophomore cornerback for Tennessee State University, picked off a pass with less than a minute to play in the fourth quarter, returning it 32 yards and sealing a victory for the Tigers against Georgia State.
Former Olympia Titans kicker Jonny Messina made a 36-yard field goal in the Stetson Hatters’ 42-3 loss to Sacred Heart University.
Corey Rahman, a true freshman for the Southeastern University football team in Lakeland and an alum of Foundation Academy, had seven tackles in his college debut. The Fire beat Bethel (Tenn.) 62-13.
CFCA alum Judah Stone ran for a touchdown and had a pair of tackles for Ave Maria University in a 55-28 loss to Union College. Stone is a sophomore for the Gyrenes.
Garrett Johnson, a West Orange alum and senior receiver for the University of Kentucky, had two receptions for 22 yards in the Wildcats season-opening win against Southern Miss.
Former West Orange Warrior quarterback Woody Barrett transferred from Auburn University to Copiah-Lincoln Community College (Miss.) this past offseason and made his debut for the Wolves Aug. 31. Barrett ran for a touchdown and passed for 73 yards during a 35-20 win over Southwest Community College.
After a two-year mission trip put his college football career on hold, West Orange alum Kyle Griffitts made his debut for BYU in a 27-0 loss to LSU. Griffitts, a running back who was on the scout team last season, did not carry the ball, but did get in the game and was listed on the official participation report.
Brothers and fellow Foundation Academy alumni Denzel Irvin and Darius Irvin each saw playing time for the UNC-Charlotte 49ers in a 24-7 loss to Eastern Michigan to open the season. Denzel Irvin finished with five tackles and Darius Irvin finished with one tackle.
Foundation Academy alum Evan Thompson saw playing time in his debut for Florida Tech. The Panthers beat Virginia University of Lynchburg 44-0.
Ocoee High alum BJ Bohler, a defensive back for Mercer University, saw playing time in the Bears’ 48-7 win over Jacksonville.
West Orange alum Jalen Julius had two tackles for Ole Miss in a 47-27 win over South Alabama.
In the Michigan Wolverines’ big 33-17 win over the Florida Gators, sophomore receiver Eddie McDoom — a West Orange alum — had one carry for four yards.
Colby Meeks, a junior offensive lineman at Colorado State and a Dr. Phillips High alum, saw playing time in the Rams’ 58-27 win over Oregon State. His brother, Dylan Meeks, a true freshman for Akron, saw playing time in his debut with the Zips during a 52-0 loss to Penn State.
Deondre Francois, who starred at Olympia High in 2012 and 2013 before transferring to IMG Academy for his senior year in 2014, was injured during the Florida State Seminoles’ season-opening game against the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Francois, a redshirt sophomore quarterback, completed 19-of-33 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown before he was injured. On Sunday, it was announced he would have season-ending surgery.
Editor's note: This is our first time doing a roundup of local alumni in college football. Though the list is not intended to be comprehensive, if we missed an alumni of an Observer Preps school who had a notable performance, please let us know by emailing [email protected]!