SOUTH CALDWELL, N.C.
LANDON DICKERSON ISN’T A DIFFICULT
person to find on a football field. At 6-foot- 5,
290 pounds, he’s often the player lying on top
of an opposing defensive lineman at the end of
a play. As a junior at South Caldwell (N.C.) last
fall, Dickerson averaged 13 pancake blocks
per game. However, Dickerson is quick to
dispel the notion that pancake blocks are the
result of a controlled mean streak.
“I don’t have much of a mean side,”
Dickerson said. “I’m rarely ever mean. You can
focus your strength to a point that it’s easier to
While Dickerson may appear to have a mean
streak to the casual observer, it is his tech-
nique that gives him an edge in the trenches.
After a freshman season in which he dressed
for varsity games but received little playing
time, he worked tirelessly with a new coaching
staff at South Caldwell to build strength.
“We went through a coaching change, and I
Dickerson, who has a relatively lean frame
met with the new O-line coach every day that
summer,” Dickerson said. “I went to the weight
room an hour before everyone else, and went
out on the field after everybody left.”
In South Caldwell’s run-based offense,
Dickerson has moved from his natural position
of offensive tackle to guard. He carved out
running lanes for a South Caldwell team that
went 9-3 last season and advanced to the
state 4A playoffs.
for a lineman approaching 300 pounds,
estimates he has gained 40 pounds of muscle
in high school.
“As a freshman, I learned what I had to work
on to play ball at this level,” Dickerson said.
“I’ve been working on strength and technique
OPPOSING COACHES HAVE LEARNED
never to give Austin Kendall the ball back with
time on the clock.
The Cuthbertson (N.C.) quarterback drilled
that lesson home again and again during his
junior season when he took the Cavaliers on a
10-game winning streak after a 1-3 start. During that stretch, Kendall led come-from-behind
wins against four opponents and directed an
offense that averaged 37. 9 points per game.
One of Kendall’s comeback wins – a 42-38
victory over Weddington – gained national attention. Sports Illustrated featured Kendall in
the “Faces in the Crowd” section. In the game,
the 6-foot- 2, 210-pound quarterback threw for
447 yards and four touchdowns and rushed
for 63 yards and another two scores. Kendall’s
decisive 80-yard touchdown drive started with
1: 58 remaining and no timeouts.
“Nobody thought we’d win that game,”
said Kendall, who has verbally committed to
Oklahoma. “It was just another game for me,
and we went down and scored right away. Then
Kendall transferred twice in his first two
years of high school – first from Cuthbertson
to Charlotte Christian after his freshman year,
and back to Cuthbertson after his sophomore
year. He transferred to Charlotte Christian
for academic and athletic reasons and led
the team to a state championship in 2013.
He then returned to Cuthbertson to go to the
same school as his brothers. Kendall led the
Cavaliers to their first Southern Carolinas
Conference title last season, when he threw
for 4,461 yards and 49 touchdowns with 15
“I love watching film and working out in the
weight room,” Kendall said. “I like to study
the playbook and get the guys together in the
offseason when we don’t have practice. That’s
all part of being the quarterback.”
J.H. ROSE, N.C.
CORNELL POWELL HAS A DIFFICULT TIME
picking the best game of his football career.
Was it the playoff game against Conley dur-
ing his sophomore season at J.H. Rose (N.C.)
when he had seven catches for 308 yards and
Or was it the playoff game against New
Hanover during his junior season when he had
208 receiving yards and six total touchdowns,
including an interception return that sealed the
Powell’s athletic exploits are laden with performances like these. The 6-foot- 1, 200-pound
receiver has been providing highlights ever
since he first stepped on a Pop Warner field at
age 5. As a quarterback, he led his 10-year-old
Pop Warner team to a national championship
“From then on, I knew I would be great at
football,” Powell said. “I had to keep perfecting
Powell made the switch from quarterback
to receiver at the high school level. He has
accumulated more than 1,200 receiving yards
and 19 touchdowns in each of the last two
“Playing quarterback all the way up to ninth
“Running track helps me maintain my
grade helped me as a wide receiver,” Powell
said. “It helped me understand route concepts
and when a quarterback wants to put the ball
Powell’s athletic highlights are not limited to
the football field. He is also a three-year starter
in basketball and two-time Eastern Carolina
Conference MVP. As a junior, he averaged
18.0 points, 7. 5 rebounds and 5.0 assists.
Powell also runs track and was a member of a
4x100 relay team that went to North Carolina
Regionals this spring.
speed,” Powell said. “I play basketball for the
quick lateral movements. As a receiver, I have
to be in and out of my breaks.”
32 FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FLORIDA 2015 FNF MAGAZINE @FNFMAG @FNFMAG