LAKELAND, Ga. –– Three Lanier County Bulldogs announced their college plans Thursday morning.
Senior quarterback Rashod Brockington, defensive back Andreas Anderson and defensive lineman Kelvin Gaines will remain teammates as each signed with the University of the Cumberlands on Thursday.
A four-year letterman, Brockington was a 2020 Senior Award recipient and a three-time All-Region selection at quarterback for the Bulldogs. Over his four-year career, Brockington amassed a school-record 5,052 passing yards as well as a school-record 38 passing touchdowns. Equally effective with his legs, Brockington rushed for 1,037 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career.
The signal-caller also boasts a 3.35 GPA.
"It's just a blessing," Brockington said of signing with the Patriots. "God blessed me, He blessed my teammates, Kelvin and Dre. We've got an opportunity to play college football at the next level and further our education, so that's a good thing.
"It means a lot. I was born and raised here so I'm going to miss it a lot. I'm going to be gone, but I'm going to come back eventually."
Projecting Brockington's role at the next level won't be too difficult as he's proven he can throw downfield and run the ball from the quarterback position as well as play on the defensive side of the ball at free safety.
Brockington spoke about his fit at the next level with a Patriots team that finished 10-2 in 2019 and opens its season Feb. 12.
"RPOs (run-pass option), I can move well, I can throw the ball downfield," Brockington said. "They like the production of me and my team, so they feel I'm a great fit."
Lanier head coach Kurt Williams said of his record-setting quarterback, "First of all, he's a talented young guy and he's really helped us on offense being able to run the ball and be able to throw the ball all over the field, which is hard to find in Single-A. I really think Cumberlands is getting a steal because he's a three-sport athlete and never really had a full offseason to develop like he will in college. We're definitely going to miss him. This is a spot we've taken for granted –– he's played 40-something games at quarterback and holds all the school records and gave us a lot of production. Not only that, he's a great leader. These kids love him and he's a great teammate."
Anderson was also a four-year letterman for the Bulldogs, racking up 114 total tackles, 18 pass break-ups, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
The 5-foot-7, 165-pound defensive back was the Bulldogs' Scholar Athlete of the Year, ranking seventh in his class and holds a 95.9 grade average.
"It's just a new opportunity," Anderson said. "It's a new opportunity for my parents, a new opportunity for me as far as traveling now and going to a different area and experiencing a new area. I'm just glad I even got the opportunity to play on the next level. I'm just thankful. I'm thankful that God has let me play at the next level and gave me the ability to play football the way I wanted to play."
Obviously, being viewed as a bit undersized as a football player hasn't hindered Anderson's ability to thrive on the field. Anderson credits his work ethic and perseverance for setting him up with an opportunity to play college football.
"(It took a lot of) hard work and perseverance," Anderson said. "It's just working, working, working, working nonstop and doing the little things. The little things will get you right because if you don't continuously work, you'll never be better than everybody else. You'll never be the best that you can be. The support that I have has pushed me to be better."
A two-time All-Region defensive line selection, Gaines was a three-year letterman at Lanier after starting his high school football career at Valdosta High School.
Over three years, Gaines tallied 95 total tackles, 22 tackles for loss, eight sacks, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries. A 2020 Senior Award winner, Gaines currently maintains a 3.5 GPA.
"It's just a big day, no matter who the kids are," Williams said. "These three are special because they were freshmen when I got here and started as sophomores on our first team. We didn't win a game, man, and they continued to show up and get better. I'm just so happy for them and their families to get this opportunity at the next level."