Last year, much was made about the 280 lb. average of Thomson's offensive line. The attention from college scouts has now paid off for a third member of that line.
Michael Paul signed last week to play football for Division I-AA Charleston Southern next fall. He follows Arcephus Jones and Jason Jones as Bulldog linemen from the class of 2006 to play in college.
Michael is excited about the opportunity to extend his football career after his senior season at Thomson.
"I'm super excited about it. I miss it," he said. "I was kind of disappointed about how this season ended, and I didn't want my career to end like that. So I was really excited to make it back onto a football team and start playing again."
Although Michael will be considered a preferred walk-on during his freshman year, he said he will most likely receive a scholarship after that. He also feels confident that he can make second string by his sophomore season.
He doesn't quite know which position he will be on the depth chart in college yet, but he said that doesn't matter. The Charleston Southern coaches want their offensive linemen to be over 6'2" which moves Michael from his normal position.
"I'll probably be on D-line, but I said, ‚ÄòI don't care where you put me. I just want to play football,'" Michael said.
It's that attitude that helped him succeed at Thomson, Coach Luther Welsh said. He added that Michael should be able to continue that success in college.
"If he got a little quicker, I say he would do well because he's intelligent, and he has the size, and he's strong," Coach Welsh said.
Michael said he has already started conditioning and will begin practice with the team soon. But after his years of play and preparation at Thomson, he's not afraid of what's to come.
"They said if I can handle Coach Welsh's practice, I should be perfectly fine handling their practice," he said.