By: Melissa Maikos
Football, it’s a family affair at the McMahon household. Three boys, all bit by the football bug. It started with Ryan, then Ben, and finally baby brother Dylan who was basically born with a set of shoulder pads.
“I started playing football because it ran in the family.” Dylan said, “I started around 6 years old playing for the Talahi Tigers and just never let up.”
Dylan picked up the football family tradition by following in the footsteps of brothers Ryan and Ben. Ryan played center at Florida State and in fact spent so much time on the field at Doak Campbell Stadium that he set a record for starting the most consecutive games (50) at center. Ben, not to be outdone, played at Georgia and finished his career at Texas A&M. So, it should come as no surprise that Dylan has continued along the path of the pigskin.
The 6’3, 290 lb center is in his senior season at Savannah Christian Preparatory School. He was touted as a pre-season Class A private school All-State football player; he was All-State last year and has garnered attention from some of the elite Division I colleges in the country. In fact he was one of the most sought after offensive lineman in the country. Key word, “was”. He received offers from the likes of Georgia Tech, Northwestern, Virginia, Boston College, Colorado State, to name a few. But ultimately, the youngest McMahon is off the market and is verbally committed to taking his talents to Raleigh, North Carolina and the Wolfpack of NC State.
“When I went up to NC State for my recruiting visit on June 6th, my first impression was amazing. The fan base is crazy and I fell in love right away.” He adds, “You could tell they were a family. Everyone was real close. I committed on the spot.”
Football has given him fame but academics are his real game. He has a 3.9 GPA and please don’t call or text when he’s doing his homework. When Dylan was being recruited, he had to set parameters, “I put football and academics first, recruiting was second.” He adds, “I had to say ‘no’ to talking to coaches because I had homework.”
McMahon said he was receiving 30 or so text messages every day from coaches and four to five wanted to talk to him at night. He credits his parents and brothers for keeping him grounded.
“My parents invested in my education by sending me to Savannah Christian, they’ve been there for me and my family has helped me get to where I am.”
But he’s not exactly where he wants to be just yet. McMahon has some plans for his Raider family.
“Now that the pressure of recruiting is over, I can focus on being stress free. I’m playing for my brothers next to me,” he adds, “I’m playing for those around me and for us to get better every day. We want to go as far as we can, we want that state championship.”
However far he goes, you can bet the family tradition will not stop with Dylan, no, there are no more McMahon brothers or sisters, but you can bet where ever a McMahon goes family goes with it, whether it’s Savannah Christian, NC State, or beyond, it’s all in the family as long as there’s a McMahon involved.
By Melissa Maikos
He loves football and his momma, Quiana Atkins, affectionately known as “Q” who is also his biggest fan. “My mother had a big influence on me, she never missed a game, the road trips she got me there, anything I needed she got for me. She’s a big supporter, big love and I love her for that.” And thanks to his Mom and his passion for the pigskin, Jenkins High School’s Jeremy Smith has solidified himself as one to reckon with on the high school gridiron.
Jeremy found his love of football at the age of 9. He started playing pee wee football to hang out with his friends. He continued his game in middle school and that’s when his talent started to shine bright like the lights on Friday night in Fall. Smith started to get serious about his game, attending camps, playing in a future stars summer league and coaches started to take notice.
He currently has offers from Marshall, Tulane, Coastal Carolina, and Mercer. That list is sure to grow after an explosive start to his senior campaign. The senior running back and defensive back kicked off his final season in a warrior uniform in style. Through two games he’s found the end zone three times and is averaging over a hundred yards rushing.
His football stats are “off the chain” however, his academics are even more impressive, with a 25 on the ACT and a solid A average in the classroom, hitting the books comes first for Mr. Smith. “College recruiting has been good, but once you get into it, you have to look at the college and see how the academics are to prepare for life after football.”
Smith said it’s been a dream of his to go to the next level and play college football and beyond, however, if he doesn’t make it to the National Football League, his back up plan isn’t so shabby! He plans on studying Sports Medicine.
But the big question is, where will Mr. Smith be taking his talents? He remains closed lip on that one, but stay tuned because he said he may sign during the early signing period. Regardless of when he commits, his school of choice will gain a tremendous athlete, scholar, and a new #1 fan in Momma Q.