Demopolis duo getting plenty of attention

Tyler Merriweather makes a tackle for Demopolis during the 2012 season.

Tyler Merriweather makes a tackle for Demopolis during the 2012 season.

Demopolis seniors Tyler Merriweather and Demetrius Kemp are getting plenty of attention this offseason as each player has close to a dozen collegiate offers already in hand.

“It is the most we’ve had this early,” Demopolis head coach Tom Causey said of the attention being paid to the duo. “Obviously, the play that they’ve done over the last couple of years and the biggest thing is that both of these guys are qualified right now. Their core GPA, both of them are over a 3.3. Both of them are 19 or better on the ACT. That makes them very recruitable.”

The duo, as well as other players across the country, has been helped tremendously by the advent of Hudl.com, the football social networking site that allows coaches and players to share film instantly.

“I think it is the Hudl program,” Kemp said of the increased attention being paid to Demopolis players. “Coach Causey helps out a lot. He’ll get our Hudl program together and send it out to everybody he knows and then they’ll send it to someone.”

“Hudl has been great for us. What we did is every junior we have, we ask that they make highlights and what we do is we make that available to college coaches of all levels,” Causey said. “With Hudl, we have a mass email list of schools throughout the country who have Hudl. So we just sent those highlights out to them right then. If a coach ever calls on a player, their highlight is available to him simply by typing a few words into the computer as long as he has got internet.

Demetrius Kemp has collected offers from more than a dozen schools.

Demetrius Kemp has collected offers from more than a dozen schools.

“The availability of getting film out – whereas in the past I would have to go down to the post office and if I was going to send 17 different schools film, had to send 17 different packages to 17 different schools. It gets there within 30 seconds of typing it up. So that has helped.”

Still, while Hudl has helped to raise the profile of the Demopolis duo, Causey turned his attention again toward the academic standing and character of each player to account for the sheer volume of offers.

“But the biggest thing is them being recruitable,” Causey said. “Their academics, their play for the last couple of years and being high character guys and not having discipline issues. Guys on their team are starting to get attention because of them.”

As it stands, Merriweather, a defensive end has offers from Georgia Tech, Northern Illinois, Furman, Arkansas State, The Citadel, Mercer, UT-Chattanooga, Troy, Appalachian State, Memphis, Louisiana Tech and Western Kentucky.

“It doesn’t take much,” Merriweather said of the fight to remain focused on the task at hand rather than being distracted by the bells and whistles of college football recruiting. “I try to be as humble as I can. I talk to my parents about it a lot and my coaches. Big Steve helps me out a lot. Mainly, right now I’m just trying to focus on Demopolis football. I’m more excited about Demopolis football than I am about the offers I’m getting. I’m just trying to keep my head level.”

Kemp, who is being slotted at safety by most schools at the next level, has offers from Appalachian State, South Alabama, Furman, The Citadel, Arkansas State, Troy, Middle Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Northern Illinois, Mercer, UT-Chattanooga, Memphis and Louisiana Tech.

“I try real hard to stay focused on Demopolis football because this is my last year of high school and I’m trying to leave with a ring,” Kemp said of his state championship aspirations. “We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to get Demopolis football taken care of.”

“They’ve handled it real well,” Causey said of the tandem’s ability to remain focused. “That’s a credit to their character No. 1, but also to DaMarcus James, Steve Foster, Greg Irvin, Larry Cobb, Anthony Hardy, Rodney Harper, Kessy Bell, Wiley Isaac, those guys that have been recruited and have had the opportunity to go play college football. They’ve seen those guys be recruited and they know the process. I think they understand that, as flattering as it is, it can all go away like that.”

But the recruitment of Merriweather and Kemp has also helped to open the doors for other Demopolis players. Specifically, Cortez Lewis has received increased attention of late.

The Demopolis wideout recently picked up an offer from The Citadel and has the chops to pocket plenty more opportunities before season’s end.

“His height. His size. It doesn’t look like it, but Cortez is 194 or 195 pounds,” Causey said of Lewis. “Cortez is qualified. He has made his ACT. He has made his core grades where they need to be and he is qualified right now. He’s big. He’s got big hands. He is not a quick guy, but he is a fast guy.”