By Steve Williams
Brody Rollins is not one to slow down, but his athletic career on the next level may be a little simpler. He won’t be going from one sport to the next as he did the past four years at South-Doyle High School.
“Yes, I will only be playing football in college,” stated Rollins via e-mail last week. He will report to Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C., June 24. “I’m just trying to get ready for the next level.”
Rollins, who started and excelled in football, basketball and baseball throughout his prep career, is the 2014-15 Student-Athlete of the Year at South-Doyle. He also was named the school’s Male Student-Athlete of the Year as a junior.
“I feel honored to receive this award again because anybody will tell you that academics are a major factor when you are talking to colleges.”
Last year, Rollins said his goals for his senior year would be to win the state football championship and get to play on the next level.
“Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better senior season with all my friends and coaches,” he reflected. “We fell a little short of our goal but I wouldn’t have traded anything about this season, and I was blessed enough to receive a scholarship to play at the next level, so that was a plus.”
Rollins, a quarterback and defensive back, put up some big offensive numbers as he steered South-Doyle to a perfect 10-0 regular season and a berth in the Class 5A quarterfinals. The Cherokees’ only loss came against the West Rebels, the eventual state champions.
Rollins rushed for 1,516 yards and 20 touchdowns and passed for 1,479 yards and 20 more TDs in earning the IMAC District 2-AAA Offensive Player of the Year award. He also was a first-team Class 5A All-State selection by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association.
“Beating Sevier County for the district championship was very special,” noted Rollins when asked of his top senior year memories.
Both teams came into that game at Sevierville unbeaten in district play. The Cherokees left with a 33-19 victory over the Smoky Bears.
Other football honors included being named to the East/West All-Star team and being selected to play in the prestigious Kentucky-Tennessee Border Bowl on Jan. 10. He had four tackles in that game while playing defensive back.
Rollins, a wing guard, also was part of a special basketball season as South-Doyle reached the Region 1-AAA semifinals before losing a heartbreaker to Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett in the closing moments.
In baseball, Rollins, a southpaw, again batted leadoff, played centerfield and was one of the team’s top pitchers. He earned all-district honors for the third straight year. The Cherokees were 13-20 overall, but finished 9-5 in the district and notched impressive non-district wins over Seymour, Maryville, Catholic and Hardin Valley Academy, which ended up winning the Class AAA state title.
Rollins, who attends Sevier Heights Baptist Church, was a Careacter Star Athlete and received the Johnny Mauer Academic/Athletic Award this year.
Prior to the state quarterfinal showdown against South-Doyle, West Coach Scott Cummings stated, “Brody Rollins is good with his feet and his arm, but his best quality I think is his competitive nature. He’s the type of young man we would all love to have on our teams.”
Rollins received a full scholarship to Gardner-Webb, a NCAA Division 1 school which plays in the Big South Conference.
“I just really like everything about Gardner-Webb, from the coaches to the players and all the facilities and campus,” said Brody, who currently is on the GWU roster as No. 15 and listed 5-11, 180.
The Gardner-Webb bio on Rollins also stated he “runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds and is an exceptional dual threat quarterback.”
“I don’t know where I am in the depth chart as of right now, but they told me if I come in and work and compete hard that I have a chance of playing.”
That shouldn’t be a problem for the three-sport standout South-Doyle fans have enjoyed seeing compete for the Cherokees.
“I would just like to thank my family, friends, coaches and teammates for a great four years at South Doyle,” added Rollins.