• John Macon Gillespie

Dabney To Be "Fastest" At Fortius

The Callaway football program in Jackson has been a steady producer of top football talent in recent years.

Offensive linemen Aaron Morris and Justin Bell played at Ole Miss, while Jocquell Johnson is currently at MSU. The 2014 class saw Rod Taylor, Breeland Speaks, Ronald Walker and Dayall Harris sign with Ole Miss.

More guys, are coming as well in 2017's Aaron Odom and Emanuel Dabney, as well as 2018 star Malik Heath. Each of the three have SEC offers. Dabney is a Mississippi State commitment.

Being committed to a school in the SEC Western division before his senior year is a big deal for Dabney. It has also made his coaches push him even harder, he says. As for his future coaches in Starkville, what do they tell him they like about him?

“Coverage skills, technique and how I’m not afraid to come down and hit,” Dabney told SES Mississippi.

Other top players across Mississippi will get a chance to see those talents when he comes to compete at the Fortius Project this spring. He is confident in the abilities he will show.

“I’ll probably be the fastest defensive back there,” Dabney said. “My height to be able to guard big wideouts and my speed will be what impresses people.”

However, he won’t be in attendance to impress, instead he will be there to improve his game. Which is really cool and says a lot coming from a guy who has already accomplished something so many players work so hard to attain. He is not satisfied and wants to continue to put in work to get better any chance he gets.

“Getting out of my breaks faster,” He said when asked what he was looking to improve most at Fortius and during the offseason.

Not only is he competing against himself to get better but also some of the state’s best athles.

“Just being able to come and compete with other players,” also excites Dabney.

With all his size, speed, coverage skills and technique that the Mississippi State coaches love so much he was able to put together a big time season last year. He finished his junior campaign with 41 tackles, nine pass break-ups, three interceptions and a blocked field goal. In addition to his blocked field goal, he also scored one of his two touchdowns on a kickoff return. He also returned one of his two interceptions against Terry for a score.

Next season, he knows he will have to step up for his team, as his role looks to expand. He is set to play both sides of the ball, as he is likely to play receiver and some situational option-quarterback. This should help his team, who will also be looking to get better in 2016.

“Me personally, I’ll probably have to play both sides and get bigger,” Dabney said. “Team-wise, we have to work harder and want it more. We have to stop being satisfied with just being good.”

**Photo by Keith Warren of the MHSAA.

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