Grenada's Hemphill looks to display size, athleticism at Fortius Project
Updated: Apr 19, 2019
Grenada 2020 tight end Salathiel Hemphill would be the first to say that stats do not always define great players at his position.
Last season, Hemphill only had two catches and four yards total, but his physicality was needed the most by head coach Ashley Kuhn. His 6’3, 227 pound frame was primarily used as a blocker in order to give running backs like Demarquese Gibson and Dontavius Shipp room to work on the line of scrimmage.
That has been Grenada's bread-and-butter the past few seasons, not just with running the ball, but by being physical and mentally tough every time they touch the field. It has done wonders for many before Hemphill.
“Grenada is proudly known as an explosive and aggressive team," Hemphill told SES Mississippi. "We seriously plan to keep that alive."
Hemphill sees that football can be more than just a game for student-athletes and can provide a way for them to continue their education after high school.
"We had 55 guys sign [to play college football] in eight years," Hemphill said. "Football provides a way for so many to continue their academic and athletic career at the next level."
For Hemphill's senior year, he is looking to put up big numbers and be a leader in the locker room.
"I plan to have a senior year of greatness," Hemphill said. "I am putting in the work to achieve that and play a role as a big leader to push others to [become] better and take the right path.”
As far as becoming a leader, Hemphill knows a large part of that is leading by example.
“I plan to work hard and show my work ethic, being a leader to the team," Hemphill said. "I feel the coaches are looking for a leader who will take on responsibilities, and I’m willing to step up and be that person. I plan to show them that I am mobile, and I can play whenever they put me; showing them my route running, blocking skills and ability to catch."
One of the stops being made in order to polish up his game is the upcoming Fortius Project on March 2 at Northeast Mississippi Community College.
“I plan to improve on the 5-10-5 [drill] and mostly my 40 time,” Hemphill said. “I hope to come out to a lot of competition to contribute help towards [my] route running and press release.”
Grenada returns most of their offensive playmakers from a year ago, most of whom are seniors. That includes Gibson at running back, Christian Wortham at receiver and do-it-all athlete Emmanuel Forbes. After failing to meet expectations a year ago with no playoffs, they’ll look for a senior season to remember.
“The end result was dissatisfying because of all the hard work the team did throughout the offseason and even at practice," Hemphill said. "We were missing the small parts and took a few things for granted that we need most. This coming season, we are losing a lot of key players, mostly on the defensive [side of the ball], but we are working hard in the weight room to fill those places. I expect the team to come into the season very mature and working hard as ever.”
To join Hemphill at the NEMCC Fortius Project on March 2, click here for more information and to register.