Shearin inks with UVA-Wise

Published 11:25 am Thursday, May 14, 2009

FRANKLIN — Donzell Shearin, who helped lead Franklin High School to the Group A Division I football championship and won several all-state awards, will continue his football career at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Shearin signed to play with the Cavaliers at a ceremony at Franklin High School on Wednesday.

Flanked by his parents Kenneth and Bonnie, Franklin head coach Darren Parker, and UVA-Wise head coach Bruce Wasem, Shearin signed on the dotted line in what all are calling a logical choice.

“It’s a good place to continue my education and my football career, and they offered me a scholarship,” Shearin said. “I liked it. It really stood out.”

“It’s a great fit for him. He’s happy with his decision, his parents are happy, and I’m happy with his decision,” Parker said. “The kid has played here for four years. He’s an outstanding athlete and an outstanding student and a great role model for kids in this area.”

UVA-Wise is a NAIA school in the Mid-South Conference. The team went 8-3 last year under Wasem, who is starting his eighth year as head coach and has been with the program since its beginnings in 1991. Wasem saw Shearin play in the state championship game in Salem in December and took advice from the opposing team’s coaches.

“The defensive coordinator and head coach for Clintwood talked to me after that game. They said ‘coach, you were there, you better get after that Shearin kid. He’s the best we’ve ever seen,'” Wasem said. “We were interested right away.”

Wasem said he has heard good things about Shearin off the playing field as well.

“We liked that he’s done everything on his part. People have talked about him as a person, not only as a player,” Wasem said.

Shearin, who hauled in 16 interceptions and landed 60 tackles his senior season, has been offered a scholarship and financial aid package and will likely play free safety for the Cavaliers.

“I think he has a chance to step in there right away,” Wasem said.

Parker said that Shearin should be able to fit right in to the new program.

“He’s the type of player that fits into a team. No matter what, he’s going to fit in,” Parker noted.

Shearin, who was named an all-state first-team defensive back and was also voted the Group A Defensive Player of the Year, will play in the Virginia High School Coaches Association East-West All-Star game in July.