MARION, South Carolina — Marion Swamp Foxes running back and junior linebacker Rodrick McRae is taking a solid approach to the game while training this offseason. Along with adding bulk to his 215-pound frame, “Dino” McRae is putting in weight plates and numbers ahead of the 2022 season.
McRae competed in the state weightlifting competition in March, placing second overall in his weight class. He ranked first in the state with a bench press of 360 pounds and second in the squat at 535 pounds.
“We also had to do the long jump,” McRae said. “It felt good to be recognized with all the kids in the state.”
McRae said lifting weights has been part of his workout routine since middle school. The competition also helps him with his explosiveness, blocks and tackles, he said.
“I train every day,” he said. “It’s really exciting to prepare for the season. I’m just training and working on different football drills.
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McRae trains with former NFL linebacker Anthony Waters and has attended camps hosted by current NFL All Pro linebacker and Indianapolis Colts star Shaquille Leonard.
“I learned a lot and got in great shape,” McRae said. “I’ve worked with him for two years and I feel like my body has changed.”
McRae said he works hard to be the best he can be and lets his efforts go down the court. He attended several camps over the summer, including VTO Sports Camp, Palmetto Combine Series, and Football University Top Gun. He has also conducted campus tours for camp events at Notre Dame, Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University, University of South Carolina, Wake Forest University, Coastal Carolina University, and North Carolina Central University.
Off the pitch, he boasts more impressive numbers with a 4.9 GPA. His goals include playing college football and becoming a doctor.
Marion Swamp Foxes trainer Brian Hennecy said McRae is one of many hard-working players in the weight room.
“He understands that in his position he has to be physically strong,” Hennecy said. “He must have enough strength and stamina to play on both sides of the ball.”
Hennecy said McRae was interested in multiple schools.
“He’s a very good player for us and I hope he has another successful year,” he said.
Swamp Foxes assistant coach Travis Lewis said it was reassuring that a player was doing the extra work.
“I’m so proud of him,” Lewis said. “I push him as hard as he can be pushed physically and mentally. He must learn to deal with adversity.
McRae gained experience playing college football since eighth grade.
“I like defense but I really like playing running back,” he said.
Hennecy said he is working on plans as hard as he can and expects McRae to have a productive season.