On the field, Byrnes linebacker and Texas Tech inductee Miquel Dingle Jr. looks like he was engineered in a football factory to play defense in today’s game.
A 6-foot-2, 220-pound second-tier defenseman who can play inside and outside linebacker, get back into man and zone coverage, who isn’t afraid to fill the gap in the running game and is so quick he posted the state’s best 110-meter hurdles time this year – and fifth fastest in the nation.
“He has a rare combination of extreme athleticism, intensity and a love of contact. So when you put it all together, you have a dangerous weapon,” Byrnes coach Reggie Shaw said.
Dingle is No. 9 in 864Huddle’s Dandy Dozen, a collection of upstate football’s top Class of 2023 prospects.
TWO SPORT STARS:How Byrnes’ Miquel Dingle Jr. became one of the top high school 110-meter hurdles sprinters
MEET THE TWELVE DANDY:Upstate’s top college football prospects for the Class of 2023
The three-star prospect — ranked No. 16 in South Carolina and No. 78 linebacker by the 247Sports Composite — felt like he was under-recruited.
“The whole time I was really pissed off I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t recruited. make it feel like I didn’t measure up. I started to question myself,” Dingle said. “I was just a little confused, because I was like, ‘What else do I have to do? What else do I have to do to make my dream come true?'”
But then he started focusing on the things he could control.
“Through this process, I’ve learned that there’s nothing you can do but be your best self. Go ahead and put some good reps on the film and get good ratings. C That’s all I could do. Then the rest is in God’s hands,” Dingle said. .
“It was heartbreaking to watch, because this kid lives for football. He’s been through ups and downs, just trying to figure out how to deal with adversity and disappointment and I think he’s grown from that. and matured to a level that most kids his age don’t have to,” Shaw said.
Dingle Jr., the son of former South Carolina running back Miquel “Mike” Dingle Sr., didn’t play college football until his freshman year after a broken foot put him out. away his entire second season.
“You have to have a film to be recruited, of course, the size and the speed definitely get you noticed, but they want to see you on film, and his film was very limited, so that put him a year behind in his recruitment,” Shaw said.
Even during his junior season, he transitioned from outside linebacker to inside mid-season.
“For most of the year, I tried to learn the different linebacker positions, because for me — who hadn’t played college football yet — it was very different from Little League,” said Dingle. “So I understood why I was initially under-recruited because I didn’t have the film until last season. But at the end of the season, I felt the film I released and my size and my speed, which in itself is something dangerous.”
Eventually, the schools began to notice that Dingle had 88 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and two sacks.
Dingle’s first offer came from UNC-Charlotte in late April, with West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Marshall all contacting the rebel linebacker. But when Texas Tech came knocking with an offer and an official visit, it knew the Red Raiders had something special.
“I spoke to many coaches throughout the process and I would say every Tech coach I spoke to was genuine,” Dingle said. “They were really curious about me, they were really asking me questions and it was just one of those things where I felt like you can’t fake it…everything was perfect.”