ELIZABETH - The Concord University football team of then first-year head coach Garin Justice took the West Virginia Conference by storm last year.
Not only did Justice win the WVIAC Coach of the Year award, but the Mountain Lions also won the conference football crown and advanced to the Division II playoffs.
Needless to say, coach Justice isn't looking to take a step back anytime soon and that's just one of the reasons why he recruited Wirt County three-time first team Class A all-state star Dalton Brindo.
Wirt County’s Dalton Brindo, accepted a scholarship offer from the Concord University earlier this year. (News and Sentinel File Photo)
Brindo, who accepted a scholarship offer from the Athens-based program earlier this year, is going to have a shot to come in and put himself on the two-deep charts right away.
"Dalton has that college body and he's a guy who can play a lot of different positions," Justice said of the 6-foot-3 Brindo, who was recruited as a tight end. "You can find size and find speed, but rarely do you find them both in one body and Dalton has both those characteristics.
"He's very diverse in what he can do. He can step right in and be a great special teams player. You think he could be a great tight end, a fullback type of guy who can catch the ball and split out wide and he could be a defensive player."
Although Justice isn't 100 percent certain how Brindo, assuming he can master the playbook, will fit it in. But he's glad to have him at Concord.
Brindo, who actually will head to CU shortly after Independence Day, is looking forward to the challenge.
"I guess it's one of those things I have to go down there and prove myself," said the expected athletic training major. "Most of the kids going down there to play don't have to report until the end of July because practice starts like Aug. 2.
"They want me to come down there and start lifting and getting in shape and learning the playbook and kind of be up to speed with the rest of the team before practices start."
The only three-time first team all-state pick in orange and black history said the final choice of his college destination came down between Concord and Charleston.
"Concord seemed to show a little more interest so I chose them," said Brindo, who had been to Athens for a football camp and a couple of recruiting visits.
A player who terrorized opposing squads on the field for Wirt County head coach Jason Hickman, Brindo could do just about anything on offense, defense and special teams.
"He's a guy you can put on the field and really create some mismatches," coach Justice added. "He's going to have an opportunity to play.
"We'll see what he does and we're excited about his opportunity and we know he's going to be a player for us."
Brindo had three catches for 74 yards and also snared the game-tying two-point conversion pass during last Saturday's eventual 36-28 overtime loss to the South as a member of the North squad.
"I wish the outcome was a little different, but it was fun," Brindo said of his North-South All-Star experience.
Although things will be different moving from single-A football to the college ranks, Brindo said he's ready to tackle what lies ahead.
"I'll say it will be a little bit harder than little old Wirt County, but after a couple weeks I'm sure I'll get into the swing of things and it will become easier as time goes on," Brindo said of making the transition to a college student-athlete.
"My goal is to just get a little bit of playing time my freshman year and make good grades."