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Two-sport star settles on Emory

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Deion George had to decide not only where to play college ball, but what sport he’d play once there.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

Choosing a college is rarely an easy choice under any circumstances. Probably even more so for a prospective athlete, with so many unknowns involved.

Factor in the little detail that Deion George also had to choose between sports, and his decision must have really been a tough one.

But it seems one can never go wrong by picking the route George chose.

A two-sport star at Galax, George whittled his choices down among sports (he’ll play football) and colleges (he’ll attend Emory & Henry), announcing his plans recently at Galax High School.

“I had been talking to [Emory] for a while,” said George, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound point guard/shooting guard on the basketball team and wideout on the football team. “I started looking at Roanoke [College] and they got some paperwork to me, but I just made my decision to go to Emory and play football.”

George was a basketball prospect for Roanoke, as well as Concord University in Athens, W.Va. His football skills drew interest from numerous programs, including Ferrum and NCAA Division 1A William & Mary. 

For George, the choice between sports was more difficult than picking the venue in which he’d be doing the playing.

“I like both sports,” he said. “I’m big on football, but basketball’s my sport, too. It was a hard decision.”

As far as the school itself, Emory & Henry seemed like a pretty easy pick.

“It’s a great school,” he said. “The diversity there, I like it. The people are awesome, and the coaches, they remind me of our coaches [at Galax]. I think I’ll fit in when I get there.”

Having a traditionally-strong Twin County presence among the student body didn’t hurt his decision.

“I know a lot of people who go there, like Tyler Houk and Tyler Reavis, and a few other people who go there,” he said.

Houk and Reavis, as well as Mason King, are former Twin County players currently on the Wasps’ football roster, while numerous other area faces dot the overall Emory athletic program.

Having helped lead Galax to consecutive state championships in basketball, as well as an appearance in the state football championship game, the temptation to try his hand at both sports must have been strong for George, who opted instead to make the most of the academic side of being a student-athlete.

“I was thinking about playing both,” he said, “but with some of the classes I’ll have to take, I’ll have to deal with that so I made the decision not to play basketball.”

George said he was told he would start off his Emory career as a kick returner before working more as an offensive player as his time there grows.

Either way, the Wasp staff must feel like they’re getting a steal. As a returner, George averaged 26.3 yards on 12 kickoffs and 15.8 yards on 22 punt returns. He took a total of three kicks all the way back.

An all-state wide receiver, George was Galax’s go-to target, catching 40 passes for 864 yards and 15 touchdowns.