The eye test lies.
Imhotep junior wide receiver D’Shaun Seals is proof.
When he gets off the bus, the 5-foot-5, 155-pounder likely doesn’t strike fear. When opponents try to catch him in the open field, however, Seals and his coaches know that’s a different story.
They also hope college coaches take notice.
“I’m always doubted because of my size,” Seals said Wednesday. “Until that first or second play. Then they start trying to lock up on me.”
Saturday at 6 p.m., visiting La Salle High will need to keep an eye on No. 10, because he likely won’t stand still for long inside the Germantown Supersite.
“There’s nothing he can’t do,” new receivers coach Richard Williams said. “We can put him in the backfield. We can put him in the Wildcat. We can split him outside, inside [receiver]. Kick return. Punt return. The kid is dangerous.”
Being fast, quick, and elusive makes Seals a problem. Practicing against Division I-caliber defensive backs in a program known for sending DBs to big-time universities makes him ultra-competitive.
“Everybody thinks that Imhotep is ‘DB U.,’ he said, “but this year, we’re trying to change it to ‘Wide Receiver U.’”
Shafeek Smith and Saint McLeod, both in the class of 2021, are defensive backs with more than 10 offers apiece, according to 247Sports.com. Smith holds offers from Penn State, Maryland, Temple, and others. McLeod has offers from Temple, Iowa State, Maryland, and more.
Cameron Jackson, also in the 2021 class, recently got an offer from Massachusetts. Javon McIntyre, another junior, has offers from Tennessee, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers, and more. Rahmir Stewart, a freshman, has colleges interested now, and Williams expects official offers to follow.
“Everybody in our secondary will hold a Division I offer, so it’s different at our practice,” Williams said.
For Seals, that means continuing practice habits that started last year against Imhotep star Tykee Smith, now a freshman safety at West Virginia.
It also means filling a leadership void left when star wideout Yusuf Terry graduated last year and went to Baylor.
“If they’re coming to me like I was going to Yusuf and Tykee last year, then I think I’m doing a good job,” Seals said.
Williams called Seals a natural leader who, though he’s only 16, commands the respect of everyone in the program.
Williams is, of course, biased, but perhaps not just because he’s Seals’ coach. Williams was a 5-foot-2 nose guard at Roxborough, where he graduated in 2006. Williams then played a season at Cheyney, he said.
His size earned him a name that has stuck to this day.
“I played like [William] ‘Refrigerator’ Perry, but I was short so they called me ‘the Microwave’ instead,” Williams said.
He wants his receivers to earn a similar reputation.
“I tell them, ‘We play offense, but we hit you like it’s defense,” he said. Expect them to be excellent blockers and to be physical at the line of scrimmage.
When it comes to Seals, Williams also has advice for college coaches.