WHILE STARRING on both lines for Del-Val Charter's 2010 football team, Markeith Minnick received sincere FCS interest. Grades were not what kept him from accepting, seeing as how he boasted a 3.0.

"I thought I was better than that," he said. "I felt I just had to get my name out there a little more."

Right he was! The 6-5, 290-pound Minnick, who just completed one semester at Hargrave Military, in Virginia, has signed to play tackle for Memphis. And since he's already qualified, he'll begin classes Jan. 10.

"I want to thank the people at Del-Val for everything they've done for me," he said. "Being an up-and-coming program, Del-Val doesn't get major publicity. I was able to get more exposure at Hargrave."

Minnick also visited Mississippi State and Bethune-Cookman, and was hearing from Virginia Tech and Texas Tech. He visited Memphis last weekend.

"I went there with the suspicion they could be the one," he said. "They're on the way up, with a new coach [Justin Fuente] coming in from TCU, and they have new facilities. You should see their weight room. It's 130 yards long. That blew me away, right there!"

Said D-V coach Shelton Farmer: "This is great for Markeith, our school and the Public League. To come out of a small charter school and get a D-I scholarship; we're all very proud of him. There will be many more to come."

Minnick, who lives on 9th near Rockland, intends to major in psychology. "I feel I can help people with their problems," he said. "I like trying to help them."