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David Spaulding: The Last Web of Defense

By Barry Every
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This past season he saw action at both cornerback and free safety racking up 48 tackles, three TFL’s, two INT’s and one FR.

Ross Couch was named head coach at Hinesville (Ga.) Bradwell Institute prior the 2017 season; it marked the third change of power in the last five years for the Tigers.  In his first season at the helm he led his team to a (6-4) record, the first time in eight seasons that they had reached that win total.

With changes comes unbridled enthusiasm and revised coaching philosophies. One of players that bought into the teachings of the new regime is 6-foot-2, 170-pound defensive back David Spaulding. This past season he saw action at both cornerback and free safety racking up 48 tackles, three TFL’s, two INT’s and one FR.

“He was used to playing press coverage, but in our scheme we play a lot of zone defense, and he really worked his butt off to learn the new system,” Couch said. “He is one of the most athletic kids in our school and now he is starting to add that needed muscle mass to be an impact player. His football IQ is slowly increasing which is going to really make him a better overall player.”

This past spring Spaulding was unable to attend any college camps and he didn’t receive any invites to attend games this past fall. All that is about to change as college recruiters have found out about this hidden gem in Southeast Georgia.

Coastal Carolina was the first school to come calling, having him up for Junior Day a few weeks ago. Since then he has been invited and is scheduled to pay a visit to East Carolina on March, 17. Navy has also been calling recently trying to set up a meeting in Annapolis, Maryland. Other schools showing strong interest in his talents are Duke and Wofford.

There are two schools he would really like to hear more from, they are Georgia and Georgia Southern.

“I would like to stay closer to home, plus I like the defenses both schools run,” Spaulding said. “I really don’t care what position I play at the next level, safety or corner is fine to me. I will even be playing some receiver my senior year, my brother played that position this past season as a senior.”

Spaulding currently has a 3.2 GPA and is set to take the ACT for the first time on April, 11. Once a qualifying test score comes back college recruiters will be ascending onto Hinesville, Georgia in hopes of getting a glimpse of this long and rangy corner.

“He has really done a great job expanding his ability to be recruited,” Couch said. “He has started to a come on strong in the classroom and has improved his overall academic prowess. David is just a great kid with a great work ethic. He has really bought into the program and he comes from a great family upbringing. He has the makeup to be a great person and prospect moving forward.”

Spaulding missed out on the basketball season, this past season due to an illness, but plans on hitting the hardwood for the Tigers during his senior year. In the meantime he is set to take part on the track squad where he plans on running the 400-meters and possibly the 200-meters.

But, his biggest goal is helping his team make the playoffs and that means winning games in a Region 2-AAAAAA . The task won’t be easy with the likes of Brunswick (Ga.), Brunswick (Ga.) Glynn Academy and Richmond Hill (Ga.) all stocked with elite athletes on their respective rosters.

“I feel like I’m pretty smart on the field, knowing what routes are most likely going to be run based on the down and distance,” Spaulding said. “When playing safety I will have to be conscious of taking better attack angles. My other goal is to gain about ten more pounds while continuing to improve my top end speed.”

Spaulding admits last season was a major learning curve for all and true change is only made through example. That not only means leading others, but listening to what is being taught by the coaching staff.

“The defense we ran last season was real nice, but we didn’t comprehend as a unit and that really showed up in region play,” Spaulding said. “But now we know how to execute it and play fast. All the defensive backs last year were juniors and now we are ready for change on the scoreboard. I plan on being a leader and continually working on the basics and techniques of my position.”

Spaulding can be seen next in action May, 12 when the Tigers take on Savannah (Ga.) Windsor Forest in the Spring scrimmage. College recruiters looking for a potential long corner that spreads a massive web, should mark their calendars for this date.