From East to Maryland, Dinkins now on his way to Howard
He kept his 907 cell number. He stayed in touch with his childhood buddies. He remembered the struggles of being so far away from the rest of the country.
“I am very proud of where I am from and I hope I can be a motivator for younger football players that have been told they can’t play Division 1 football out of Alaska and they can’t compete with the talent in the Lower 48,” Dinkins told me. “It is not true and they have just as much ability as they do.”
He knows firsthand because he proved the theory to be correct.
Dinkins, of East High fame, parlayed a stellar season at St. Charles High School in Waldorf, Maryland, into a scholarship offer to Howard University in Washington, D.C.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end made it official on National Signing Day.
“It feels great to get the recruiting process done with and know where I will be receiving my education, playing football and calling home for the next four years,” Dinkins said. “Howard was the perfect place for me. It met my needs academically and football wise.”
Dinkins was encouraged by Howard’s hiring of new coach Mike London, a former NFL player and longtime college coach at programs like Maryland and Virginia.
“He has won at every level and laid out his vision to me and I immediately had the feeling that this is where I wanted to be and wanted to be a part of,” Dinkins said. “We are going to be something to watch for in the coming years.”
Dinkins attended East for three years before transferring to St. Charles.
“Of course, it was a tough decision to leave the place I started high school at. I was a part of a rebuilding process right on the break of being state champions. Sadly, I missed out on that,” he said. “But every snap I played was for my brothers at East and family back home. It was the right decision because it ended with me going to one of the best academic institutions in the nation and having the opportunity to play Division 1 football.”
Dinkins said the difference is small between football in Alaska and Maryland.
“A little more technique is used here. However, we definitely have the size, speed, and athleticism to compete at the highest level here in the Lower 48,” he said.
In picking Howard, Dinkins turned down offers from prestigious D2 programs such as national runner-up Shepherd University, Seton Hill and Alderson Broaddus University, who sported the country’s second-ranked defense last season.
“Howard is a very good educational school and fits my academic needs,” he said. “Education is very important to me because football won’t always be there. Of course, my dream is the NFL for my family and myself but also education is as well.”