Cheyton Pine's football recruitment has moved into a new phase, with some of the sport's most prestigious collegiate programs showing interest or offering. The University of Georgia has offered Pine a full scholarship and Notre Dame showed up recently at a Lafayette High spring practice to evaluate him.
Pine a 6-foot-3 1/2, 220-pound junior, now has 10 Division I scholarship offers, from FBS schools, Buffalo, Marshall, Virginia, Toledo, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, North Carolina State and Syracuse, as well as FCS power James Madison. Virginia Tech and Notre Dame are among those showing interest.
"Georgia (offering) was crazy," Pine said. "I almost lost it for a second, I was so happy.
"Then when Notre Dame came we couldn't talk (because of NCAA rules), but I so happy, too."
Pine helped spearhead the Rams run to Group 3A the state championship game after earning the starting outside linebacker spot during the playoffs. Pine got his first start at OLB in the second-round playoff game against Hopewell and had two tackles for loss, a one-handed interception and a fumble return for a touchdown in the 59-0 victory.
In the 49-8 state quarterfinal win over Petersburg, Pine had three tackles for loss and two others for no gain. He continued to shine in the state semifinal against Western Albemarle, with a tackle for loss, a key fumble recovery and a one-handed reception.
Despite his quick rise to stardom, Pine is confident about playing at the highest level of collegiate football.
"I've been doubted all my life, but I can handle my own with the big boys," he said, adding, "I know the SEC is that."