Disappointment set in for Dupree when he didn't hear it, but shortly after the last pick in the draft, his phone rang.
The Jacksonville Jaguars offered Dupree a free-agent contract, which Dupree signed on Monday. He departs for Florida on Wednesday.
Dupree said playing in the NFL is "like a dream come true."
"I had to go to their website to make sure they weren't messing with me," Dupree joked. "This whole process seemed like it took forever. I never thought I'd be in this position. I just want to make the best of the opportunity."
Last season for JSU, Dupree caught 49 passes for 799 yards and 10 touchdowns. As a punt returner, Dupree had 17 returns for 193 yards with a long return of 39 yards. As a kick returner, Dupree had 19 kickoffs for 537 yards and a touchdown with his longest return being 99 yards.
Cherokee County quarterback Coty Blanchard and several of his football teammates are becoming more than just blips on the radar for college recruiters.
Last week, Blanchard, Caleb Crane, Gabriel Chambers, D.J. Fife, Desmond Brown and Warrior coach Tripp Curry all took part in a football combine at the University of Alabama.
Blanchard wowed the college scouts in attendance, including South Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons. Simmons listed Blanchard as one of the combine’s top five offensive players. Simmons reported on a story originally published on SuperPrep.com that Blanchard “picked on defensive backs and threw balls that receivers could catch in stride.”
Curry, who was coaching the receivers at the combine, said all of the pass catchers wanted Blanchard to be the quarterback who threw them the ball.
“The thing he does the best is in college, you have a window of opportunity to throw the ball. In high school, you have a little bit bigger window with a faster athlete like what we’ve got with Gabriel, D.J. and Colin (Perry). In college, you’ve just got that split second of throwing the ball. That’s what he does so good. That’s why the receivers really want to throw with him, because he hits that window of opportunity when you’re open. That’s what the receivers like.”
Curry said Blanchard has received increased interest over the past few weeks from several Southeastern Conference schools, especially from the University of Tennessee.
“I got a call (Thursday) morning where he is the top quarterback on the University of Tennessee’s list right now,” Curry said. “I would assume they’ll come through (with a scholarship offer). Once they come through, then everybody else will come through. It just takes the first one. Everybody wants him right now, but we’ll just see how it goes.”
Other schools outside of the SEC showing strong interest in Blanchard include Jacksonville State, Middle Tennessee, Troy and Marshall.
“Jacksonville State has been the one to really check on him,” Curry said. “(Assistant) Coach Jimmy Ogle and the rest of the coaches at Jacksonville State have been really wonderful to us.
“This is a fun time for Coty and a fun time for his family. The thing we’ve got to do is make sure he’s staying focused in the classroom and making sure he’s staying focused in society as a whole. We’ve got to make sure we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves.”
Cedar Bluff junior catcher Jim Nelson and head coach Taylor Talbot have been selected to the North All-Star baseball team. The North-South All-Star baseball doubleheader is part of Alabama All-Star Sports Week, held July 13-17 in Huntsville.
The baseball doubleheader is set for July 13 at 4 p.m. at Joe Davis Stadium, home of the Southern League’s Huntsville Stars.
Sports Week features in-state all-star games in volleyball, girls and boys basketball and football as well.
Also included are clinics for coaches, athletic directors and administrators with Florida football coach Urban Meyer and former Alabama men’s basketball coach C.M. Newton among the guests running clinics.