• 75°

Pro football: Dorty to Redskins rookie camp

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
WOODLEAF — The call from the Washington Redskins came at 2 p.m. on Sunday, and Tristan Dorty’s very brief “retirement” from football was history.
“It’s kind of a weird feeling,” Dorty said. “It’s a good feeling, but I don’t think it has all sunk in yet.”
Dorty, who was a pass-rushing, run-crushing monster of a defensive lineman in his prep days at West Rowan, will be one of a host of free agents reporting to the Redskins’ rookie mini-camp in Ashburn, Va., on Thursday.
Dorty wasn’t a Redskins guy growing up, but at least he wasn’t a Dallas Cowboys fan.
“I always followed the Minnesota Vikings because of Randall Cunningham,” Dorty confessed.
Dorty has agreed to a deal, but there are no guarantees attached to it — just an opportunity. He’ll be in camp with other immensely talented free agents such as East Carolina receiver Lance Lewis of Concord Spiders fame.
An opportunity in a pro camp is actually more than Dorty, who will be looked at as an inside linebacker by the Redskins, had hoped for.
His career at Wake Forest was solid — he was a three-year starter — but a painful parade of injuries to his back, toes, ankles and fingers prevented him from repeating the sort of dominance he enjoyed at West Rowan, where he was All-State, a Shrine Bowler and the 2006 Rowan Defensive Player of the Year.
He had three sacks as a Wake soph and 44 tackles as a junior, before registering 38 tackles and a modest four hurries in an injury-plagued — and sackless — senior season.
It was a serious finger injury that had Dorty on the verge of easing away from football and into the work force. He graduated from Wake in January with a communications degree and has been serving an internship with the federal justice department in Washington, D.C.
“I had surgery on my finger in January and really couldn’t train the way that I wanted to,” Dorty said. “I didn’t even participate in Wake’s Pro Day (in March) because I felt like I could only hurt my draft stock — that is, if I still had any stock.”
Dorty stands between 6-foot-1 and 6-2 and weighs in the range of 250 pounds. He has run 4.7 40s, although he’s usually more of a 4.8 guy.
There’s potential there, if he’s healthy, and the Redskins know they’re giving a look to a solid citizen. Not only is Dorty a college grad, he owns a disciplined work ethic.
Dorty had just about convinced himself that it was time to forget football, but then he started watching the three-day NFL draft circus and started seeing the names of his Demon Deacon teammates called out.
Guard Joe Looney to San Francisco in the third round. Linebacker Kyle Wilber to Dallas in the fourth. Receiver Chris Givens to the Rams in the fourth. Then West Davidson’s Josh Bush, who grew up maybe 25 miles from Dorty, went in the sixth to the Jets.
“I had started having regrets about not going to Pro Day and started thinking maybe I’d made some bad decisions,” Dorty said. “You start seeing your friends and teammates drafted, and with each one, you’re like, ‘Wow, that could’ve been me.’ ”
But the Redskins saw something they liked, and Dorty who has been playing football since he was a fifth-grade middle linebacker, will be given a chance to show what he can do this week.
“I realized when the Redskins called that I’d never lost the drive to play football,” Dorty said. “I feel lucky that I’ve always had the drive. Even as a child I dreamed of the NFL, and now I have a chance. My mom was really excited. She said she knew all along that I still wanted to play football.”
Scott Young, Dorty’s coach at West, has held NFL hopes for him for years, maybe since the day coach Brad Lambert showed up in Mount Ulla to try to talk Dorty into becoming a Demon Deacon.
“I’m pumped for Tristan,” Young said. “I don’t think there’s been a Falcon in an NFL camp since David Drechsler (1983-84) was a Packer.”

Comments

Comments closed.

Nation/World

$1 trillion infrastructure plan clears Senate hurdle

College

College-bound North Carolina football player shot to death

Legion baseball

American Legion baseball: Rowan bounces back behind Schenck, reaches semifinals today

Education

Johnson C. Smith, Pfeiffer universities among latest to pay off student debts

Kannapolis

American Legion baseball: Kannapolis ends season

Business

Evictions looming as Congress refuses to extend ban that expires today

Coronavirus

Panthers linebacker Perryman will wear mask, won’t get vaccinated

Crime

Kannapolis man gets 180 months in prison after $100,000 worth of narcotics found in his apartment

Crime

New court date set for county commissioner’s driving while impaired case

Crime

Man arrested for pair of Salisbury convenience store robberies

Coronavirus

Governor changes course on masks amid worsening trends from delta variant

Coronavirus

Vaccination rules for federal workers toughened

Local

Mayor Alexander joins coalition of NC mayors urging passage of bipartisan infrastructure package

Local

New forklift’s arrival ‘a joyous moment’ for Rowan Helping Ministries

Local

Quotes of the week

East Spencer

Spencer, East Spencer hosting joint National Night Out

Business

Backcountry and Beyond prepares for move to downtown Salisbury

Education

Kannapolis City Schools will ‘strongly recommend,’ not require masks

Business

Ahold Delhaize hopes to add 100 new employees at Salisbury distribution center

Local

Cooler weather on the horizon for Rowan after heat wave

Crime

Blotter: July 29

Local

Downtown residents, business owners say noisy construction is A-OK, sign of progress to come

Business

County unemployment rises in June, positive job growth seen in leisure and hospitality sector

Local

NC poet laureate will speak during historical marker celebration, talks about life, race