FOOTBALL: Cody Deal headed to Sewanee

Joining Cody Deal for his signing ceremony at LaFayette High School on Monday afternoon were parents Tony and Keith Deal, LaFayette assistant coach Austin Crisp, former LaFayette head coach Chad Fisher and LaFayette assistant coach Shane Cauthorn. (Photo by Scott Herpst)

Cody Deal has been something of an iron man for the LaFayette Ramblers for the past few years, playing in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

It’s that type of work ethic that will serve him well at the next stop in his football career.

The senior lineman made his choice official on Monday afternoon, signing with Sewanee University during a ceremony at the high school.

Deal said he was looking forward to another four years of school and hard work.

“(Playing in college) is definitely something I’ve thought about doing since I was in middle school,” he explained. “I went back and forth on it the last two years, but I came to realize that I really wanted to do it.”

Deal said he would most likely play on the offensive line with the Tigers.

“He’s a great kid, a great student and a hard worker,” said former LaFayette head coach Chad Fisher, who was among those on hand for the signing. “He loves football. We’re happy for him and wish him nothing but the best.”

Fisher said that Deal’s competitive fire would serve him well at the next level.

“The biggest thing is his relentless effort,” Fisher continued. “He works his butt off and competes daily. He wants to please his coaches and wants to do well. I think just that hard work and effort is what he’ll be able to contribute right off the bat. It’s a testament to the type of kid he is and the type of success he’ll have in college.”

Deal was a Catoosa/Walker County Football Dream Team honorable mention pick this past fall and also wrestled for the Ramblers.

On the mat, the 220-pounder was first at the Area 6-AAAA championships, first at the state sectionals and got through to the championship semifinals in the state tournament before finishing fifth. He ended the the 2017-2018 year with a 41-8 overall record.

Deal said he liked Sewanee partly due to the fact that it is close to home. Located at the top of Monteagle, the campus is a little more than a 90-minute drive from south Walker County.

“Sewanee really has that home atmosphere. It really feels like LaFayette,” Deal added. “I’m hoping to bring my hard work as a player and help contribute to their program.”

The NCAA Division III school is also known for its academics and Deal should fit in just fine on that front. He currently has a 3.78 grade point average and has served as class president three times at LaFayette, including this year.

Deal is undecided on a major.

Sewanee, also known as The University of the South, is best remembered for its fabled 1899 team. Known as the Iron Men, the Tigers went 12-0 that season against Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Southwestern, Texas, Texas A&M, Tulane, LSU, Ole Miss, Cumberland, Auburn and North Carolina. They allowed just 10 points all year long with all 10 coming in an 11-10 win at Auburn in the next-to-last game of the season.

The Iron Men moniker came about as the Tigers played five games of those game in six days from Nov. 9-Nov. 14, winning all five on the road by shutout. They were a member of the SEC from 1932-1940.

In 2012, the College Football Hall of Fame named the 1899 Sewanee team as the greatest (single-season) team in college football history.

The Purple Tigers joined the Southern Athletic Association in 2012. They went 3-7 overall and 2-6 in the SAA in 2017.