Blogs > Burney's Bites

Burney's Bites will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

One More Valley Guy

Let's not forget about Darris Sawtelle, a behemoth of an offensive lineman who prepped at Birmingham Brother Rice, and is also in the fold for the new Mitchell-regime at Grand Valley State. A high school All-American in his days under legendary Rice football coach head coach Al Fracassa, Sawtelle  graduated from Rice in 2007 and started his college playing career in the SEC at Tennessee. After redshirting in the fall of '07 and missing time in '08 due to injury, Sawtelle left Planet Rocky Top last May when current USC coach, Lane Kiffin, took over the Volunteers program. The 6-6 320 pound tackle is the grandson of former Detroit Lions all-pro defensive lineman, Darris McCord, who as a member of the Lions infamous "Fearsome Foursome" (along with Alex Karas, Roger Brown, and Sam Williams) helped lead the franchise to its last NFL World Championship in 1957. McCord was an All-American in the early 1950's at Tennessee and Sawtelle initially wanted to follow in his footsteps playing in Knoxville. Following a meeting with Kiffin in Kiffin's first few days on the job – Kiffin has recently left the Vols' program to go head the glitzier and glammed-out USC Trojans football team in the fall-out resulting from Pete Carroll leaving South L.A. for an NFL job with the Seattle Seahawks  – ,Sawtelle decided that Tennessee was no longer the place he wanted to spend the remainder of his college days. With ole' grandpa signing off on his choice to leave the Vols, he made the switch to GVSU this past summer.  
"I'm coming to Grand Valley because I like the coaches, I know guys on the team and it's a winning program," said Sawtelle in the wake of his transfer. "and there are not many things I like more than winning." "Other Division I schools called (after I left Tennessee), but I don't want to sit out a year, I want a chance to compete and I like I said before, I like the idea of coming to a place that wins a lot,"
The Lakers have won D2 national championships four times since 2002.


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