Flint Hill player Houston

Flint Hill School graduate Jordan Houston plays for N.C. State. (From N.C. State)

It’s no surprise, really, considering the Flint Hill School football team won consecutive high-school state championships in 2017 and 2018, that many players from those Huskies squads are now members of college teams.

Tom Verbanic, who was the head coach of Flint Hill’s state-championship teams, enjoys keeping tabs on his former players and their college success.

“There are a few of them out there and doing well,” Verbanic said. “It’s fun to keep up with all of them.”

Two such former Huskies were members of the University of Virginia and North Carolina State University teams when the Atlantic Coast Conference opponents met Oct. 10. Jordan Houston is a runningback for N.C. State and Justin Duenkel is a place-kicker for Virginia.

Houston, a sophomore, had 11 yards rushing in the game and helped N.C. State win. For the season, he has rushed for 89 yards through four games and has ve catches for 30.

As a freshman, Houston rushed for 526 yards, had 15 catches for 112 yards and had 35 yards in kick returns.

Duenkel, a red-shirt freshman, is the backup place-kicker for Virginia. He and Houston each were all-state players for Flint Hill.

On its roster, Wake Forest University has former Flint Hill standouts Trey Rucker and Justice Ellison, each defensive backs. Miles Thompson, who quarterbacked those two state-title teams, plays for the University of Pennsylvania as a defensive back.

Rucker, a sophomore, has made a tackle and has multiple assists in action this season. Ellison, a freshman, has not played much as yet. Thompson is a sophomore. Pennsylvania has not yet started its 2020 football season.

In addition, Flint Hill graduates Jamaian Hawkins (defensive back) plays for Elon University, Joe Worman (defensive lineman) for James Madison University, Elijah Wasson (defensive back) is on the Wingate University roster, and Christopher Newport University includes Flint Hill grads Jyden Simms (offensive lineman) and Walker Venable (junior quarterback).

Gage Herdman is a senior defensive back for the College of William and Mary, but graduated a year before Flint Hill won its first state crown.

William and Mary has not yet started its football season this fall, possibly not playing that campaign until sometime during the spring.

As a junior for the team, Herdman played in eight games for William and Mary and made 34 tackles, including 10 against Villanova. He also forced a fumble.

NOTE: Former Flint Hill football standout player Cole Herdman recently was released by the Tennessee Titans of the NFL. The tight end was a standout in college at Purdue University, and spent time on the rosters of the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions of the NFL, before being signed by the Titans. Herdman also played for the boys basketball team at Flint Hill and was a starter.

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