“That’s crazy,” the 6-foot-3, 307-pound Settle said Thursday as he pondered a profile that he could almost feel rising. “Once Alabama offered, I knew that it was going to take off, because not many people get offered by No. 1.
“I feel like God blessed me. It’s an amazing experience knowing that we have big schools and stuff coming here. It’s great for our upcoming program and myself and also my teammates. It feels good because I’m so young. I have the chance to get better before I go to college.”
Stonewall Coach Mike Dougherty had been expecting the onslaught.
“I knew all along that in time he was going to blow up like this,” Dougherty said. “I didn’t know it was going to happen in [such a short span]. There aren’t too many kids who can do what he can do at his age and his size. You’re talking [20-some] kids in the country who can do what he can do at his size and his speed.”
Settle is not only flexible, strong and fast, he’s an eager learner. He will be asked to play more offensive snaps next season in the Raiders’ caffeinated attack. But his main job will be serving as a disruptive defensive force like Woodbridge two-time All-Met defensive end Da’Shawn Hand, considered by Rivals.com as the top recruit nationally in the 2014 class.
“You can’t do anything with him,” Dougherty said of Settle. “It’s like trying to plan for Hand right now. You can’t do it. [Hand] by himself beat us when we played [Woodbridge]. He had like 16 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles and he was everywhere. We expect Tim to be that kind of force. I think he’s going to be twice as good next year as he was this year.”
At this point, Dougherty never knows what college coach might be on the other end of his phone as he plays guess-the-area code on numbers not in his directory. So calls from odd numbers that he used to let dump to voicemail now get answered.
A Wisconsin coach showed up at Stonewall unannounced Thursday and “within 30 seconds of conversation” offered Settle a scholarship, Dougherty said. Alabama outside linebackers coach Lance Thompson visited Wednesday, and not long after, Dougherty was fielding a call from Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban, who was making an offer.
“It’s kind of surreal right now,” Dougherty said. “When Tim got the [North Carolina] offer back in February, it was quiet for awhile and he had the chance to let that soak in. These never had a chance to soak in.
“It would be easy for a 15-year-old kid to go haywire and lose focus everywhere. It just happened really fast and I’m just real proud of the way Tim is growing up overnight and handling all this attention and saying the right things and doing the right things.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 2 of 33
Area players among the 33 invitees to the USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team tryouts May 23-27 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. C.H. Flowers sophomore guard-forward De’Janae Boykin and St. John’s sophomore guard Amari Carter will try to earn spots on the 12-member team. Including accepted applicants, there will be about 130 players on hand at the tryouts.
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