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In Josh Furman, state finalist Old Mill has new story line

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Furman moved in with his father, Tyrone, a nose guard at Maryland in the early 1980s, and returned to Old Mill as a junior. By the time his junior year had begun, Furman's 40-yard time already was making him a hot recruiting commodity.

"The thing was, when we got him back, we didn't really know what to do with him on the field," said Dunlap, who has handled all of Furman's recruiting. "You could put him at defense, and watch him do what he did [against South River] or you can put him at running back and use his speed. It's the same thing with colleges. I don't think they really know what to do with him.

"But the one thing we knew was he was going to be something special."

After his junior season, Maryland and West Virginia had extended scholarship offers. Then, last February, Dunlap was leafing through a pile of recruiting mail for Furman and tossed aside several form letters from schools that are typically sent to jog a recruit's attention. One of them was from Michigan, but Dunlap had a second thought and picked it out of the garbage.

"Then I read it," Dunlap said, "and when I got to the part where it said, 'full athletic scholarship,' I ran down the hall to tell him about it."

Furman's first major offer from a school outside of the region set off a frenzy. Oklahoma requested Furman's highlight tape. The school received it on a Saturday, and Furman had an offer from the Sooners three days later.

After those two offers, "Oh, it's on now," Furman said. "They started coming like crazy. Every week, a new school was coming in."

"That's when we had to come up with a plan to handle this," Dunlap said, "because it could get out of hand."

As this season started, though, the pressure was on Furman, who is being recruited primarily as a linebacker, to show he didn't just get lucky at a couple of combines.

"He wanted to prove he wasn't a combine freak," Tyrone Furman said. "That was a big part of his drive this season."

Nothing proved that more than Furman's amazing game in the win over Arundel. His game last week at Sherwood, on a field so muddy coaches on both teams likened it to "quicksand" merely added emphasis.

"Being a defensive player in high school, a lot of times you don't get noticed," Arundel quarterback Billy Cosh said. "When he started running as much as he did this season, I think everyone saw what a great player he is."

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