Kickoff returns are one of the best things that the sport of football has going for it. In the NFL, the new kickoff regulations have only given returns the chance to be even more exciting. In college football, teams are bringing back kicks at a pace we haven't seen before (just see the back-to-back return touchdowns scored by Oklahoma State and Texas on Saturday).
Still, of all the great returns Prep Rally has seen this year, none may be more impressive on multiple fronts than the one turned in by Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland High's Deonte Wilson, who showed that he has the ever-rare combination of pure speed, elusiveness and the overwhelming brute strength to be successful at the prep level and beyond.
As you can see above, Wilson started his return to glory by nearly running into a trio of Palm Bay (Fla.) defenders. Instead, he somehow slipped out to buy himself enough time to get some help from blocking teammates. After one particularly great block sent a last Palm Bay chaser flying, Wilson sped off up the sideline with few challenges appearing between him and the end zone.
In fact, after shaking the Palm Bay kicker with a juke, it was hard to see anything stopping Wilson. Yet, an impassioned run from a defender on the opposite side of the field brought Wilson back into play and appeared to end any chance of him taking it to the end zone.
Instead, that would-be tackler was only setting himself up to be dragged to the end zone like a plow behind an angry bull, as Wilson dragged him and a Palm Bay compatriot for a full 15 yards until he landed in the end zone.
Wilson's touchdown wasn't just an academic score, either. The 99-yard return was the only touchdown of an intense defensive game, as Mainland used a staunch defense to hold off Palm Bay, 13-0.
Perhaps that would be better put as "Mainland used a staunch defense and the determination of Deonte Wilson to hold off Palm Bay …" That would certainly be a fitting epitaph for what has to be his best return of the season, one of the best in the country.
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