Dax Hollifield saw this coming.
As a sophomore for Shelby (N.C.) High School in 2015, Hollifield recorded 16 tackles and 1 tackle for loss in a 56-39 win over A.C. Reynolds High School. The Asheville high school was led by senior quarterback Rico Dowdle, who rushed 23 times for 271 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Dowdle, now a freshman running back at South Carolina, rushed 27 times for 127 yards and a touchdown in Saturday night’s 24-21 win over Tennessee.
Hollifield, a 4-star linebacker who lists South Carolina among his three favorites, watched from the stands at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday night as Dowdle went to work on the Vols.
“I’m not surprised. The way he played against us last year, he’s the best player I’ve played against in my life,” Hollifield said. “The week before, we played against B.J. Emmons (who now plays for Alabama). He’s (good) too, but I thought Rico was two times better than B.J. when we played him.”
In just four games this season, Dowdle has rushed 59 times for 291 yards with 3 touchdowns. Emmons has totaled 35 carries for 173 yards and a touchdown for the Crimson Tide.
“I’m not surprised,” Hollifield said, “Because I knew (Dowdle) was going to do something great.”