Delayed but not denied. That’s the motto 2024 running back Rashad Orr has used as motivation to rack up nearly another 1,000-yard rushing season through week eight. He’s developed into one of the top prospects in the Polk County area but the senior still moves with a chip on his shoulder.
As the regular season starts to wind down, Orr feels he has been slept on throughout the recruiting process but knows his time is coming.
“I’ve felt like the underdog throughout the recruiting process,” Orr said. “I feel like it will come, my motto has always been delayed but not denied.”
Having that underdog mentality has only pushed Orr to produce another dominant season on the ground where he’s recorded four games with over a hundred rushing yards. He made the move over to the 2022 Class 3S state champions at Lake Wales High (7-0) during the offseason but has adjusted well to the competition and could finish as the leading rusher in the county.
At 5-10, 185 pounds, Orr is an elusive RB prospect who can get nimble in between the tackles or use his speed to break big-play runs on the outside. Through week eight, he’s totaled 87 rushes for 843 yards (140.5 ypg) with 8 touchdowns. Orr gave his thoughts on what he can provide for Division 1 programs and an assessment of his overall impact in the backfield.
“If they get me, they will get a hard worker in the weight room and classroom,” Orr said. “You will get an explosive back out of me. I’m a hard worker with great vision and good speed. I can also be a receiver out of the backfield.”
All of those traits have been put on film for college coaches to evaluate. Despite not getting the deserved attention, Orr still receives weekly love from Division 1 schools like Navy, and Eastern Kentucky University, while local Southeastern University has been in consistent contact as well.
Orr shared his thoughts on each program and the relationship developed with the coaching staff.
Navy: The coach that’s been reaching out a lot is coach Brenten Wemberly (Defensive Assistant). He’s been reaching out to me since the summer. He’s been showing a lot of love and we have an official visit set up in December after the high school season. They want to use me more as an off-tackle back who can get outside and get on the edges to outrun people.
EKU: The EKU offer actually came in my junior year at Victory Christian and it was from coach Derek Day (Outside Linebacker Coach). He and his staff have been in contact ever since. I’ve been watching and they’ve actually been balling this year. They would be a good fit too, I like their spread offense.
Southeastern: I’ve actually been talking to coach Kenny Strong a lot (RB Coach), he’s been helping me out a lot. Last season I saw they had NFL scouts out for the players that went there. They are not out of the possibility at all for me to go there.
No offer yet, but Orr shares his thoughts on in-state USF: I really see myself in the program. I like USF’s offense a lot, like the zone inside running scheme. Nothing too much but I’ve been in a little contact with coach Matt Merrit. I like what they are doing with the program.
*Other official offers include Bucknell, Erskine, and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
As the undefeated Lake Wales Highlanders gear up to finish the final three-game stretch of the regular season, Orr feels his team will be hard to beat moving forward and will potentially repeat as state champions.
“The chemistry is great and we’re like a well-oiled machine right now going into this last stretch getting ready for the playoffs,” Orr said. “We finish this last stretch out 3-0, then we will be repeating this year.”
To finish off the interview, Orr gave thanks to his parents who have made a lot of sacrifices, and his running back trainer Coach G who has been working out with him consistently.
College coaches, don’t miss out on a production piece who’s a hard runner, has good IQ, and a grinder in the classroom and weight room.