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Footbal 2013 impact players: Dandy Dozen player Voorhies has many options

Wilkinson County High School quarterback Devin Voorhies drops back for a pass at the WCHS football field.  (Justin Sellers | The NatchezDemocrat)
Wilkinson County High School quarterback Devin Voorhies drops back for a pass at the WCHS football field. (Justin Sellers | The NatchezDemocrat)

WOODVILLE — If he’s not on the football field or in the weight room, you might find Devin Voorhies taking a yoga class.

Three times a week, the standout athlete at Wilkinson County High School finds himself doing yoga exercises in order to make himself more flexible. An LSU commit, Voorhies said it was the Tigers coaches’ idea.

“Our relationship is still good,” said Voorhies, who has been committed to LSU more than a year. “They got me going in yoga to get me more flexible in the hips. I’ve never done it before. It’s both fun and funny. You’re trying to do what the trainer is doing on TV, and it helps.”

Yoga is also known to help people attain peace of mind, and that might come in handy for Voorhies this season. Already a target of opposing teams’ defenses because of his LSU commitment, Voorhies gained even more notoriety this summer when The Clarion-Ledger named him to its Dandy Dozen list.

“It’s a great honor,” Voorhies said. “I represent my school with pride.”

Wildcats head coach Kenneth Brown said he was pleased to have a player named to The Clarion-Ledger’s list of the top 12 players in the state.

“That was a first for us,” Brown said. “We feel like it brought good notoriety to our district, and hopefully we can build on it and some others can step up and follow in his footsteps.”

With all of the recognition, which includes having college recruiting websites calling him often, Voorhies said the spotlight does become daunting at times.

“It’s a good amount of pressure, but I still have to stay focused on my goal and do whatever it takes,” Voorhies said. “I just tune out. It’s actually kind of easy. Sometimes I’ll just shut my phone off.”

For Voorhies, the ultimate goal is a state championship, and he has a personal goal of simply being better than he was last season.

“I feel like we’ve come out wanting to accomplish our goal of winning a state championship,” Voorhies said of his team. “It’s going to take more hard work and dedication, and I feel like I’ve seen that improve a lot this summer.”

Brown said what makes Voorhies a standout athlete is his dedication to completing the task that he’s assigned.

“We had a Mission Mississippi event (last week), and he started the 15-mile track and finished the 15-mile track,” Brown said. “He ran most of it. He’s strong-minded and strong-willed. He refuses to give up on anything.”

A quarterback on offense and a defensive back on defense, Voorhies is being recruited by LSU as a safety. But he said he has no preference for either side of the ball, as long as he’s helping the team win games.

“It really doesn’t matter,” he said.

Voorhies said there’s comfort in being committed to LSU and not having to worry about which school he’s attending after he graduates. But Voorhies said that hasn’t stopped other schools from contacting him.

“Ole Miss and Southern Miss have been talking to me,” Voorhies said. “I tell them I’m still committed to LSU, but if anything changes, I’ll let them know.”