Scholar athlete: Levarious Dorsey

Published 12:01 am Thursday, October 20, 2011

Natchez High School two-way lineman Levarious Dorsey, left, performs drills with Jadarius Hall during NHS’ football practice Wednesday afternoon. Dorsey a senior, currently holds an A-B average, he said. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Natchez High School’s Levarious Dorsey knows a lot about the ins and outs of being a two-way lineman.

Dorsey has been playing the offensive line since seventh grade, and he started playing both ways his sophomore year. Now a senior, Dorsey is an A-B student who likes to make time to get ahead on his schoolwork, he said.

“I like to do stuff and study ahead of time,” Dorsey said. “That way, I don’t have to crunch. If I have free time after I practice, I make sure I’m studying so I won’t get behind.”

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Dorsey said he doesn’t remember why he initially became interested in football when he was at Robert Lewis Middle School, but it was probably because he didn’t have anything else to do, he said. But he said he’s never played anywhere but in the trenches.

“You have to block your guy and remember your assignments,” Dorsey said of playing offensive line. “It’s just as much mental as it is physical.”

The hardest parts of both offensive and defensive line play involve the blocking schemes, Dorsey said.

“On offense, it’s staying on your blocks. On defense, it’s getting off your blocks,” Dorsey said. “Mainly, you have to do what you’re supposed to do. If you mess up, it can affect the whole team.”

If a defensive lineman shifts, Dorsey said his job as an offensive lineman is to make sure to keep his eye on the man he’s assigned.

“I almost have to call out and tell him I’m coming,” Dorsey said. “You have to make the right path to get to him. If he shifts (to the opposite end), I have to pick up the next available guy.”

As an offensive tackle, Dorsey is responsible for both protecting the quarterback from the outside rushing attack and opening holes for the running game.

“I make sure to get the person in front of me, and if they get past me, I try to keep them as far away from the quarterback as I can,” Dorsey said. “I look to see where the quarterback is — you always have to know where he is.”

But Dorsey said he prefers to run block.

“You just line up and go right at them,” he said. “It’s a big rush, being able to hit someone up front. I like to hit.”

On defense, though, there’s more to playing the line than just hitting someone while trying to get past them.

“You’re trying to keep the offensive lineman off your linebackers and control your gap,” Dorsey said. “You have to put your hands on the offensive lineman and follow what they’re doing. More often than not, they’ll lead you to the play.”

And playing both ways makes Dorsey feel like he has an advantage on the field, he said.

“First, you have to make sure you’re in shape to play both ways,” Dorsey said. “Second, you have to know your assignments. By playing both ways, that helps you versus your opponent, because you pretty much know what they’re trying to do.”

Dorsey said his favorite subject is math, because he likes both numbers and money. His least favorite subject is science.

“I guess it’s just that I have to read more (with science),” Dorsey said. “Math just comes easier. With science, I have to continue reading it to understand it.”

Dorsey is the son of Leon Jr. and Jessie Dorsey.