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Marion football’s McRae brings strength in numbers

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MARION, S.C. – Marion Swamp Foxes junior running back and linebacker Rodrick McRae is taking a strong approach to the game while training during the offseason. Besides adding bulk to his 215-pound frame, “Dino” McRae is putting up weight-plates and numbers ahead of the 2022 season.

McRae competed in the in the state weightlifting competition in March, placing second overall in his weight-class. He placed first in the state with a 360-pound bench press and second in the squat at 535 pounds.

“We also had to do the broad jump,” McRae said. “It felt good to be recognized with all the kids in the state.”

McRae said lifting weights has been part of his training regimen since middle school. The competition also helps with his explosiveness, shedding blocks and tackling, he said.

“I workout every day,” he said. “It’s really exciting getting ready for the season. I just workout and work on different football drills.”

McRae trains with former NFL linebacker Anthony Waters and attended camps organized by current NFL All Pro linebacker and Indianapolis Colts star Shaquille Leonard.

“I learned a lot and got in shape a lot,” McRae said. “I’ve been working with him for two years and it feels like my body changed.”

McRae said he works hard to be the best he can be and let his efforts transition onto the field. He attended multiple camps during the summer including the VTO Sports Camp, Palmetto Combine Series and Football University Top Gun. He has also made campus visits for camp events at Notre Dame, Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University, University of South Carolina, Wake Forest University, Coastal Carolina University and North Carolina Central University.

Off the field, he is putting up more impressive numbers with a 4.9 GPA. His goals include playing college football and becoming a medical doctor.

Marion Swamp Foxes coach Brian Hennecy said McRae is one of several players working hard in the weight-room.

“He understands that at his position he has to be physically strong,” Hennecy said. “He has to have enough strength and endurance to play on both sides of the ball.”

Hennecy said McRae is drawing interests from several schools.

“He’s a pretty good player for us and hopefully will have another successful year,” he said.

Swamp Foxes assistant coach Travis Lewis said it was reassuring to have a player put in the extra work.

“I’m so proud of him,” Lewis said. “I push him as hard as he can get pushed physically and mentally. He has to learn how to handle adversity.”

McRae has been gaining the experience playing varsity football since eighth grade.

“I like defense but I really like playing running back,” he said.

Hennecy said he is working on schemes as hard as he can and expects McRae to have a productive season.

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Born in Atlantic City; raised in Mullins. Graduated from SC State University, home of the mighty Bulldogs. Editor of the Marion Star & Mullins Enterprise. Loves spending free time with his daughter. Huge sports fan.

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