Fighting perceptions: Saltillo’s Pounds, Panola RB take aim at doubters

Adam Robison | Buy at Saltillo's Diamante Pounds rushed for 2,039 yards with 20 touchdowns last season.

Adam Robison | Buy at
Saltillo’s Diamante Pounds rushed for 2,039 yards with 20 touchdowns last season.

By Brandon Speck

Daily Journal

Diamante Pounds isn’t sneaky. He’s a train. Trains aren’t quiet and no one stands on the track.

“I’m working on mostly my speed right now, getting bigger, and footwork,” Pounds said at Saturday’s Tupelo Combine.

A faster, stronger train. The incoming Saltillo senior running back rushed for 2,039 yards last season, good for fourth in the state, with 20 touchdowns.

In the Tigers’ opener against DeSoto Central, he went for 234 yards. But it was the 95 yards he took a kickoff that was loudest.

Pounds caught the ball in the middle of the field and barely moved left or right, if at all, on his way to the end zone, barely touched, if at all.

He got down the field pretty quickly. Saturday, he ran a 4.66 40-yard dash. But all recruits have areas where college coaches want to see improvement. For Pounds, it’s speed.

Offers are still coming, though, from Louisiana-Monroe, La.-Lafayette and Central Arkansas.

Pounds (5-foot-11, 215) get knocked for his speed, but the power back does all the knocking on the field. He can play linebacker as well. With the ball, he’s hard to bring down, constantly moving his feet.

“(College coaches) want me to start off stronger, don’t start off slow, then wait until the fourth quarter to put my speed on,” Pounds said.

Fastest man

South Panola running back Darrell Henderson was sixth on the state’s rushing list with 2,024 yards. He scored 24 touchdowns.

Henderson is still waiting for his first offer. He doesn’t wait on tacklers to catch up. He won Fastest Man at Saturday’s Combine.

“It’s not where I want it to be,” Henderson said of his recruitment, “but it’s going to start picking up when the season starts.”

With Pounds, it’s speed. Henderson hears he’s not big enough. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound senior says he’s hearing from Georgia, Georgia State, Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe and Middle Tennessee.

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