Photo by Derricxk Mahone
Riverdale rising senior receiver Rashad Canty committed to play football at Appalacian State over the weekend after taking a visit on the Boone, N.C., campus.
RIVERDALE — Rashad Canty only needed one visit to Boone, N.C., to make his college decision.
The Riverdale wide receiver was on the Appalachian State campus Saturday. During the visit, Canty committed to play his college football for the soon-to-be Sun Belt Conference school.
Canty tweeted that he was committed to the Mountaineers program.
“I wanted to make a decision so I could mainly concentrate on the season, and not worry about college,” Canty said. “I’m happy with the decision.”
Appalachian Sate is a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) powerhouse that has won three championships on the NCAA’s second-highest level.
The Mountaineers program will be in a transition year as it moves to the Football Bowl Subdivision level as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. At that time, Appalachian State will play in college football’s highest level.
“I’m looking forward to being a part of the new era at Appalachian State,” he said.
Canty said the program’s winning tradition was a big plus in his decision. Aside from its three FCS titles, the Mountaineers pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college football history in 2007 with a win at No. 5 Michigan 34-32 before 110,000 fans to open the season.
Appalachian State became the first FCS school to be ranked in the final Associated Press poll during that year.
“They have a great tradition,” Canty said. “I think the program has a chance to be good on the next level.”
Canty, a 6-4, 205-pounder, had 30 receptions for 567 yards and nine touchdowns last season as the Raiders reached the playoffs for the first time since the 2006 season. He also had offers from Furman, South Alabama, Georgia State and Mercer. According to his profile on several online recruiting sites, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin had shown interest, but had not made an official offer.
“Appalachian State just loves him,” said Raiders assistant coach William Silveri, who is in charge of recruiting and academics for the team. “He has a good chance of playing early. I’m really happy for him.”
Canty said he is “100 percent committed to” Appalachian State, but would still keep his options open.
“I’m really happy with Appalachian State,” he said. “I think I fit into their program. I’m sure some other schools will continue to recruit me.”
The Riverdale staff is expecting a big year from Canty as senior quarterback Greg Taylor continues to develop.
“We have nine seniors that could sign scholarships after the season,” Silveri said. “