As shifty as Justis Dorsett was on the football field the last two seasons for North Moore, the senior made one more juke in high school on the night before he was set to close out his recruiting process.
After committing on social media over the weekend to Ferrum College, Dorsett’s heart Thursday night ahead of his signing ceremony Friday led him to change his mind to a school that had most of his attention since closing out the season in November.
“I’ve always liked Catawba every time I’ve gone on my visits there; the campus is nice and the football program is really nice. With Ferrum, they showed me a lot of attention and I bought into that, ”Dorsett said. “It was getting time to sign and I felt like my heart was telling me to go to Catawba.”
Dorsett locked in his commitment with Catawba, signing with the in-state program in front of a large crowd in the North Moore gym composed of most of his teammates and friends.
A do-it-all player for the Mustangs ever since transferring to the school from East Montgomery following his sophomore year, Dorsett’s 18 games over his junior and senior seasons included him amassing 2,500 yards of total offense and 40 touchdowns.
That same willingness to play wherever the team needs him will be a big part of him finding a place to help the Indians at the next level.
“He’s a guy that will do anything you ask him to do, whether it be offensively, defensively or special teams,” North Moore coach Andrew Carrouth said. “He’s a little unsure where exactly they are going to use him, but I’ve told him the first way he’s going to get his nose in the doors is through special teams. He’s that type of player: that gritty, nasty, go-get-after-it type of player who will do anything he is asked to do. “
His leadership style is that of lead by example, and that above all else is what he hopes to bring with him to Salisbury to begin his college journey.
“I think I can be a leader on the team and that can help me earn a spot with my leadership,” Dorsett said.
Dorsett remembered the feelings when he transferred in and didn’t know anyone in the North Moore weight room when he was preparing for what would be a historic run for the program. Two years later, he had what felt like half the student body taking pictures with him in the gym on Friday.
“The first few days were a little weird because I didn’t know anybody, but soon after everybody was talking to me and everybody knew me,” Dorsett said. “Then for football season, I was picked as a team captain.”
Named the Yadkin Valley Conference player of the year last season, Dorsett leaves North Moore as an all-state player, and also has his name in the state record books after tying a state record with eight rushing touchdowns in the regular season finale last year against Chatham Central.
Catawba went 5-4 last season and competes in the highly competitive South Atlantic Conference in the NCAA Division II ranks.
“They have a good football program. They play good football and everything they have is nice, ”Dorsett said. “Their facilities are nice. They have good coaches and it’s just a good program all around. “
Friday’s event was something that Dorsett didn’t think was possible when he came to North Moore as he started looking at the possibility of playing baseball collegiately. That changed quickly as part of his breakout junior year.
“Coach started telling me that I could probably play football, so I started to eat a lot to gain weight and I was in the weight room a lot just working hard,” Dorsett said.
This makes the second straight year North Moore has sent a player to the college level and will have three grads on college football rosters this season.
“I think the biggest thing is just showing these guys that this is a possibility,” Carrouth said. “The one big thing I want all my players to understand is that Justis didn’t do this just by what he did on the field. It was also what kind of person he is and what he did in the classroom all factored into him being a beast on the field to be able to provide him this opportunity today. “