BISHOPVILLE - When Deontae Lowery was in the seventh grade at Lee Central Middle School, he was approached by a coach at the school who asked him if he was interested in playing football.
Lowery wasn't sure if he did or not. He had to check with …
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Lowery wasn't sure if he did or not. He had to check with someone first.
I didn't know if my mama wanted me to play football or not," Lowery said. "I asked her and she said I could."
And everyone associated with the football programs at Lee Central middle and high schools are happy Joyce Lowery did. Her son went on to become an all-state performer for the Stallions, and on Wednesday he signed to play college football with South Carolina State University in Orangeburg.
"I'm glad she let me," Lowery said during a signing ceremony at the LC auditorium on National Signing Day. "I've enjoyed every minute of playing football."
The 6-foot-0-inch, 205-pound Lowery said he is happy to have the opportunity to extend his playing career with the Bulldogs.
"This is a definitely a great feeling," Lowery said. "I couldn't really ask for anything else."
Lowery chose S.C. State, a Football Championship Subdivision school in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, over NCAA Division II schools St. Augustine's and Newberry College.
"When I went there for a visit I knew it was where I needed to be," Lowery said of South Carolina State, which first made contact with him at the start of this school year. "I just had a great feeling."
Lowery was a standout on a Lee Central defense allowed just 179 points in its 11-2 season. They allowed 20 or more points just three times and more than 14 points just one other time.
Lowery finished with the year with 64 tackles, 19 of them for loss, and 12 quarterback sacks.
"He was huge for us," Lee Central head coach Justin Danner said of Lowery. "Deontae was an important link for us. He was a hard worker who bought into what we wanted them to do on defense. He is quiet, but his play is very big for us."
Lowery played a big role in the Stallions' quick turnaround in three years under Danner. They went 1-9 in his first season to 7-4 last season before reaching the quarterfinals of the 2A playoffs this year.
"Coming from a 1-9 team as a sophomore to 11-2 this year is a big deal," Lowery said. "It has a lot to do with the way the coaches pushed us, made us work to get here."
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