Picayune (MS) High stand-out running back Preston Dedeaux was slowed his junior year by a shoulder injury, but looking at his stats you could barely tell. The talented 5-foot-10, 200-pounder churned out over 1,450 yards in just eight games this past season.
He missed pretty much the entire month of October with a shoulder injury but bounced back to finish the season strong including a 41 carry, 369 yard, five touchdown effort in a 69-42 barn burner over Brookhaven during the Class 5A play-offs.
Picayune was ranked as the top team in Class 5A for much of the 2012 season and some outlets had them as the No. 1 overall team in the state. They were cruising toward a 5A Championship when they were upset in the South State semi-final by Pascagoula. They finished the season 11-1 but the sting of what many considered the biggest upset of the 2012 play-offs still burns.
"Spring is going good," he said. "I'm working out getting stronger, getting right for my senior year."
Every athlete looks for areas of their game to improve and Dedeaux is no different. His focus this spring and summer will be to improve some already impressive wheels.
"My speed, I'm working hard to improve my speed and get my times down," he said.
It should be noted that Dedeaux already runs in the mid 4.5's in the 40.
His unique combination of size and speed could be just what first year Southern Miss head coach Todd Monken and his staff are looking for to help right the ship in Hattiseburg.
The injury and missed games has probably slowed his recruitment so far but things look to be picking up.
Recently Louisiana Lafayette, Mississippi, Miss State, Nebraska and Tennesse have began to show interest. He'll attend a junior day even in Oxford this coming weekend. He has invitations to Spring games at ULL, Nebraska and Grambling.
Southern Miss' spring game is scheduled for April 20th.