TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — In four of the last six seasons, the Florida High football team was one of the final four teams standing. The Seminoles still have the same expectations, and although Rhyder Poppell hasn't been a Seminole his entire career, his impact on this team is unparalleled.
"Incredible work ethic, incredible student athlete, a young man who stands for all the right things," said head coach Jarrod Hickman of his senior.
Poppell transferred to Florida High his junior year, and in his final high school season, he is doing all he can for a young Seminole squad.
"Coming in last year, I was primarily a running back," he said. "We had Taylor Gilley, but now since he's gone, I have to step up and play that tight end, running back, fullback role. Being a senior, being a veteran starter, I have to show these young guys what to do."
"Whatever it is that we've asked him to do, he's done an incredible job of it," added Hickman. "I think his unselfishness and his ability to want to be the very best on every single opportunity he gets is outstanding."
It's those traits that put colleges on notice, as Poppell is committed to play at The Citadel.
"I'm honored they took the chance on me and gave me that offer. I'm really excited to be heading there."
"They really do their research and their homework when they come and talk to these guys," said Hickman. "He was a no brainer for a lot of these guys. He's obviously an outstanding football player, but he's an outstanding person as well."
An outstanding student, Poppell has a 4.21 GPA.
"I kind of just know it's student athlete. Student first, and athletic part after."
A guy who gets it
"His teammates love him," said Hickman. "He's an unselfish guy. Whatever his role is every week, he's all for, his priorities are all in the right place."
A role he's hoping gets this team to the top.
"I want it worse than anything," said Poppell ."I don't want to jinx it, but I think we can really get it done. I think this is the team to get it done."
That's an impact that'll last a lifetime. Poppell said he isn't sure of a college major just yet.