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BOILING SPRINGS â€” Seth Cranfill nearly had his dream of playing college
football taken away.
Now, the former Bandys High and current Gardner-Webb standout tight end is
making the most of his opportunity at the next level.
As a senior for the Trojans in 2009, Cranfill caught 56 passes for 1,028
yards and 12 touchdowns on the gridiron.
He finished his Bandys career with career records for receptions (169), yardage (2,640) and touchdowns (30).
After interest from East Carolina, North Carolina State and Georgia, Cranfill decided to sign with Gardner-Webb.
Cranfill had to make several adjustments from high school to college football.
"It's everything that everyone says it is honestly,â€ť Cranfill said of playing football in college.â€śThe game is faster. They are bigger and stronger. There is no more 'just run deep and we'll throw you the football.' You have to know cover schemes, fronts and all kinds of things."
Cranfillâ€™s dream of playing football in college was nearly taken away.
After redshirting in 2010, he suffered a Lisfranc injury in his left foot during the preseason,which caused him to have surgery miss the entire 2011 football season.
"Not many people know what it is like to have everything taken away from you,â€ť Cranfill said. â€śIt's crazy how I go from having a great year to not playing the year before at all. Honestly, I'm blessed any time I get to be on the field.â€ť
Cranfill exploded back on to the field in 2012, catching 37 passes for 366
yards and two touchdowns.
He also broke the Big South Conference and Gardner-Webb single-season record for receptions by a tight end.
"That was my first year ever playing college football,â€ť Cranfill said. â€śI wanted to find my role and do what I could for the team."
Even though Cranfill has battled through a number of injuries this season, he still has 16 catches for 132 yards through the air.
Before his playing days are over next season, Cranfill said there is a lotheâ€™d like to accomplish both on and off the field.
â€śI'm going to play the rest of my years here at Gardner-Webb,â€ť he said. â€śI'm going to keep training and keep doing what I think is best. Hopefully, by the end ofmy years here, I will have a shot to to play
somewhere, whether it is the CFL,the NFL or overseas somewhere.â€ť