TAMPA – Hillsborough wide receiver Nate Dantley Jr. is all about being aggressive and making plays on the ball whenever he is targeted.
The lengthy senior wideout stands at 6’2″, 180 lbs., which is 15 lbs. more than his weight as a junior. In his first full varsity season in 2015, he was a regular starter for the Terriers. Dantley Jr. earned the promotion to varsity from JV late in his sophomore year where he was a special teams contributor in the team’s 9-2 season which ended in the region quarterfinal.
When asking him what he learned the most from his starting role as a junior, he had this to say.
“I learned that I have to keep a level head,” Dantley Jr. told Prep Sports Scouting. “I can’t let my attitude control who I am.”
Hillsborough is off to a hot start this season at 2-0 and after the defense allowed an average of 13.8 points per game, the unit has surrendered just 14 total points over the first two games. The offense has looked effective with seniors, running back Duran Bell Jr. and athlete Caleb Youngblood. Dantley Jr. is part of the feature packages on offense.
“I feel like we can make it to the state championship if we put the hard work in,” Dantley Jr. said. “I feel like we can beat any team out there.”
In practice, Dantley Jr. goes head-to-head with one of the top cornerbacks in the 2018 class Ken Montgomery Jr. The junior picked up his 18th offer last Friday from Nebraska and is a towering defensive back, to say the least at 6’2″.
“It’s good competition,” he said. “I like going up against Ken [Montgomery] because he’s what a corner is supposed to be. Knowing that I have good competition every day makes me better.”
Dantley Jr. calls longtime head coach Earl Garcia, one of the good ones. Garcia is entering his 24th season at Hillsborough. Under Garcia’s command, the Terriers have made 19 regional appearances highlighted by finishing as the state runner-up in 1996. Last season marked the first time in his tenure that Hillsborough failed to make the playoffs.
“It’s great playing for coach Garcia,” he said. “I learned how to be a man. He teaches you a lot about football, but he teaches more about how to be a man and how to control life.”
At age 7, Dantley Jr. started his football life as a quarterback. He moved to wide receiver the following season because he said his main focus was “catching the football.”
During little league in 8th grade, he says he realized that he could be really good at this.
As for his strengths, Dantley Jr. pointed to his physicality and aggressiveness. He’s aiming to focus on the ball more and make sure he makes the easy catches.
Dantley Jr. has yet to receive his first offer, but he has drawn interest from FAU, Maryland and Iowa State.
He admitted that his father Nate Dantley Sr. is his biggest role model. Danley Sr. is a class of 1989 Hillsborough graduate and former junior college football player.
“He teaches me everything on the field,” Dantley Jr. said. “He’s there with me every day so he’s a good presence to have there with me.”
Dantley Jr. has had his aspirations of playing in the NFL and that is still his ultimate goal. He wants to study medicine in college with the plan of becoming a physical therapist.
He is a very well-spoken kid who simply wants to be a good person on and off the field. It’s clear he loves playing for the Terriers and they love having his dynamic presence.
Dantley Jr. deserves an offer to play at the next level, he is simply too good. Hillsborough is a defensive-minded team, but they like drawing up plenty of interesting plays on offense. Dantley Jr. is a key piece of it.
Favorite players to watch – Panthers QB Cam Newton, Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell and Cardinals DB Tyrann Mathieu
Playlist before games – Pandora
Favorite Movies – Ted 2
Favorite TV shows – Family Guy and American Dad
Fun fact about you that no one knows – “I sing in the shower, a lot. I mostly sing Disney Channel songs.”
Game tape: Dantley’s Hudl tape
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Photo credit: Varsity Views
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.