The football career of LaVonne Gauthney has seen its fair share of oddity.
After graduating from Reynoldsburg High School in 2012, Gauthney took a brief stop at a military academy, had several position changes, competed at VSU and, ultimately, won a national championship.
He hugged former VSU head coach Kerwin Bell with an enormous smile.
As the confetti fell and the shine was set free from the NCAA Division II trophy, the speculation began: What’s next for Gauthney?
Nobody knows, along with hundreds of other NFL hopefuls. Gauthney remains optimistic of his future.
“Its been a journey,” Gauthney said. “I trained with Butch Reynolds in Columbus, Ohio. I am just waiting on a team to give me an opportunity.”
The NFL Draft begins on April 25 and ends April 27.
Gauthney, listed as six-foot-three-inches tall and 314 lbs, can either get himself picked in the seven rounds (by performing in private workouts) or sign as an undrafted free-agent weeks after the draft unfolds.
Former VSU tackle Ryan Schraeder signed as a UDFA to the Atlanta Falcons in 2013. Gauthney could follow this path.
Before VSU, Gauthney graduated from the University of Akron in December 2017. One season of eligibility remained.
The Blazers came calling and Gauthney served as a staple in the offensive line, which featured Brandon Kemp, Tikere Ralands, All-GSC selection Jeremy King and others.
“It was great playing at VSU with the coaches and team,” Gauthney said. “Coach Darveau taught me a lot and playing a new position helped as well“
In 2013, Gauthney played defensive tackle for Hargrave Military Academy before signing with the Akron Zips. Once there he redshirted in 2014.
Akron used Gauthney primarily as a tight end and a special teams player during the 2015 season. He was moved to center in 2016, and was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List in 2017.
He started only four games in his last season with the Zips.
In the national championship game between VSU and Ferris State, Gauthney was a vital piece in protecting Rogan Wells and opening holes for Jamar Thompkins and Seth McGill.
The Blazers finished the season 14-0 and defeated the Bulldogs 49-47.
Gauthney was a participant in Akron’s pro day on March 22. He showed his versatility on the offensive line, occupying both guard and center positions.
“It went pretty well,” Gauthney said of the pro day. “ I did the normal testing and OL drills.”
All 32 NFL teams were represented at the event.
Written by Prince Robinson Jr., Sports Editor. Photo courtesy of VSU Athletics.
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