River’s Potts to transfer from Akron

Part of growing up involves making tough decisions.

River High product and University of Akron football player Dylan Potts came to grips with one of the toughest he’s made in his life late last week.

Potts informed the Akron coaching staff that he was electing to transfer following the completion of the fall academic term this week.

“I just feel I need a fresh start,” Potts said during a phone interview. “I feel this decision is the best thing for my future.”

Potts lettered twice for the Zips, playing primarily on special teams and some action at wide receiver. The decision to leave Terry Bowden’s program wasn’t a spur of the moment one.

“I started thinking about (a transfer) two weeks ago and I really spent a lot of time going back and forth with the decision,” Potts said. “I feel another situation will give me a lot better opportunity to play and reach my goals.”

The process of where Potts goes next gets under way immediately because he’s not sure where he’s going to end up. He also realizes that the majority of colleges begin the next academic term shortly after the first of the year.

“I plan on either playing at the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA) or Division II because that way I can play right away next season and not have to sit out.”

Potts will return to the Ohio Valley this Thursday after wrapping up his finals and will begin the process of figuring out his next collegiate stop.

“It’s going to be a stressful and busy time to figure this out, but there’s no other way around it,” Potts said. “I really need to know where I am going by the end of the month, so I’ll be contacting some coaches I know and trying to set up visits.”

Potts didn’t expand on specifics as to what played a role in his decision.

“I just know this is the best decision for me,” Potts said. “I don’t really want to get into the other stuff. I am looking forward to a fresh start at a new school and play out my final two years of eligibility.”

When Potts informed the Zips’ coaches of his decision, they tried to talk him out of it and there was absolutely no ill will on either side.

“I want to thank all of the administration, coaches, my teammates and the staff here,” Potts said. “I had a great experience in my time here, and I’ll never forget these memories. Obviously, it’s not been what I had hoped for in terms of injuries or win-loss records, but neither of those played a role in my decision. The coaches respected my decision and said they’d be willing to help me out anyway they could.”

Potts took a medical redshirt this season after injuring his ankle early in the season. He’s been informed by doctors that he should be back to 100 percent healthy by early next month.

“I go to the doctor’s on the 19th and they should clear me for everything,” Potts said. “My rehab is actually ahead of schedule and I’ll be ready for spring practice.”

Academically, Potts is in good standing and well on his way to a degree in pre-physical therapy.

“I think about 90 percent of my classes are going to transfer, so I’ll be a little over a year away from my degree,” Potts said.

Potts was an all-Ohioan at River under coach Mike Flannery. He was originally recruited to Akron by J.D. Brookhart’s coaching staff, which was fired after the 2009 season.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com