A football player for nine years and a three-year varsity captain, Cole DeMarzo has been surrounded by the game for almost a decade.
He’s a longtime athlete and lifelong leader. In middle school, DeMarzo bounced back from injury in his seventh-grade season to lead his Hilton Head Middle School team to their first winning season in almost 11 years while in eighth grade. Last season, DeMarzo found himself sidelined once again, but it was this same tenacity that helped him guide his team to a Bridge Bowl win and a spot in the Class 4A playoffs.
As a three-sport athlete, DeMarzo has earned All-State, All-Region, and First-Team All-Lowco honors throughout his high school football career. As a senior, he racked up 102 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and 10 pass breakups … and that was just on defense. DeMarzo also led the Seahawks in receptions (36) and receiving yards (663) and snagged two touchdown passes.
But he’s not done yet.
On Wednesday morning, DeMarzo signed to continue his academic and athletic career at Michigan State University.
“I chose Michigan State because of the family environment on campus and the championship level football team year after year,” DeMarzo said.
DeMarzo’s commitment to Michigan State marks the biggest that Hilton Head High has seen since Poona Ford signed with Texas en route to the NFL.
“I’m so proud of him,” Hilton Head High coach BJ Payne said. “He did it the right way and earned everything. He earned it on the field, in the classroom, and out in the community.”
Cole’s senior season isn’t quite finished.
DeMarzo and Christian Miller have been in Spartanburg preparing for the Shrine Bowl since Sunday. That’s eight Shrine Bowl players in eight years for Payne. DeMarzo is leaving behind a legacy at Hilton Head High, but he is looking ahead toward a bright future at Michigan State.
In addition to signing to MSU this week, Cole has taken over the LowcoSports Instagram. Check out his coverage of all of the Shrine Bowl events on Instagram @LowcoSports.
– Story by Brooke Simons
Brooke Simons is a student-athlete at Hilton Head Island High School and an aspiring journalist. She has a passion for photography and broadcasting.