Southern Wayne's Dylan Denning

Southern Wayne’s Dylan Denning, in the yellow shirt, and the Southern Wayne varsity football team are shown after Denning signed his letter of intent to play football at Methodist University.

A swiss-army knife, who goes wherever he is needed, Dylan Denning is ready to flourish on the football field at the next level, and he’s getting his chance at Methodist University in Fayetteville.

The Southern Wayne High School senior signed his national letter of intent with the Division III program and hopes to lead the Monarchs back to their winning ways.

“It’s a good feeling, and I’m excited,” Denning said about signing his NLI. “I went on a visit, and as soon as I got there, I fell in love. It’s just one of those things where it felt like I was at home.”

During his time at Southern Wayne, Denning grew and matured every season. He would play at whatever position Southern Wayne head coach Ronnie McClary asked him to play.

Over the years, Denning lined up at running back, wide receiver, linebacker, safety, cornerback and special teams.

The only positions Denning didn’t play was quarterback, offensive line and defensive line.

Dylan has been coming at here since his seventh-grade year,” McClary said. “He would watch us practice, and when he got here in high school, he knew what we were looking for. Over the years he has been one of the hardest workers, he’s gotten stronger and faster, but most importantly he kept the grades.

“He always stuck with it. He did everything we asked him to do, and as a coach, this is what you live for.”

Southern Wayne didn’t win many games during Denning’s four years. However, Denning said his time as a Saint was crucial to his development.

He will always have fond memories of taking the field with his teammates on Friday nights and the life lessons his coaches gave him.

“We didn’t win a lot of games, but we worked hard,” Denning said. “We are a real, tightknit family, a lot of teams have coaches that don’t care about the players, but our coaches care about us. At practice, they would talk about getting our grades up, and that’s what it’s about.”

Methodist finished with a 2-7 overall record last season and went 2-5 in USA South Athletic Conference play. The Monarchs have not had a winning season since 2014, but with a passionate player like Denning joining the roster, the Monarchs have the potential to get back in the win column.

“I just love football. It doesn’t matter what position I play,” Denning said.