Although he is only a sophomore in high school, Bryce Love has already accomplished a lot.
Last season on the football field, Love ran for over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He also holds five national youth track records. Then last year at the age of 14, Love recorded a 10.6-second 100-meter dash, 21.83 200, and 48.2 400.
“I think track and football go hand-and-hand,” said his father, Chris Love, who was a sprinter at the University of South Carolina. “Our focus has always been to use track to help with football because speed and endurance are always going to be the key.”
Those efforts, as well as a strong performance on a national stage in San Antonio, Texas at the U.S. Army National Combine have helped Love land early scholarship offers from Duke, East Carolina, North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Virginia Tech.
While the trip to Texas was a success, it was also an eye-opening experience for the 5-foot-10, 175-pound speedster.
“It helped me realize that there are other people out there just as good and that there might be someone out there that is working just as hard as you,” said Love. “I was really happy with what I accomplished down there, but I still need to continue to improve.”
Those accomplishments included bench pressing 185 pounds 20 times, running a 4.4-second electronic-timed 40-yard dash, 4.2 20-yard shuttle, and a 37 ½-inch vertical jump.
“Pound-for-pound, he is the strongest player in our program,” said Wake Forest-Rolesville head coach Reggie Lucas. “I tell college coaches, if you watch him workout – you’ll be amazed.”
Along with his athletic achievements, Love has a 4.5 GPA.
“I’m really proud of his focus and his goal-setting,” said Chris Love. “He is one of the most competitive people I know – he competes in everything. One of the things we've always taught him is to do your very best, and I think that’s what he tries to do every time he steps on the field and in the classroom. He doesn't believe in the word impossible and he’s very humble.”
The younger Love feels that his commitment to academics benefits him in athletics. He has the same approach as another running back from the Triangle area.
“I feel like being smart in the classroom helps on the field – being able to possibly out-think the opponent,” said Love, who hopes to major in business or genetics in college.
“I've always looked up to (Georgia freshman) Keith (Marshall). He is always striving for excellence in the classroom and on the football field. I still talk to him when he comes back in town.”
While many kids his age would get caught up in all the hype, Love has remained grounded.
“It’s amazing, I couldn't imagine dealing with the attention that he’s gotten already,” said Lucas. “If you didn't know him personally, you wouldn't know that he’s a kid that’s getting all this attention. He certainly doesn't walk around with his chest poked out and he fits in with any crowd. He's just such a good person.”
How good can love be?
“I don’t know if he has a limit,” said Lucas. “I think he wants to do as much as he can because he’s a great competitor. I can’t tell you what his ceiling is going to be, but what I can tell you is that he does some amazing things. If he continues to develop, he’s going to have some unique opportunities."