Immovable force: Bull Dogs tackle finds success in football, academics

If David Redding doesn’t get a shot in the NFL after his college football days are finished, there’s a near certainty that he’ll have something to fall back on.

The Western Michigan-bound offensive tackle currently possesses a 4.04 GPA at Columbus North. Two weeks ago, he was recognized as the Bull Dogs’ top Scholar-Athlete for its Great American Rivalry Series game against Columbus East.

“My dad and my mom always stressed that you have to be the best that you can possibly be, not only on the field, but in the classroom, as well,” Redding said. “If you ask them, they’d say that they’ve never had to push me. It’s all self-motivated. I was doing it because I want to have the grades. I wanted to be the best I could be on the field and in the classroom.”

Redding, who plans to major in civil engineering at Western Michigan, was homeschooled from fifth through eighth grades. At North, he earned his way into the National Honor Society.

North football coach Tim Bless said Redding is a great role model for the program.

“Obviously, he’s been blessed with size, strength, aggressiveness and so forth, but the intangibles above and beyond that are what make him as special as he is — his character, his work ethic on and off the field, and in particular, in the classroom,” Bless said. “He’s a top-notch student in his senior class, and that rubs off on his peers.”

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Redding has been a warrior on the field, as well, for the Bull Dogs, who are 3-0 and ranked No. 6 in The Associated Press Class 6A poll, which was released Tuesday.

Redding said he has been trying to become more of a leader on the field.

“I’ve been pushing the offensive linemen, and they’ve been pushing me,” Redding said. “My goal each week is that the whole offensive line gets better. If it’s up to me to make it happen, I’ll do my best. I’m also depending on everybody else do to their max efforts to become better as a unit.”

Although Redding played PAAL football until he was in sixth grade, he did not play the sport as a seventh- or eighth-grader. He played right tackle on North’s freshman team, then started at left tackle as a sophomore on JV before moving up to the varsity at the end of that season.

Last year, Redding started at left tackle and earned Indiana Football Coaches Association Junior All-State honors.

“He’s a beast,” Bless said. “We knew what we had with him, having multiple Division I offers and coming off of an outstanding junior season, and he hasn’t disappointed.”

Redding, who picked up wrestling last winter and also throws the shot and discus for the track and field team in the spring, committed to Western Michigan in March. The Broncos opened the season with a shocking upset of Big Ten foe Northwestern on Saturday. This week, Redding is making the trip to Kalamazoo to watch Western Michigan play North Carolina Central.

But before he heads to Western Michigan for good, Redding has some lofty goals for his senior football season.

“We want to make a run throughout the tournament,” Redding said. “The biggest goal right now is to win conference and then beat Center Grove and just take it from there.”

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Name: David Redding

School: Columbus North

Year: Senior

Position: Offensive tackle

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 290

Sports: Football, wrestling, track

Favorite sport: Football

Favorite athlete: Joe Thomas

Other high school activities: National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes