Tifton Gazette

Opinion

October 27, 2012

Our Opinion: Vote for Larry Dean

While we all may be in different camps as far as our preferred candidates for the upcoming Nov. 6 election, everyone in Tifton, as well as the Tiftarea, should be behind only one man in another election.

Former Tift County Blue Devil Larry Dean is one of eight players in the National Football Conference that has been nominated to take part in the annual Pro Bowl all-star game as a special teams player. The game will take place at the end of the 2012 season.

The vote is divided in three ways between fans, coaches and players. The fan vote is something everyone in Tifton, Tift County and the Tiftarea can take part in, and unlike the Nov. 6 elections, you can vote as often as you may like.

To vote simply go to http://www.nfl.com/probowl/ballot?module=HP11_content_stream_voting_probowl or http://www.vikings.com/team/pro-bowl-ballot.html.

Dean currently leads the Vikings in special teams tackles with seven. He has also landed key blocks on several big kick returns this season. That includes Sept. 30 when Dean was on the field for Percy Harvin’s 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, as well as Marcus Sherels’ 77-yard punt return. Those two kick returns for touchdowns in 20-13 win over the Detroit Lions gave Dean and the special teams the distinction of doing something that has only been done two other times in the long, storied history of the Minnesota franchise.

A chance for the Pro Bowl would be a way to honor Dean, who has gone above and beyond to represent our community in a positive fashion.

He went to Valdosta State and was a three-time All-American performer, and had so much respect from his teammates that he was a three-time permanent team captain. He held that honor as a sophomore, a junior and a senior.

Dean also broke Jessie Tuggle’s record for most career tackles at the school

He was so highly thought of that the school held a special graduation ceremony for him, so he would not miss any of the Vikings’ training camp after Minnesota signed him in 2011.

Dean has not forgotten his hometown. He was seen often at Tift basketball and baseball games during this past off season. He also held a special back-to-school celebration in July to help children get needed school supplies.

Larry Dean is a good footbal player, and better yet, a great all-around person. The Pro Bowl voting will give him a chance to show the good of Tifton and Tift County on an even bigger stage.

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