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Hidden Gem (Dante Warren)

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Before the 2010 season began, Dante Warren was one of the biggest question marks on the USD football team.  Not because of his abilities, but because of the big shoes he had to fill after four-year starter Noah Shepard graduated.

"Dante's kind of a hidden gem," said USD Linebacker Shea Williams.  "It was all about Noah Shepard, Noah Shepard, but little did anyone know, Dante Warren is a very athletic kid.  He can run the ball and he's got an arm, just as good as Noah."

Almost everyone expected there to be some growing pains.  Maybe Warren would shine once the Great West schedule began.  But in just his second game as a starter, the former conference player of the year from suburban Chicago accounted for 433 total yards of offense and five touchdowns and led the Coyotes to a win over Minnesota.

"He's obviously got the athletic ability in his running and he's also got a laser for an arm, so he just put it all together," said Coyote Wide Receiver Will Powell.

"Early in the game they stopped our run and coaches just turned to me to pass the ball and I'm glad they did that because it just turned out great for us," said Warren.

"He's up for the ESPN player of the week, he got a sticker from Lou Holtz and all that stuff.  That stuff doesn't happen to people in the Coyote program usually," said Head Coach Ed Meierkort.

Warren made it happen right away and has continued to shine since his breakout performance.

"He has all the physical capabilities," said Meierkort.  "The arm, the foot speed, the ability to control a game and the leadership skills to control a game.  We just needed to see it on a Saturday afternoon."

It didn't take long.  Just two games into the season, fans wearing Red and White no longer ask about Noah Shepard.  They just cheer for Dante Warren.

Portions of Video Courtesy: Big Ten Network
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