“You want to fall in love with the school itself, not the coaches, not the program but the school,” Dumas said. “Prairie View just has a truly rich culture. Being able to go to an HBCU has been a dream of mine from the very beginning."
CJ Dumas always knew he wanted to end up at an HBCU.
It wasn’t only about the athletics for Dumas, he wanted to end up at a college where he felt he was at home. In the classroom, on the campus and around the students.
Prairie View A&M provided that for Dumas and on Wednesday, the Paetow senior officially signed his national letter of intent to play for the Panthers.
Dumas will be going from a championship program to another highly successful program, as Prairie View won the Southwestern Athletic Conference last season.
“It’s truly a great relief to know that all the work I put in throughout my entire life to get to this moment paid off,” Dumas said. “I get to play for a great program, they were Southwestern Conference champs last year. To finish my senior season with all the success we had and then jump in to another great program is awesome.”
Dumas had a few offers heading into his senior season but wasn’t in love with any of the schools who had offered scholarships. Dumas used that as motivation to prove he belonged on the collegiate level and he picked up an offer from the Panthers heading into the seventh week of the season.
“A lot of people, they don’t want to have to work and keep pushing to get the offers,” Dumas said. “But for me it just pushed me to work even harder and made me want to get to the next level. The whole season I just wanted to prove myself and it got me to this point.”
When Prairie View offered Dumas, he knew it would be near the top of his list, but once he visited the campus and met people there it became a no doubter, especially once he knew that Former Houston Oiler Bubba McDowell would be the teams next head coach.
“You want to fall in love with the school itself, not the coaches, not the program but the school,” Dumas said. “Prairie View just has a truly rich culture. Being able to go to an HBCU has been a dream of mine from the very beginning. I feel like a lot of people discredit HBCU’s but the competition is just as great if not more so than a lot of these other programs. It’s just great to be able to go out there and compete for a school that wants me.”
Paetow head coach BJ Gotte has no doubt that Dumas will have success at the collegiate level.
“His leadership and his character are going to pay dividends for him,” Gotte said. “He was one of the main reasons we were even able to win a state championship this year. We lose CJ Dumas we aren’t able to do anything that we did this year. It will pay dividends for him. His maturity, work ethic and his commitment to his craft are going to have him do well.”
Dumas has only had a month away from football, but he’s already hungry to join the Panthers this summer and get to work.
“If I could suit up right now and get out there I would,” Dumas said. “Having this month off has been good but I’m ready to get back. I’m itching to get back on the field and get out there. I can’t wait to get up there and get suited up as quick as possible.”
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