Former Middleburg High football standout Carvin Duverge took one step closer to his dream of a possible NFL opportunity and the shot comes from the Red Wolves of Arkansas State University.
“It’s been a long story, but it’s not over yet,” said Duverge, who graduated in 2016. “I got in some trouble and had to find myself, but I’m more focused now. I’ve told myself even in high school that I wanted to go to the NFL.”
Duverge, who accepted a scholarship to Hutchinson Community College in Kansas when he finished at Middleburg, said the turbulent ride to Arkansas State was by way of some trouble at Hutchinson.
“I didn’t think I would get a scholarship out of high school, so I was just like you get a scholarship, you don’t say no,” said Duverge. “It wasn’t a bad level of trouble just kind of hanging out with bad people. No drugs or stuff like that, just me making bad decisions. It was a wake up call.”
Though Duverge took the ousting from Hutchinson with a level of humility, he stayed the course of finishing his two years of school with one thing in mind.
“I thought my football was over at that point, but I stayed for the spring semester on my own, then went home,” said Duverge. “I was so desperate, I wanted to join the military.”
One person who stood by Duverge was his mom, Carmelle Clerger, of Middleburg.
“I only know I was disappointing her because she wanted me to be a lawyer and didn’t think the football thing was a good choice,” said Duverge. “I hated that I was making her work harder, but she knew I wanted to play and if I kept at my school, I would have a chance.”
Duverge later went to a military recruiting office in Orange Park, but the door was locked with no personnel inside.
“During all this my mom and a counselor from Hutchinson started to figure ways to get me back into college,” said Duverge. “She told me about a Bethel College football. They had had a bad record that year and my credits from Hutchinson transferred.”
Duverge would take some classes through summer and football season with one thing in mind; keep playing.
“I was doing everything I could to keep my dream alive,” said Duverge. “I made my mistakes, but I took like a man and made better decisions. When my mom got on board seeing that I was for real, that made it easier. I hated disappointing her.”
After a stint as a Publix worker in Texas, Duverge arrived at Bethel with a refueled football attitude and started to show out his immense athletic skill and football style.
“Even though I had decent stats at Bethel and made All-Conference first team defense, I was missing big plays and knew I had to correct that,” said Duverge, who finished with a seventh best in the nation tackles for loss total and also leading Bethel with 8.5 quarterback sacks. Duverge was also named the Bethel athletic program’s Male Newcomer of the Year.
“I knew a shot at the show came from having good film,” said Duverge. “I worked out hard when I was home in Middleburg.”
From a phone call from a friend who was at Arkansas State, Duverge drove to Jonesboro and earned a preferred walk-on position on the team.
“It’s just God,” said Duverge. “He puts obstacles in front of us and we have to have faith that it is for a reason. I just keep moving forward.”
Duverge will redshirt and hopefully earn a scholarship for next fall’s football season.