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NATIONAL SIGNING DAY: Seminole's Virgin headed to Tennessee, says ‘229 boys are going to own Chattanooga’

Seminole County DB Dee Virgin, front row, center, signs with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Wednesday in Donalsonville. Virgin is joined by, front row, from left, mother Katrina, daughter Kyndle, and father Andrew, as well as, back row, from left, Seminole assistant coach Mike Savage, head coach Alan Ingram and assistant coach Wes Williams. (mike.phillips@albanyherald.com)

Seminole County DB Dee Virgin, front row, center, signs with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Wednesday in Donalsonville. Virgin is joined by, front row, from left, mother Katrina, daughter Kyndle, and father Andrew, as well as, back row, from left, Seminole assistant coach Mike Savage, head coach Alan Ingram and assistant coach Wes Williams. (mike.phillips@albanyherald.com)

DONALSONVILLE — Seminole County coach Alan Ingram calls Dee Virgin the best — the undisputed best.

“He is,’’ Ingram said. “He’s the best defensive back I’ve ever coached in my 40 years, and I’ve coached two of them that ended up in the NFL. He’s the best I’ve ever had and one of the best I’ve ever seen.’’

What makes Virgin so special?

“He’s greased lightning,’’ Ingram said with a smile. “He absolutely is. He comes out of nowhere, and he’s gone.’’

Virgin, who was one of the big reasons Seminole County had the best season in its history in 2011, will be gone soon. He signed a letter-of-intent to accept a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Wednesday morning.

“He’s a big-time D-I player,’’ Ingram said. “They’re getting a steal. He’s got all kinds of talent. He will make an impact there. They’ve already talked about also using him on offense, and if they don’t, I’ll talk to them. He’s a D-I guy. He can play the game. He’s special.’’

Virgin was one of the most talented players in Southwest Georgia on either side of the ball. Teams rarely threw in his direction because of his blanket coverage — after all, he finished with 10 career interceptions. He had four interceptions this season and made 49 tackles, including two sacks. He also forced two fumbles.

On offense, he caught 11 passes for 359 yards, averaging 32.6 per catch, and five TDs. He rushed for 377 yards on just 36 carries, averaging 10.47 yards per carry and scored nine TDs. Virgin was named to the GACA All-State team this week.

His future is in the secondary, and it’s limitless.

“I’ve got dreams,’’ Virgin said. “I’ve been dreaming for days about getting to the pros, and now I’m starting all over again in college. You can get to the NFL from any school. You just have to work hard and do what it takes. If you work hard you will be successful and the (NFL) scouts will look at you. Terrell Owens went to school (at UT-C)’’

Virgin said he plans on putting academics first in college.

“You have to put academics first,’’ he said. “That’s the most important thing. I am going to focus on getting a degree. The football will come.’’

Several schools talked to Virgin, including Albany State, Valdosta State and others. Samford, Middle Tennessee State and Valdosta made him an offer.

“When I went to Chattanooga, I fell in love with it,’’ said Virgin, who has a 3.1 GPA. “The town is so beautiful, and the school is real pretty. I liked the people there. They were people of good character. I just felt like it was the place for me.’’

Monroe defensive end Vantrel McMillian is also going to Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Virgin and McMillian were roommates when they visited the campus.

“Yeah, we’re friends,’’ Virgin said. “We’re going up together and playing defense together. All I have to say is that the 229 boys are going to own Chattanooga.’’