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Just Brew It column: Fauquier grad Garrett Diehl shining on Davidson football team

Tuesday, Oct. 22 | By Peter Brewington

Garrett Diehl is Davidson's lead kickoff return man and third-leading receiver. --Courtesy photo
As a small town newspaperman one of my tasks is to write exciting headlines, if I can.

Puns make that challenge more fun. They can make the paper funny. They can make the headliner writer feel smart.

Writing a headline with Diehl in it was so easy a monkey could do it.

As local football observers undoubtedly recall, brothers Garrett and Colin Diehl played quarterback for Fauquier High continuously for four straight years from 2009 to 2012 — thus giving this Fauquier Times too many verbal temptations to pass up. Among word play that ensued:

"Waiting for a new Diehl."

"The best deal in town: having Garrett on your team."

"One hot Diehl."

"Too good a Diehl."

"Diehl us in the playoffs."

You get the message.

Both small at about 5-foot-9 or 5-10 and less than 170 pounds — the Diehl brothers were endlessly exciting, speedy and shrewd quarterbacks.

Garrett was a first team all-state quarterback by Virginiapreps.com in 2010-11 when he had one of the greatest seasons in school history by throwing for 2,248 yards and 18 touchdowns, and running for 1,161 yards and 20 touchdowns. He ended up as Fauquier Times FHS Boys Athlete of the Year in 2011 for his football, basketball and lacrosse exploits.

Colin wasn't exactly chopped liver as a Falcon QB, throwing for 1,913 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior in 2011, and 1,803 yards and 12 TDs as a senior last season. He's now a freshman QB at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.

Fast forward three years to an region 20 miles north of Charlotte, N.C.

Now 21, Garrett is currently a junior at Davidson College playing slot receiver and kick returner for the Wildcats football team.

Here's a quick catchup version on what's up with Garrett.

The coaches that recruited him are gone. He broke his leg last year in the second -to-last game. He's settled on a major and joined a fraternity.
After his broken fibula, he's healthy and playing again — and wearing a new number: No. 8, not his old No. 1.

In short, he's Diehl-t with adversity and emerged into a solid player for the Wildcats, a Division I Football Championship Subdivision team in the Pioneer Football League.

After finishing as Davidson's No. 4 leading receiver in 2012, he's third this year with 18 receptions for 165 yards. He's the teams No. 1 kickoff return man (10 returns/ 244 yards), averaging a healthy 24.4 yards per return.

Last month he was named FCS Honorable Mention Kick Returner Performer of the Week. He set career highs with seven kickoff returns for 175 yards in Davidson's defeat at Morehead State.

Diehl doesn't have a TD this year, but he had two in 2012, his first against Marist College.

"I had a wheel route and caught it over my head. I saw the pylon and dove for it. I didn't know how to react, it was fun," said Diehl.

Unfortunately, Davidson is 0-6 right now, so let's talk about something else.

"I have a passion for history," said Diehl, who is enjoying such classes such as "Europe since 1789" and "American Pop Culture."

He's majoring in history and may pursue a masters degree or government position.

Davidson ranks as one of the USA's most prestigious and difficult liberal arts schools. In 2012, Davidson was ranked the third most rigorous college by Newsweek.

Davidson students adhere to an honor code and take self-scheduled, unproctored final exams.

"They give you a week window to take the final exam," said Diehl. "There are morning and afternoon time slots. There's a pickup site. You can take it anywhere in the building and report back at the end of the time period," said Diehl of the unique practice.

Diehl joined Phi Delta Theta, a fraternity with a lot football and baseball players, and eats his meals with his brothers.

Diehl still keeps up with Falcon football.

"My mom and dad send updates weekly. A lot of the time on bus rides I talk about what happened in Warrenton and with the Falcons. I enjoy following what's going on."

With three more Diehls approaching their athletic prime her in Warrenton, we've haven't given up on recycling the "New Diehl" headlines.

Sister Megan is a junior on the FHS field hockey team and was an all-Evergreen District selection as a sophomore.

Caroline is in eighth grade and brother J.T. in fifth grade.

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