Vineland High School senior Toure Douglas is a large wide receiver (6-foot-4, 190 pounds) with solid speed and agility.

"4.34," Douglas said.

That's not Douglas' 40-yard-dash time. Douglas runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds.

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The 4.34 is his grade point average at Vineland - currently good for top 10 in the senior class.

"That 4.34 will last me longer than my 4.6," Douglas said.

Douglas' talent on the field and in the classroom drew him to Columbia University of the Ivy League.

Douglas was recruited by a number of schools, primarily Columbia, Yale, Lehigh and Bryant University.

He took official trips to Lehigh and Columbia, where he met with former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator and current coach Pete Mangurian.

"(Coach) Mangurian told me, 'The decision you make is not for the next four years, it's for the next 40 years', " Douglas said. "I was blessed to be able to be recruited by some of the finest academic schools in the country."

Douglas signed an agreement Wednesday to attend Columbia. Columbia does not participate in the national letter of intent program and doesn't officially announce its recruiting classes until it receives deposits from all student-athletes.

Columbia's financial aid package - like most all Ivy League schools - is among the best in the country.

Vineland went 2-8 last season. Douglas played receiver and defensive back.

Columbia went 3-7 overall (2-5 Ivy League) in 2012.

Douglas excels in math and said he may major in business or economics at Columbia. He is also excited about the coaching staff of the Lions.

Magurian coached in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, the Bowl Championship Subdivision and the NFL. He coached in four AFC Championships and two Super Bowls.

Wendell Davis is the wide receivers coach. Davis was a two-time All-American at LSU and went on to play for the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts.

"It's really a blessing to have the opportunity," Douglas said. "Having coaches that have all that experience at the highest level is really exciting."

Larry Douglas, Toure's dad, was beaming with pride at the agreement signing on Wednesday.

"That's my little boy," Larry Douglas said. "He's made me proud. He honestly did. The boy has always made me proud.

"All I can say is thank God because he's a special kid. He's passionate about whatever he does. Ever since he was little he's always been focused."

Larry Douglas, who grew up in Jamaica, said his son has always been gifted in the classroom.

"That's the thing with him," the elder Douglas said. "If he would get a summertime project he would do it in the first week and say that way he wouldn't have to worry about it.

"Some parents have to worry about their kids and stuff. All I can say is thank God."

Contact John O'Kane:

609-272-7210

JOKane@pressofac.com

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