The ability to have patience is a virtue that has paid off for Reynoldsburg graduate LaVonne Gauthney.

A member of the 2012 senior class, Gauthney attended Hargrave Military Academy located in Chatham, Va., from Aug. 20 of 2012 through Jan. 10.

He also played football for the prep school last fall after being a solid player for the Raiders, and over the winter he landed a scholarship to play for the University of Akron.

Gauthney signed Feb. 6 and will be a freshman for the Zips next season.

"I went up on an official visit and I love the facility and where it's located," Gauthney said on a text message. "I could really see myself going there. ... I enroll sometime over the summer."

Gauthney was first-team all-OCC-Ohio Division as a senior in 2011 as the Raiders went 6-4 that season under Buddy White, who was in his first season as coach that fall.

Gauthney got a scholarship offer from Youngstown State before ending up at the prep school but credits White for helping him sign with Akron.

White with worked with Akron coach Terry Bowden years ago and considers Bowden one of his mentors.

According to the signing day release by Akron, Gauthney is 6-foot-2, 300 lbs., and will play defensive tackle.

Track and field fans also might remember Gauthney from the 2012 state meet when he placed sixth in the shot put (57-11 1/2).

"I ended up there (because of) my high school coach, Buddy White," Gauthney said. "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have been able to go there. He kept telling them to take a look at me and they did."

Check out ThisWeek's National Signing Day coverage.