National Signing Day makes stops in Southwest Georgia
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The first Wednesday of February is always a busy one in the sports world because it is National Signing Day.
Athletes from all over the country, sign their national letters of intent to extend their playing careers and we had a plethora across South Georgia taking part.
Running back/linebacker Gary Davis will be staying in-state and will play linebacker full time at Savannah State.
The athlete, Cedrick Wilson will head up north to play ball at Chesnut Hill College in Pennsylvania.
3-star wide receiver Ontavious Carolina will be going D1 at Bethune Cookman.
Defensive lineman Marcus Ponder is also going D1 at Gardner Webb University.
Offensive lineman Isaiah Palmore is heading to Shaw University.
Three Packers are going to Point University and another three are heading to Georgia military college.
Robbie Wallace is headed east to South Carolina State University.
Point University has gained another south Georgian in Keimauri Stubbs.
Linebacker Malachi Green is joining the United States Marine Corps.
Tackle Quontavious Jenkins isn’t going too far, he’s headed to Fort Valley State.
Daymon Polite will go from Trojan to Bethune Cookman wildcat.
Anthony Suttles is taking his talents to benedict college.
Elijah West is headed to the FCS D1 ranks to play for Western Illinois.
Head Coach Johnn Gilbert said, “Signing day is one of those things I take a lot of pride in. I came here to try and change these guys from young boys into men. And for them to get the opportunity to go from this place into another place with a lot of the things we’ve been teaching them, I think is phenomenal. For us today, to have nine kids sign that speaks volumes of what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to accomplish here at Dougherty High School.”
Malik “Protein” Brackins is headed north to South Carolina to play for Allen University.
Joining him will be defensive back, Reginald Williams.
Offensive lineman Jacob Brim is taking his talents to Lagrange College.
Tailback Julius McClellan Junior had a big day, he is off to Georgia Military College.
A trio of Trojans are signing with Savannah State: Willie Williams Debo Roberts and Juwan Bailey.
Head Coach Dean Fabrizio said, ”Well there’s a reason we’ve won a lot of games here you know this senior class won 49 games, in four years, four region championships, undefeated in the region all four years. Two state title appearances, one state championship so quiet and accomplishment. We’ve had a great four years here, we’ve been ranked I think over the last four years number one more weeks than we haven’t been ranked number one in the state so there’s a reason we’ve been very successful and these guys have been a huge part of it.”
Chase Belcher inking his commitment to the FCS program, Northern Arizona.
Tylar Belcher stays in the Peach State with his commitment to Albany State University.
Tennessee Tech University will get Khris Thomas.
Peyton Gunn will also stay local and take his talents to Valdosta State University.
Gunn said, “After talking to coach Jackson and I don’t know if you’ve ever talked to him before but he makes you want to run through a wall when you’re done talking to him. And after sitting down and having the conversation with him that’s when I said this is where I want to be. Valdosta State University.”
Head Coach Jamey DuBose added, “I always tell people this is more exciting than winning a state championship. Because I see guys who are doing things that may change the course of their lives.”
Tailback Dorian Griffin is heading a couple of hours north to Barnesville where he will suit up for Gordon State next fall.
The big protector on the offensive line, Joshua Dowell is heading to Point University.
Brandon McGill will be joining the Gulf South Conference as he is off to Shorter.
Camera Bailey and Aaron Inman are off to Reinhard.
William Collier is headed to Chattanooga.
Jacquez McGowan will also go to the state of Tennessee to play for Tennessee Tech.
Jaylen Yearby and Jailyn Berrian are headed north where they’ll join the University of the Cumberlands.
Head Coach Shelton Felton said, ”It feels great. It’s an honor as a head coach you always want these young men to reach their dream and what we’ve been through at Valdosta and to have six more guys sign to play division one and division two football and just to play football it’s great honor and excitement here at Valdosta.”
Tajh Sanders is going D1 to play for Western Illinois.
Sanders said, “It feels really good because going into signing day it was kind of a late commitment and I was scared I wouldn’t go anywhere. But then I picked up the helmet for Western Illinois.”
Ty Anderson signed with Gardner Webb College.
Jimmy Bowdry is going to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Dijmon Wheelers will go from Bulldog to Hilltopper at Western Kentucky.
Tyrun’Dai Hayes will stay in the peach state after signing with West Georgia.
Malik Harper and Jay Cody will become La Grange Panthers.
Shannen White signed with Georgia Military College.
Linebacker Bubba Ellis will suit up in the Good Life City for Albany State.
Ellis added, ”It felt like home, you know the support there, they just keep it raw and uncut with me so that told me everything I needed to know. The biggest thing was family, and they have a coach up there that represents God and that’s one of the things that I’m trying to imbed myself on so it just felt like the right place. I can’t put it in words man, this is more than I could ask for to be real, you know I’m just going to go down there and do my thing. Just stay true to myself and just build character.”
Mitchell County celebrated their newest signings on Friday afternoon. The Eagles honored Ja’myez Thompson who will be playing for Fort Valley State this fall and Roderick Fowler who will be taking his talents to Columbus State.
A big day for both guys and Camilla is excited to see what these guys can do at the next level.
”It’s always special, kind of bitter sweet because you know you hate to lose these kids, you wish they always had you know another year of eligibility so that they can continue their stay here with you but always excited to see guys get the opportunity to move on and transition to that next level, to continue their academics and continue to play a game that they are so passionate about,” said Mitchell County head football coach Dondrial Pinkins. “What they brought to the table, the leadership, just being those guys day in and day out, being a part of this program, helping take it you know to the level that we needed to take it too.”
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