It's that time of year again -- National Signing Day.
The three schools with the most signings include Lee County (five players) and four each at Americus-Sumter and Bainbridge.
"It's a day we're real excited about because all these kids receiving scholarships serves to show these younger kids that if you work hard on the practice field and in the classroom, great things can happen," Lee County coach Dean Fabrizio said.
Players from Lee County, Monroe and Mitchell County will take part in the area's three highest-profile signings when Trojans WR Sanford Seay inks with Georgia, while good friend Justin Scott-Wesley -- a star WR/DB for the Eagles -- is also headed to Athens.
Scott-Wesley will sign at the school this morning, then again in another ceremony Thursday that will be broadcast live on CSS, while Seay will ink his national letter-of-intent at 2:45 p.m. at Lee County High.
Monroe bruising OL/DL Bryan Chamberlain, meanwhile, is headed to Georgia Tech, and he will sign during a unique ceremony today among friends and family at Oak Ridge Baptist Church at 6 p.m.
Monroe also has two others players who will be signing, but neither of those will happen on National Signing Day. Coach Charles Truitt said Tuesday that OT Anthony Shurten is still trying to decide between Appalachian State and Tusculum College in Tennessee, while RB Dominique Reid has garnered interest from Fort Valley State and could sign there later this month.
Joining Seay at Lee County on National Signing Day will be four other players -- including The Albany Herald's John Reynolds Player of the Year, QB Justin Walker. Walker will sign with West Georgia, while teammates Calvin Johnson, a DL, (Lane College) and WR James Terrell (Southwest Mississippi Community College) will also sign today. The Trojans announced a fifth signing late Tuesday as RB Denzel Eckles opted to accept an offer from Albany State.
Bainbridge, meanwhile, will have four players headed to major college football programs when All-State kicker Keenan Adams inks with Colorado State, a verbal commit Adams made last year as a junior, followed by all-purpose star Rohan Gaines (Arkansas) -- a commitment The Herald first reported several months ago. Joining Adams and Gaines today will be DB Shawn Samuels (UAB) and LB Jamarrio Brown (Albany State). All four players will sign during a joint ceremony at 9 a.m. at the school.
Up the road in Americus, four stars will ink their college futures, including OT Uneik Crumbley (UAB), TE Kyle Champion (Samford), DL Jonathan Battle (Georgia Southern) and DB Claude Deriso (Shorter).
The area's two other major signings include Mitchell County's Jesse Atkins, who did everything for the Eagles, as he will take his talents to Charleston Southern as a receiver, signing in a ceremony this morning alongside Scott-Wesley.
Early County RB/DB Camery Flowers, meanwhile, is signing with Wofford (S.C.) at 10:30 a.m. at the school.
The only player other than Chamberlain from any of Albany's four city schools that will be signing today will be OL Sam Newman, who will ink with Faulkner State University at 1:30 p.m. at the school. Westover coach Octavia Jones said he hopes that before the end of the month OL/DL Trent Brown will end up signing somewhere, possibly Albany State, Hargrave Military Academy or Georgia Military Academy.
There were no signings reported by Dougherty, and Albany coach Felton Williams said three players have received offers -- TE Jibri Jimmerson, kicker Daniel Castaneda and OL/DL Christian Turner -- but likely won't sign today as they continue to make up their minds on their college futures.
All three, according to Williams, have offers from Albany State.
BEST OF THE REST:
Starting in Edison, Calhoun County won't have any players sign today, but coach John Williams said he is hopeful that OLB/RB Rodney Coleman will sign somewhere in the next month.
At Pelham, coach Jim Morrell said he thinks RB/DB Darius Thomas will sign with a junior college sometime before the end of the school year.
At Seminole County, coach Alan Ingram said he has three players that will likely end up at The Apprentice School of Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va. -- a small college that has been a pipeline for kids from Donalsonville for years.
"They don't offer scholarships because it's a place where we've had a dozen kids over the years go to practice a trade, work 40 hours a week and continue to play football," Ingram said. "It's a real good option for these boys, and we've had a lot of kids go up there, earn some money, get an education and come back home and start their own business."
In Sylvester, Worth County coach Scotty Ward won't have any players sign today, but he expects that four stars from last year's football team -- Keion Ray, Jhue Rhodes, Trey Frager and Chris Ford -- will all ink letters-of-intent in the coming weeks with either NAIA or JUCO programs.
At Sherwood, All-State star Javaz Williams garnered interest from several smaller programs but is likely looking at Liberty University -- a Christian college in Virginia -- for wrestling, rather than football, according to A.D. Alan McWilliams.
At Westwood, coach Ross Worsham said he doesn't have any signings off this year's GISA Class A state title team, but he is hopeful that All-State RB/DB/Kicker Jake Edore will end up at Morris Hill in North Carolina.
"He's had some interest from schools, but Morris Hill looks to be a good fit, I think," Worsham said. "He went to a camp up there last summer and (made a few connections)."
In Dawson, Terrell Academy OL Jonathan Farr won't sign today, but coach Bill Murdock expects him to end up at one of several NAIA schools that have shown interest in Farr in the last few months.
In Cuthbert, Randolph-Clay coach Daniel McFather said he has no doubt that star RB tandem Cardaryle Curry and Johnny Foster will end up somewhere, but neither will sign today. Both running backs had rushing games of 200-plus yards this past season for the Red Devils.
"We've sent stuff to Fort Valley and Albany State and several JUCO programs," McFather said. "We're going to get them in somewhere. They've got the talent."
There were no reported signings -- today or in the near future -- from Miller County, Terrell County, Southland, Baconton Charter or SGA.
Deerfield, which won the GISA Class AAA state title this past season, sent 2009 Herald Player of the Year Tony Zenon to Georgia Tech. But coach Allen Lowe said Tuesday he won't have anyone signing this year, including All-State QB and DWS career passing record holder Banks Kinslow.
"Banks would probably be the best bet, but I think he wants to pursue (a scholarship) in baseball," Lowe said.
MALLORY TO GEORGIA STATE:
Former Dougherty star Qwontez Mallory, who took his talents to Georgia Military College and was a standout there in his first year last season, will head up the road to the next level today when he signs with Georgia State, which just finished its inaugural campaign as a football program under legendary coach Bull Curry this year.
Per NCAA rules, college coaches can't discuss the recruitment of players, but coach Mike White told The Herald on Tuesday that he expects a signing class of "12 to 15 kids today."
"It will be a good number, we're just not sure how many yet," White said. "We'll know more once we get the paper work back from (the player's we've offered)."