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NATIONAL SIGNING DAY: Mitchell's Stewart signs with ASU, Burns with Newberry

Mitchell County star wideout, center, smiles after signing his national letter-of-intent Wednesday with Newberry College in South Carolina. (mike.phillips@albanyherald.com)

Mitchell County star wideout, center, smiles after signing his national letter-of-intent Wednesday with Newberry College in South Carolina. (mike.phillips@albanyherald.com)

CAMILLA --- Mitchell County always turns out some of the top football players in Southwest Georgia and this season was no different as two Eagles signed football scholarships in Camilla on Wednesday afternoon, including two-way lineman Grover Stewart, who is headed for Albany State.

It was one and done for Stewart, who was a leader on both sides of the line for the Eagles.

“After I talked to Albany State I didn’t even want to talk to any other colleges,’’ Stewart said. “It was nobody but Albany State.’

“I like their winning program. I love to win. There are two reasons why I liked Albany State so much. First of all, it’s close to home, and I also have a teammate who is there (Jesse Atkins, who signed with ASU last year out of Mitchell County). I visited the campus and liked everything about it.’’

There was another reason.

“They gave me the number 68,’’ Stewart said. “That was the number my father wore when he played football in high school, and my number (at Mitchell County). I wanted that number and coach (Mike) White gave it to me.’’

Stewart, who will major in criminal justice, started two years on both lines, and was a leader for Mitchell County, which went to the playoffs two season in a row.

“He graded out about 87 to 88 percent as an offensive lineman and he did a tremendous job on the defensive line,’’ Mitchell County coach Dondrial Pinkins said. “I think he will go on and represent Mitchell County very well.’’

Mitchell County receiver Yancey Burns, a Herald All-Area player who was the go-to-guy for the Eagles, also signed Wednesday. He is headed for Newberry College in South Carolina.

Burns caught 44 passes for 817 yards — that’s a whopping 18.6 yards per catch — and 14 touchdowns, and he also played defense for Mitchell. He’s headed for Division II Newberry, where they run the spread offense.

“I think he’ll do very well there,’’ Pinkins said. “He’s a gifted athlete on the field and a gifted student in the classroom. The biggest thing about him is that he led us in GPA for three years in a row, and had a 3.76 GPA as a junior. He’s tremendous in the classroom and a stand-up guy. He will take advantage of this opportunity and represent his family and Mitchell County. They run the spread, similar to what we run here. I think he will fit in well there.’’

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