Area football players sign on the dotted line for National Signing Day

Area football players sign on the dotted line for National Signing Day


Faulkner University scored the biggest touchdown locally on National Signing Day as six Wiregrass players signed their national letters of intent to join the program which is played at the NAIA level.

Eli Herring (OL/TE Cottonwood), Wauntavious Conley (RB/S Abbeville), Kendrel Brewer (DE Dothan), Hayden Walden (OL Zion Chapel), Shaun Smith (OL/LB Zion Chapel) and Braylon Foster (LB Early County) inked with the college located in Montgomery.

They join two Wicksburg players who signed with Faulkner in early January – Jaylen Murry, a running back, and Tyler Williams, a receiver.

Cottonwood’s Herring said Faulkner felt right at home, especially with the size of the student population.

“It’s like 800 to 1,000 kids, which is like high school,” Herring said. “What’s most important to me is my faith and they have a chapel every morning and you don’t see that anywhere else.”

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There will be a familiar face on the team in former Cottonwood teammate Jordan Williams, a lineman who signed with Faulkner a year ago. He also knows the two Wicksburg players who have signed with the school.

“It’s great to have friends up there so you’re not alone…you know people,” Herring said.

As Herring played an offensive tackle at Cottonwood, he said Faulkner’s coaches wanted to use him as a tight end.

“Blocking should be easy because I’ve done it all my life, but I just have to work on the catch and run routes,” Herring said. “I’m going to go to the weight room a lot more and work on speed training.”

Conley d’Abbeville was a star for both running back and safety. He rushed for 1,248 yards with 13 touchdowns and caught 19 passes for 464 yards and two touchdowns as a senior. On defense, he was on 102 tackles with two tackles for loss and two QB sacks.

Conley said he would play slot receiver at the college level.

“I have to go to the college level to train,” Conley said of preparing for the next level. “Training for speed; to have my vision and all that correctly.

Conley also felt comfortable around Faulkner.

“I chose Faulkner because it felt like it was here…it’s a small school, so I can fit in,” Conley said. “They have very loving coaches and coaching staff.”

He relied on his faith, his family and his coaches during the decision-making process.

“God actually helped me get to where I am right now,” Conley said. “My family…like my mom, dad and uncle…really helped me with my decision and stuff. Coach (LaBrian) Stewart helped me see different colleges.

Conley’s teammate at Abbeville, Ky’Juan Kinsey, a linebacker, has signed with Next Level Academy, which is a prep school located in Wetumpka that will play at the junior collegiate level. He hopes to use it as a building block for one day getting into a four-year college.

“I plan to go there and make it my home for at least two years to further my education,” Kinsey said. “Coaches showed love and I showed love to coaches. It feels like home already.”

Kinsey called it a “blessing” to sign on Wednesday.

“I never thought I could go to college and be able to play football,” Conley said. “It was one of my biggest dreams. It was one of my accomplishments and I’m ready to do more.

Like Conley, Kinsey was grateful to those who helped him succeed.

“First of all, my God,” Kinsey said. “You can’t do anything without God. And I would like to thank my coaches for pushing me… and my mother, my family and my friends from Abbeville high school… and my brothers from the football team.

Cook, Smith choose Huntingdon

A few defensive stars in the area will go to Huntingdon College in Montgomery – Headland linebacker Conner Cook and Samson defensive end Logan Smith.

Cook thanked God, family and friends before signing on the dotted line in Headland High Auditorium. He spoke about what it meant to sign and why he thought Huntingdon was a good fit for his talents.

“It’s been 12 years of hard work and I’m thrilled that it all finally paid off,” Cook said. “Obviously I like the fact that it’s a Christian school… Christianity has always been a big part of my life.

“They already have a good football program and I hope to contribute to that and continue to develop it. Ever since the Pee Wee Ball I have always wanted to play at the top level and to finally be there means so much.

Cook will reunite with some former Headland teammates at school.

“Robert Vickers, on the football team, I played with him last year and went through Pee Wee,” Cook said. “John McKee from the football team also played football with us last year, so I already have friends up there.”

Cook feels well prepared to take the next step after his trip to Headland.

“Well, we’ve had four coaches in four years, which has given me a lot of diversity and knowledge,” Cook said. “I think that with all this, I will be able to understand more quickly. I hope to play linebacker, but honestly, I’ll play wherever they need me.

Wicksburg defensive lineman William Wright has signed with Columbus (Ga.) State, which plays at the Division III level.

“I would like to thank God, my family and my friends for giving me this opportunity for Columbus State,” Wright told those in attendance at the Wicksburg gymnasium. “I think it’s a good campus and good people there.”

Wright has ambitious goals for the next level.

“My role is to be the best D-line player and also to make sure I have a good education,” Wright said. ” It’s really important. I want to get stronger, faster and smarter.

Wright talked about his journey to leveling up and also offered some advice for upcoming young players.

“I had to put in extra work in the weight room to get strong and tackle,” Wright said. “All I have to say is work hard, improve those ratings and play on the pitch.”

Hataway picks Bellarmine

Safety Rehobeth Baker Hataway will play at a level called Sprint football at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky.

Sprint football is a non-NCAA sport that adheres to the same rules as regular football, with the sole exception of a weight limit of 178 pounds (183 pounds with additional measurements). Players are weighed in on Thursday and play on Saturday.

Bellarmine is a founding member of the Midwest Sprint Football League which began play last fall. It was also Bellarmine’s first season in Sprint Football. The Knights went 4-3 in their inaugural season.

“All the hard work playing ball for four years is paying off now and I can keep doing it,” Hataway said.

His dad found the school on the internet and figured out a way to get the head coach’s phone number to get everything going.

“My dad just threw a shot in the dark and called him and he picked up,” Hataway said. “I went to visit. The head coach (Harold Davis) himself drove us around Louisville and showed us where everything was. It was a big deal. That was a big part of my decision was the fact that he was willing to do all of this himself. It was very personal. »

Hataway thinks he’ll perform well within the weight guidelines.

“I’m 150 pounds, so I have room to play,” Hataway said of the weight limit rule.

He prides himself on being aggressive on the pitch.

“Very hard hitting,” Hataway said. “I just want to play the game.”

Charles Henderson, last season’s Class 5A runner-up, signed five players on Wednesday. Linebacker Marquavius ​​Scott and wide receiver Stephon Mosely signed with Lane College, offensive lineman Phillip Scott with Tuskegee, offensive lineman Connor Jones with Delta State and linebacker Damien Hart with Miles College.

Early County offensive lineman Darrenton Jackson signed with Shorter University (Ga.) and Seminole County free safety Boris Melton signed with Carson-Newman (Tenn).

On Friday, Christian Ross (TE, DE) of Dale County is expected to sign with Memphis on Friday and Jaylin Fields (lineman) of Ashford is expected to sign with Savannah State on Friday.

David Mundee contributed to this report.

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