February 5th, 2014. National Signing Day. A day across the country where high school football players inked scholarships. At Walton High School this morning, Amos Williams signed with Division 1 North Carolina A&T State. Williams played a little bit of everything in his time as a Walton Brave, earning All-State Honors as a Utility athlete.
Williams led the Braves in rushing this year, amazing over 700 yards and 12 touchdowns, while passing for over 1100 and seven scores while taking snaps at quarterback. Williams was recruited as both a slot receiver and corner for the Aggies, and says he's excited to see what he can do at the next level.
"It's a very exciting moment. I feel really blessed and I thank God for this opportunity," he said. "I know I'm going to have to work hard to get my opportunity, and when I get my opportunity, I know I'll shine at it. I feel like I can make opportunities with the ball in my hands on the offensive side, and I feel like I can play defense as well. I think I'm a good football player. I can play any position."
Heading down 331, and staying in Walton County, where Gabe Moore signed a track and field with Arkansas today. Moore will compete in the decathlon for the Razorbacks. Moore has won several meets through his track career, but the highlights came this summer when he traveled to Ukraine for the IAAF World Youth Championships, where he finished 6th overall. Moore said today that he's excited to continue his career and see what the future has in store.
"It seems more real now that I signed the papers," he laughed. "When I committed I was like wow, all that hard work paid off. It's a great feeling right now and just signing the papers knowing I'll be going there next year. I really like the coaches and the team just feels like a big family and I like everybody there. I love the campus and facilities, and I know I'll fit in there."
Moving to Bay County, and a busy morning at Bay High, as the Tornadoes saw two football stand-outs sign scholarships.
Ethan Brown, who played defensive end at Bay High, inked with Southeastern, while Keith McNeil, who also played defensive end, will head to Mobile to play at South Alabama.
Head coach Jimmy Longerbeam said he hates to see both kids leave, but he's enjoyed watching them grow over the last couple years.
"I really hate to see them go because they both have really gotten better as the years have gone on," he said. "Ethan has been with all three of my years, and Keith for two years and both of those kids have tremendous work ethic and they both have really really matured both off the field as well as on the field."
At North Bay Haven, the Buccaneers made history as they signed their first college athletic scholarships in school history. David Smith earning that title as he inked with Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. Smith played quarterback for the Bucs, throwing for over 1000 yards and 15 touchdowns, but says nothing would be possible if it wasn't for the guys playing around him.
"It is a great honor, and it took a lot of hard work and without the rest of the guys on my team this would not be possible," he said. "I really feed of them as they feed off me. All the coaches that push me when I probably did not want to be pushed sometimes they helped and that's what makes it sweet."
The Arnold Marlins signed two players to scholarships Wednesday. Dario and Dominique Batiste signed full athletic scholarships to play for Independence Community College in Kansas. Dario played linebacker and defensive end for the Marlins, while Dominique was a defensive lineman. Arnold head football coach Josh Wright said the great character the two guys have shows on and off the field.
"They like to come to work everyday," he said. "They practice hard, they put forth the effort, they really carry themselves like college bound athletes on campus which means a lot to the atmosphere at school."
At Rutherford High School, Ram quarterback Dallas Davis signed with South Alabama. Davis has started on Varsity the past three seasons at QB for the Rams, earning All-County honors all three years. Davis says he's ready to compete at the next level, and he's excited to become a Jaguar.
"South Alabama has a very good program, they've only been playing football for five years, and they're already upcoming," he said. "I love the coaching staff, and I love the people around them. I felt at home when I took my visit up there. I was very overwhelmed when it was happening, but now that it's over and I've signed with my initials and name, I have a big relief now, I can relax."
At Chipley High School, three Tigers signed National Letters of Intent. Tight end Jacob Wilson signed to Florida Atlantic. The 6'4 senior had three touchdowns for the Tigers this year.
Running back Kobe McCrary inked with Butler Community College, a JUCO that boasts six National Championships in football. McCrary rushed for over 1300 yards this season and 16 scores for the Tigers. Offensive lineman JJ Holmes made it official with Hutchinson Community College, where he'll be rivals with McCrary at Butler.
Head football coach Chip Harris says he's happy to see the kids further their careers and that today was a big day for Chipley.
"To have three kids moving on and to have the caliber programs they're moving on to, to have an opportunity to take football and further their education is exciting," he said Wednesday. "Jacob, Kobe, and JJ have all worked hard and they were good players in our program and we're going to miss them but we're really happy for them and their families that they're getting to move on and get an education through football."
At Mosley High School, five athletes signed college scholarships. Nat Dixon picked between USF, Troy, Western Kentucky, and Boston College, and the winner was the Boston College Eagles.
Ryan Rodgers also signed today, picking FAMU, where he'll suit up at running back, and alongside teammate Jeff Hall, who will play on the offensive line for the Rattlers.
Banton Price and Christian Childree signed to play at Faulkner, where Price will play linebacker and Childree will play fullback.