The recruiting process for high school football players can be rigorous and emotional.
However, it is all worth it in the end when players sign on the dotted line of the schools of their choice on National Signing Day. Tucker’s Dominick Sanders was one of many players who had an eventful recruiting year.
Sanders committed to Central Florida mid-January, but reopened his recruitment when he decided to visit other schools. This opened the door for the University of Georgia to offer Sanders a scholarship.
“I had a home visit (with Georgia) that next week,” Sanders said. “I’ve always felt good about Georgia. My brother Chris went there and when Georgia came in I pulled the trigger.”
DeKalb County, including its private schools, had more than 90 athletes donning college hats and signing letters of intent Feb. 5. Twenty more athletes from the DeKalb County School District are expected to sign in the coming week, which would bring the district’s total to more than 100 signees for the sixth consecutive year dating back to 2009.
DeKalb had players signing with schools from some of the top major conferences in the country, including the SEC (9), ACC (4), Big 10 (2) and Big 12 (2). The signees spread out over 23 states and 57 colleges with Georgia and North Carolina having nine colleges with a signed player from DeKalb. Five colleges each in Alabama and South Carolina also picked up signatures in DeKalb.
Players are going as far west as California with Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma included in those west of the Mississippi River. Universities as far north as Michigan, Indiana, New York and Ohio also signed players from the county. DeKalb is also sending one player to each of the military academies–Air Force, Army and Navy.
Stephenson, which usually has a large signing class, led the county with 23 signees. Three signed with SEC universities: Jared Tucker (Kentucky), Jordan Harris (Mississippi State) and Dallas Rivers (Vanderbilt). The Jaguars had two sign with ACC schools: Tyler Jones (North Carolina State) and Cameron Glenn (Wake Forest), and one Big 10 signee–Montez Sweat (Michigan State).
Martin Luther King had 15 signed on National Day and expect up to six more to sign later. The Lions signees were led by defensive back Wesley Green, who signed with South Carolina.
Class AAAAA state runner-up Tucker had 17 signees, including Elisha Shaw (Alabama), Sanders (Georgia), Detric Dukes (Georgia), Justin Hughes (Kansas State) and Kirk Tucker (Oklahoma State).
This was the largest signing class in school history for the Tucker Tigers. Head coach Bryan Lamar said the 2014 class is special because it is the winningest class in Tucker history with a 52-5 record. This senior class also has two state championship appearances, one state title and three region titles.
“This is just a great group,” Lamar said. “They’ve accomplished a lot, they’re extremely hard workers and have great leadership. I’m going to miss them.”
Arabia Mountain’s nine signees include a pair of military academy signees in Nasiir Edwards (Air Force) and Demetro Stephens (Army). The Rams’ signees also include a Big 10 and ACC pair in Gregory Phillips (Purdue) and Kayton Samuels (Syracuse). Ten more players are expected to sign, which would push the Rams’ total to 19, a record for the school that played its fifth football season and picked up its first winning season.
Columbia (6), Lithonia (5), Cedar Grove (4), Decatur (3), Miller Grove (3), Redan (3), Stone Mountain (3), Lakeside (2), Marist (2) and Chamblee (1) rounded out the schools with signees on Feb. 5. Miller Grove head coach Damien Wimes was happy that his three signees were chosen and said they will be missed.
“We’re very proud of them because they were great leaders on the team,” Wimes said. “We have a lot of players coming back but we’re going to miss their leadership next year.”
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