Local athletes accept scholarships on Signing Day

Published On: Feb 04 2014 05:12:21 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 05 2014 08:40:00 AM EST

Over 135 local athletes signed scholarships on Wednesday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Much of National Signing Day is about the pomp and ceremony of the hats, the signing and the celebrations in each school.  These days most of the suspense is gone because of early commitments and social media. 

So when Isaiah Ford of Trinity Christian selected Virginia Tech as his destination, there was real shock and surprise in Florida and across the southeast.

Ford is a rare two-sport star, helping the Conquerors to the state football championship but also leading the city in scoring in basketball this year.  The ability to play both sports and get the support of the school played a big part in his decision to join the Hokies.

Most of the suspense is gone because of early commitments and social media, but when Isaiah Ford of Trinity Christian selected Virginia Tech as his destination, there was real shock and surprise in Florida and across the southeast. 

Ford is a rare two-sport star, helping the Conquerors to the state football championship, but also leading the city in scoring in basketball this year.  The ability to play both sports and get the support of the school played a big part in his decision to join the Hokies.

The afternoon also confirmed one of the other nationally-noted signees from Jacksonville, when Bishop Kenny's John Wolford formally committed to Wake Forest.  Wolford had originally committed to East Carolina but a late push by the Deacons landed a very productive but considered undersized signal caller.

N o surprises in the morning as the first wave of National Signing day commitments happened near the beginning of the school day across northeast Florida and southeast Georgia.

At Raines, Travaris Dorsey (pictured with his dad and coach) had said all along he was headed to play football at Florida and committed to the Gators to compete for a spot on the offensive line today. Alex Gardner signed with FIU and Marvin Zanders stuck with Missouri.  Lamont Simmons said he’s headed to Southern Cal instead of Auburn.

First Coast had a massive ceremony this morning with 14 different players committing to play football.  “You don’t see that every day,” Head Coach Marty Lee said afterward.

Players like Trinity Christian’s Kavaris Harkless are already in Gainesville, enrolled at Florida and expected to be a starter on the O-Line next year.   Kevin Daub, a linebacker from Sandalwood, is already in class at Florida State this semester.

National Signing Day In Jacksonville

Fleming Island had a big signing class this morning as well.  Twelve different player committed, including Quarterback Mike Scarnecchia heading to South Carolina to play for Steve Spurrier.

Interestingly enough, Florida State has confirmed nine commitments so far this morning, with only two from the Sunshine State so far.

Florida got the early edge signing quarterback Treon Harris from Miami Washington.  Harris had been a long time commit to FSU but after Kurt Roper came in as the new offensive coordinator for the Gators they made a strong push for Harris and officially signed him this morning.  Not a huge surprise but a pleasant “get” if you’re a Gator fan.  Harris will join Will Grier, the biggest recruit in the nation at QB out of Davidson, NC on the Gators roster behind Jeff Driskel in Gainesville this fall.  Apparently Roper’s more wide-open attack changed Harris’ mind in the last couple of weeks.

Ed White had six players sign to play football at the next level including Eric Vickers and Shawn Jackson staying in town to play at EWC.  Both said staying close to home so their family can see them play was a big factor. Jackson said, “I'm not trying to stay in the dorms, I'm living with mom, playing football and studying.  That's it.”

As expected, University Christian had a huge, 12-man class, lead by Antonio Simmons to Georgia Tech, Josh Allen to UNC, Malcolm Hills to Air Force and Andrew Negron to FAMU.  That’s the second year in a row UC has sent a bunch of players off to college.  Of course, last year’s class also came home with a State Championship!

Atlantic Coast’s signing class included Marissa Orduna going to USC-Beaufort to play soccer and Sarah Herb is taking her golf game to Tiffin University.

Bolles’ class includes pole-vaulter Harry Glasser committing to Florida.  He’ll join Nikki VandeVelde from Episcopal as pole-vaulters signing with the Gators today.

Wednesday afternoon, Mandarin unveiled a large and diverse class headed to “play” in college.   Tommy Boynton is going to Georgia Southern to play football.  Andrey Majkic will be on the tennis team at Navy.  Hunter Talley, Caitlin Weed, Kaitlin Romero and Nicole Shaffer will all play soccer at Southeastern.  Sydnei Sapp will do the same at Lagrange. 

Mandarin's Rijad Kobiljar is joining the soccer team at JU while Lea Kincaid will swim at South Georgia.  Elizabeth Borland will play lacrosse at Asbury and Marissa McDonald and Alice Chadwick will play softball at Santa Fe and FSCJ.  The track and cross-country teams are sending four runners to the next level.  Christina Shultz to FAU, Annette Morrison to Embry Riddle, John Weaver to South Florida and Sam Mack to Flagler in St. Augustine.

Orange Park continued the afternoon parade of top-flight athletes headed to play in college. Anthoni Neris and Corey Van Dorn are playing football at Nebraska Kearney. Rebecca Cannon will play soccer at West Georgia and Megan Stryon at Florida Southern.

Creekside High had 16 different students commit to colleges on this day including Courtney Edgerton going to Linderwood University Belleville to cheer and Shelby Scanlon headed to Ithaca College for gymnastics.   Amanda Keller will play tennis at the Naval Academy and Brooke McFall is going all the way to Kansas State to row.  Catherine Harms will also row but stay closer to home and do it at UCF. 

At Providence, they’ve grown into a hotspot for local talent.  That’s why college coaches flock there for all kinds of sports.  Their girl’s programs are sending Jo Bistro to Valdosta State to play basketball and Allie Cook to Coastal Carolina for Soccer.  Eden and Grace Meyer will joining the UNF track team with Emily Stallings. Megan and Morgan Hammett are headed to Daytona State for softball while Molly McNulty will take her glove to Lander.  Nikki Pritchard will stay in town to play Volleyball at JU.  Jamie Wienckowski will also try to join the starting six at Palm Beach Atlantic.   

While the Providence men’s athletic program has been highlighted by McDonald’s All American basketball player Grayson Allen (who’s committed to Duke) they’ve also produced their share of blue-chippers for 2014.  Christian Terrell will play basketball at Florida Gulf Coast and the Stallions are sending 5 baseball, 3 football and a lacrosse player to the next level.  Casey Cribb will play baseball at JU while Jay Prather and Mac Wilson will do the same at Lake Sumter CC and TCC next year.  Turner Ashby and Tristyn Bennett will play football at SW Baptist and Kedar Bryant will put the pads on for the Purple Paladins of Furman.  Morgan Nurse is headed to Shorter University to play lacrosse.

Nease is sending Jordan Triplett to Lagrange, Anthony McDonnell to Minot State, Chance Hanson to Valpo and Justin Johnson to Mercer to play football.  Their cross country team has Alyssa Rodale headed to USF and Karen Xiang to Penn.  Karen was sure to thank her Dad for running the end of her training runs with her and how that meant a lot.

At Bartram Trail, they have a tradition of introducing each signee individually and allowing students to stand and make a comment on each player.  Kind of a nice touch to be recognized by your peers in front of the assembled student body!  No surprises as PJ Blazejowski wore purple pants and signed with Furman.  Jesse Burkett is going to Stanford, Travis Keller to Stetson, Malik Rivera to Wofford and Will Tillo to Southeastern.  Austin McConnell will be on the track team at Stevens Institute of Technology while Austin Betros will play lacrosse at Mt. Olive and Dalton Cook and Michael Wires will do the same at Catawba.

All told over 135 athletes from North Florida signed letters of intent to schools as close as EWC and as far away as Southern Cal and Idaho. While football dominates the day, the athletes signing today will compete in a variety of sports including cheerleading, pole vault, soccer, baseball, volleyball, softball, track, cross country and lacrosse.

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