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This could be the year for Lakeside signees

Posted: January 8, 2012 - 1:06am  |  Updated: January 8, 2012 - 5:10am

To many, the college football season comes to an end Monday evening as LSU squares off with Alabama for the BCS national title.

However, to an ever-growing group of hard-core fans, the season still has a few weeks to go. To them, one of the biggest days on the calendar takes place Feb. 1. That is the day when the top high school football players across the country make their college choices official.

It’s college football’s National Signing Day, and once again Columbia County will have several players signing. Now, I am not saying we have become a football hotbed, but recruiting in the county has picked up dramatically in recent years.

Since 2008, more than a dozen Evans players have signed. Currently, nine Evans’ players are playing on the college level. Lakeside and Grovetown could have a list that big in the near future.

The Panthers and Warriors could each have multiple players sign scholarships this year.

While the recruiting process has been made easier thanks to modern technology, social media sites, and other sites like www.hudl.com, prospects and coaches still put in a lot of work to get noticed by recruiters. Lakeside head coach Jarrett Troxler sent out 300 e-mails to schools one day last week. That is just one day in a process that has become almost year round.

Here is a list of some of the players from Lakeside who could potentially sign a college scholarship. I will give updates on Grovetown and the remainder of the county in my next few columns.

Mark Weidenaar: Weidenaar will likely sign a Division I scholarship, but he is a “tweener” – meaning several schools have the QB playing the waiting game. His destination will be based on where some other players sign.

Sam Graham: Several Division II schools are showing interest in the defensive lineman.

Jacob Wright: Likely D-II for the offensive and defensive lineman.

Jonathan Long: The running back is looking at The Citadel, Elon and North Carolina A&T.

Danny Leonardi: Likely D-II for the linebacker.

Sean Gaddy: The defensive lineman likely will go to a D-II school.

Luke Reeve: The defensive back is headed to Suwanee.

Tyler Pearre: The offensive lineman is headed to Bloomington.

That is potentially eight signees for the Panthers. Sure, most of them are smaller colleges, but getting an opportunity at a free education is what it is all about. Hopefully, all of them will get a chance to have their “moment” with a signing ceremony.

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