College football's National Signing Day arrives Wednesday, and there still are a few Columbia County athletes who haven't settled their plans for playing at the next level.
As many as 10 to 12 county seniors could play football collegiately next fall, but right now there are more questions than answers.
Here's a brief preview of what to look for Wednesday and beyond.
Harlem High School: The Bulldogs have made back-to-back Class AAA state playoff appearances, and college recruiters have taken notice. Several Harlem players are being recruited, including talented juniors Kelvin Sturgis and Josh Wilmoth.
As for the seniors, there are three to watch.
Quarterback Domonique Brown is being hotly pursued by Georgia Southern University. He would be a nice fit for the Eagles' option offense, and he should only get better when he begins focusing on one sport.
Also, two Harlem linemen should be playing on Saturdays.
Travis Reese appears to be headed to Presbyterian College, and teammate Tyler Holley could join him at the Clinton, S.C., school. Holley could also wind up at North Greenville (S.C.) Junior College.
Lakeside High School: The Panthers narrowly missed a Class AAAA state playoff berth last season, and two of their linemen, Adi Filipovic and Adam Frye, are being courted by college programs.
Filipovic, who also is an outstanding student, likely will sign with the Wofford Terriers of Spartanburg, S.C., while Frye appears to be leaning toward Georgia Southern. Frye might have to walk on in Statesboro, but there could be some scholarship money involved.
The situations at Evans and Greenbrier high schools leave the most question marks.
Greenbrier High School: Wolfpack linebacker/fullback Nick Wandless has drawn interest from several colleges, but it is unclear whether he will sign this week. My guess is he will suit up somewhere this fall.
Evans High School: Linebackers Ernest Powell and Jon Lee both should get a shot at signing scholarships.
Powell is an exceptional student and an excellent defensive player. If he was bigger physically, he would have his choice of colleges. As it stands right now, Morehouse College and Howard University have expressed interest, but neither have made Powell an offer.
Lee's story is baffling. He is a solid linebacker and an even better baseball player - he's going to be a college performer next fall, and my prediction is that Lee will be on the diamond when the dust settles.
In football, Lee appears to be a bit down on the recruiting depth chart of most colleges.
Augusta Christian Schools: Senior Joel Whinghter is the most coveted football prospect in Columbia County.
The 6-0, 205 pound tailback is getting looks from some big-time college programs. Clemson, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt and Georgia Southern seem to be Whinghter's top four picks.
If Clemson offers, Whinghter will wear orange (he grew up as a huge Clemson fan and has a brother who played for the Tigers).
Should the Clemson deal fall through, Whinghter could be in a waiting game to see which players Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt sign. Depending on what happens Wednesday, Whinghter could be Georgia Southern bound.
Signing Day Party
In conjunction with National Signing Day, I will be doing my radio show live Wednesday at Partridge Inn on Walton Way.
The National Signing Day Party was a huge success last year, and the second edition should be even bigger.
Area gridiron stars Michael Cooper of Screven County (a University of Georgia commitment) Silver Bluff's Troy Williamson (a South Carolina commitment) and North Augusta's Reggie Merriweather (who has committed to Clemson) will be on hand, along with many other local players.
Additionally, area band Impulse Ride will perform, and there will be some giveaways for the fans.
The party is free. All area football players (and their coaches) who are planning to sign with a college are invited to be our special guests at the event.
We will be conducting interviews, and the players will have a chance to mingle with the other attendees.
Also, we encourage all of the athletes to wear their high school jersey, if possible.
For more information, call 855-9494, Ext. 213.
Ashley Brown's radio program can be heard from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday on News-Talk Sports 1630 AM. His e-mail address is AB@WRDWAM.com.
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