It is hard to believe it has been a full year since Jonathan Nicely, Trey Henderson and five of their Evans teammates established a county record for football scholarships signed at one school.
2009 looks like it will be another banner year for the county. Several players from Evans and Greenbrier will highlight the special day for high school players around the country by signing scholarships.
One player, Lakeside's Kyle Tudor, got an early start to his college career by becoming one of a select group of players to graduate early and enroll in college in January. Tudor will play linebacker for East Carolina.
The other area signees will sign on college football's National Signing Day, Feb. 4. Here is a look at the players who are likely to sign this year.
The Knights will have a trio of players head off to play football on Saturdays. This is on the heels of their county-record seven signees a year ago.
Brandon McCladdie (DB): McCladdie just got back from an official visit to The Citadel. He was offered a full ride and verbally committed to play for the Bulldogs. He will join former Greenbrier standout Reggie Rice, a starting linebacker for The Citadel, in Charleston next season.
Nigel Charles (DE): The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Charles came on strong in 2008. He has worked extremely hard in the weight room during the past few years, and it has paid off. Charles is expecting to commit to Division I Coastal Carolina. He will join former Evans teammate Trey Henderson, who signed with the Chanticleers last season.
Reuben Faloughi (DE): Faloughi is in the most interesting situation of all the local players. He has a full scholarship offer from Furman University and could likely earn scholarships from several other programs. He also was invited, however, to be a preferred walk-on at the University of Georgia. Faloughi has the grades to earn the Hope Scholarship and, through a few other grants, will have his college expenses taken care of. It appears he cannot turn down the chance to play in the SEC because he is expected to accept the offer from the Bulldogs.
Despite their struggles in the very tough Region 2-AAAAA, Wolfpack will have a few players ink deals next month, too.
Defensive lineman and three-time All-County performer Dylan Turner headlines this year's class for Greenbrier.
Dylan Turner (DT): Turner has a bright future on and off the field after accepting an offer to play for Air Force. The powerful defensive lineman has been a starter since he stepped foot on the Greenbrier campus and his huge potential was realized with a Division I scholarship.
Turner will be joined by All-Area linebacker Brett Johnson of North Augusta, who also accepted an offer from Air Force.
T.D. Davis (TE): Davis has a decision to make. He has a future in baseball, but he potentially could sign with Furman to play football. It likely will be a last-minute decision.
Bryan Andrews (DB): Andrews is a talented basketball player, but he has several offers in football. He is awaiting word from Lehigh University and has interest from Charleston Southern.
Ben Turner (QB): Turner is an amazing story. He played only one game at quarterback, but it featured an incredible performance. Turner racked up more than 500 yards of total offense in the game.
Lack of experience aside, Turner has considerable interest from Belhaven College and LaGrange College.
Signing day party
Once again this year, I will play host to a Signing Day party for all the signees in the area. This year's event will be held Feb. 4 at Indigo Joe's on Wheeler Road.
The party will be from 5-8 p.m., and it will be broadcast live on WRDW-AM (1630) and WGAC-AM (580). The players will be interviewed on air. In addition to meeting the players, eating some great food, and soaking in an electric atmosphere, fans will have a chance to win prizes.
Admission is free, so stop by Indigo Joe's on Feb. 4 and join in the fun.
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