Dylan Turner's athletic future was never really up for debate.
The Greenbrier High School defensive lineman, who signed with Air Force at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday on National Signing Day, inherited all the tools to play college football.
His father, Randy, played strong safety for East Carolina University. His uncle, Rocky Turner, played two years for the New York Jets as a defensive back and wide receiver. And cousin Hart Turner played tight end for the University of South Carolina.
"It's kind of a family tradition to play football," Randy Turner said.
Dylan Turner recorded 103 tackles and seven sacks during his senior season with the Wolfpack, earning him an all-region nod.
Turner also was a track and field standout. He won the 2008 Region 3-AAAA title in the shot put.
He had several options to play football in the fall, but said Air Force proved the best fit.
"When I went there, I knew it was for me," Turner said. "All the coaches made me feel like family."
At Evans, football coach Marty Jackson had a quieter National Signing Day than last year.
Evans cornerback Brandon McCladdie signed with The Citadel and sprinter Perron Jones inked a letter of intent to run track at Georgia Tech.
Jackson said he spent 30 minutes on the phone recently with The Citadel head coach Kevin Higgins.
Higgins wanted to know everything about McCladdie. Jackson told him how McCladdie had developed during the past two seasons.
"What Brandon did the last two years is he really grew up," Jackson said. "He took the team to heart, quit worrying about himself and put the team first."
McCladdie, a first-team all region selection last season, first heard from The Citadel in December. He committed during an official visit Jan. 16.
The Evans senior has earned a reputation as a defensive specialist, on the basketball court and the field, where he led the Knights in interceptions.
Jones, who played for Jackson on the Evans football team, also was a standout sprinter on the track team. He will run the 100-meter and 200-meter at Georgia Tech.
Jones said he received letters from other schools, but that the Yellow Jackets were always his choice.
Jones said Yellow Jackets track and field coach Grover Hinsdale started watching his times last year, and they exchanged e-mails during the summer. When Jones started his senior year, they talked on the phone weekly.
"It was a pretty smooth ride," Jones said of his recruiting process.
"I really wanted to be there."
At Lakeside, receiver Levi Hanks limped to the table in the school's media room Wednesday, ready to sign with Pikeville (Ky.) College. He was slowed by an injury suffered in a January car accident.
Hanks was visiting his grandmother in Lawrenceburg, Ky., when he hit a patch of ice and lost control of his vehicle. The car glanced off a bridge and hit a tree on the passenger side.
Hanks said he suffered a sprained ankle, bruised ribs and frostbite.
"He's fortunate to be with us today," Lakeside coach Jody Grooms said.
Hanks lived in Kentucky until he was 9 years old. He'll return to his home state to play for Pikeville.
Lakeside quarterback Chad Chandler also received an offer from Pikeville, but Grooms said Chandler was not ready to make a decision.
Panthers lineman David Poole signed with Valdosta State University.
Poole, who played on both sides of the ball , said he expects to play defensive tackle at Valdosta.
Like Hanks, Poole has family in the area and he said the Blazers had always been his choice.
"He recruited them probably harder than they recruited him," Grooms said. "He really liked Valdosta."
At Harlem, long snapper Barry Davis signed a scholarship offer from Georgia Military College, a reward for excelling at the dirty work.
"It's not a glorified position," Davis said.
Davis was named the most valuable player on Harlem's special teams the past three seasons. In addition to his long snapping, he also blocked two punts against Josey last season and helped open the way for the Bulldogs' running backs as a tackle on offense.
But Davis' specialty is delivering tight spirals to the punter's waiting hands.
The skill took some time for him to pick up. Davis once snapped the ball through the uprights for a safety during a junior varsity game.
"You make a snap like that, the coaches and crowd get on you," Davis said.
"It just makes me want to prove people wrong. When I snap it tight and go down the field and make a tackle, that shows people I'm an athlete."
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