JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Wednesday was the first day of the early football signing period across the country and that made for an eventful day across the First Coast.
Area athletes broke out the pens and signed national letters of intent with college programs.
While most commitments held firm, there were a few surprises.
The biggest announcement Wednesday came from Sandalwood quarterback Jeff Sims, a previous Florida State commit who backed off of that pledge last week. He signed with Georgia Tech on Wednesday. Sandalwood cornerback Derek Bermudez signed with Mississippi after entering signing day uncommitted.
And Sandalwood offensive lineman Kobe Baynes resisted the pull from Miami and wound up staying true to Louisville. Baynes said he received a phone call from current Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on Wednesday morning. Baynes said that Jackson, who won the Heisman at Louisville, emphasized how strong the Cardinals program was and how much it meant to him.
Another couple surprises came from Trinity Christian running back Kyjuan Herndon, who flipped from Maryland to Colorado State, and First Coast cornerback Michael Smith, who flipped from UCF to Appalachian State.
Pos., Player, Ht., Wt., High school, College
OT, Bradley Ashmore, 6-6, 280, Fletcher, Vanderbilt
OT, Kobe Baynes, 6-4, 300, Sandalwood, Louisville
QB, Carson Beck, 6-4, 225, Mandarin, Georgia
CB, Derek Bermudez, 6-2, 180, Sandalwood, Mississippi
OT, Josh Braun, 6-6, 335, Suwannee, Florida
CB, Miles Brooks, 6-2, 180, Trinity, Ga. Tech
TE/FB, Shane Calhoun, 6-3, 230, Creekside, East Carolina
DE/FB, Kendy Charles, 6-1, 255, Orange Park, Liberty
S, Alfred Chea, 6-2, 190, First Coast, UConn
CB, Fred Davis, 6-1, 177, Trinity, Clemson
WR, Jhaylin Embry, 6-0, 170, Sandalwood, Bowling Green
TE, Cornelius Forrest Jr., 6-4, 235, Sandalwood, UCF
LB, Demond Fogle, 6-2, 215, Camden County, UConn
RB, Kyjuan Herndon, 5-9, 175, Trinity, Colorado State
S/WR, Keonta Jenkins, 6-3, 175, Ribault, Virginia Tech
OG, Avery Jernigan, 6-3, 290, Pierce County, Auburn
S, Tre-Vez Johnson, 5-11, 175, Bartram Trail, Florida
S/LB, Jerome Jolly, 6-0, 200, Mandarin, Liberty
WR, Javonte Kinsey, 6-4, 195, Sandalwood, Bowling Green
LB, Cody Kopp, 6-1, 195, University Chr., N. Illinois
TE, Jackson Mayer, 6-3, 205, Bartram Trail, Robert Morris
WR, Xavier McGriff, 6-2, 180, Baldwin, FIU
DE, Ralph Mency, 6-3, 225, Lee, Middle Tennessee
OL, Cameron Moewe, 6-5, 250, Bishop Kenny, Citadel
OL, Neil Politano, 6-2, 235, Bishop Kenny, New Hampshire
OT, Jalen Rivers, 6-6, 330, Oakleaf, Miami
CB, Jahquez Robinson, 6-2, 180, Sandalwood, Alabama
WR, Tyree Saunders, 6-0, 175, First Coast, Virginia Tech
QB, Jeff Sims, 6-3, 180, Sandalwood, Georgia Tech
DB, Michael Smith, 6-2, 180, First Coast, Appalachian State
LB, Ethan Strickland, 6-0, 200, Mandarin, Rochester
DL, Chantz Williams, 6-4, 220, Oakleaf, Miami
TE, Christian Williams, 6-5, 225, Creekside, Lehigh