National Signing Day 2019 blog: Where high school athletes are heading

By Cole Pepper - Sports anchor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - National Signing Day is underway. We will be posting the latest from around the region on this live blog. The most recent activity will be listed at the top. To read in chronological order, read from the bottom up.

You can also check out the running list of student-athletes who signed.

4:16 p.m.

Many viewers are sending in photos from today's activities. Among them, Tyler Huff at Ridgeview who committed to play football at Presbyterian College.

In Lake City, Columbia enjoyed a terrific season. Wide receiver Jalen Brown was one of the big reasons. He's heading to Valdosta State to play for the defending Division II national champions.

 

4:05 p.m.

At Creekside, 16 student-athletes signed today. Among them, quarterback Tai Lavatai, who is heading to the Naval Academy. "When I went there on my visit, it just felt like home," Lavatai said. "All the coaches made it feel like a place that I could call home. And after college finishes, I have to job to go to and don’t have to look for one. Plus it has a lot of perks just saying you’re from the Naval Academy.”

3:25 p.m.

There are three bowlers from the area who will be hitting the lanes in college. Sandalwood's Elizabeth Speight will bowl at Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio. Isiah Bautista of Paxon will bowl for Midland University in Fremont, Neb., and Wesley Outman (below) of St. Johns Technical High School, who signed today with Ottawa University in Kansas.

2:45 p.m.

In one of the largest signing day classes in years according to the staff at Bishop Kenny High School, 14 student-athletes in 7 different sports signed letters of intent this afternoon. Among those 14 signees there were two who made a life commitment past playing sports in college.  Bryce Mullenix turned down offers to schools like Clemson to play football at Army.  Mullenix says that other than an aunt that served in the Air Force, his family does not have a history of serving their country.  The former Crusader linebacker says he wanted to change that.

“Joining the military was just something that I wanted to do since I was a young kid,” says Mullenix.  “I wanted to serve and get a good education at the same time and Army does both for me.”

Patrick Larmoyeux will play basketball at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy next year.  Similar to his classmate, he only had a set of grandparents serve in the military.  

“It is a big life commitment, it is more than just basketball,” says Larmoyeux.  “It is learning to serve my country and better myself.  I am going to try to learn things that are going to help me in life and I am thankful for the opportunity to do that.”

1:50 p.m.

Fleming Island had a pair of football stars sign with high profile schools. Jake Libretto is heading to Air Force, while Sam Snyder signed with Baylor.

A pair of Eagles are also heading to college for volleyball. Lyara Rosario committed to Valdosta State and Miah Pena signed with Ave Maria.

1:01 p.m.

Complete with the marching band, a DJ and a packed gym, Lee High School celebrated six signees in both football and golf.  In recent years, the drama of “what hat am I going to put on” has waned but two Generals made their decision this afternoon. Quarterback Cameron Sapp chose FAMU over Alcorn State to play football, saying that the Rattlers were a perfect fit for him.

“It was close to home, that is where my heart is at,” said Sapp. “I like the whole coaching staff, it just felt like home to me.”

Taz Nicholson also had a decision to make as hats from FAMU, Middle Tennessee State, Southern Mississippi, and Florida Atlantic sat in front of him. He originally picked up the FAMU hat, but put it to the side and chose FAU to play football at.

 

 

“This means a lot, coming from where we come from.  I worked really hard for this, dedicating a lot of time. I’ve been playing since I was 6 and now to keep playing is a dream come true.”

12:57 p.m.

At Episcopal, 14 student-athletes signed their letters. 

Kiefer Washburn is going to the Naval Academy for Rowing. 

“It’s huge. It’s what I’ve been working for this since I was four years old and I finally am able to make my dream come true,” Washburn said.

Cole Crane committed to swim at Texas because of the Longhorn's success in the pool.

“They’ve won the last four national titles and it should be exciting to try and continue that tradition,” Crane said.

12:18 p.m.

At Mandarin, head football coach Bobby Ramsay said, “As individuals, this is the ultimate goal (signing), the championship we won is the team goal, everybody else wants to be here in this position with an opportunity to go to college and continue to play four more years and get an education.”

Running back Darien Oxendine, who committed to Tennessee-Martin, called National Signing Day, “The biggest day of our lives. We worked hard for this and hard work pays off. This is way bigger than the state championship. This one step closer to taking care of our families.”

10:39 a.m.

At Ed White, a trio of football players signed. Omari Fiffer is going to FAMU, Isaiah Flowers -committed to Valdosta State University while Jacari Robertson will attend Methodist University. Another football star, Yontez Jarell is already enrolled at Charlotte.

9:49 a.m.

National signing day continued at Sandalwood this morning as eight students signed letters of intent. Two football players; Antonio Clary and Kingsley Eguakuan signed early and are at Virginia and Florida respectively. As you know national signing day is not just about football, several other sports are also represented including bowling.  Elizabeth Speight will bowl at Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio next fall and says she has been dreaming about this day since she came to Sandalwood.

“I remember freshman year I looked at football players on signing day and I told myself I’m going to be up there signing one day. I think it’s cool that sports like bowling and softball and things like that be recognized. It’s important for girls to be recognized for sports.”

9:29 a.m.

At Bolles, 13 student-athletes signed their letters of intent, including football players, swimmers, and runners.

9:10 a.m.

At Baker County High School, one of the top tight ends in the area, Chase Hancock, committed to Georgia Southern, Matthew McDuffie is heading to USF while Tyler Burnsed committed to Troy and Myles Morrison will attend Methodist. 

8:49 a.m.

Signing day at Baldwin High School, where the football team is coming off its best season in a generation.

8:45 a.m.

The biggest class of signees in the area is at Fletcher.

The largest signing class in Duval county was at Fletcher this morning, where 18 Senators signed letters of intent in six different sports. Taryn Freshwater is going to play softball at USF next year and is very proud of all of her fellow signees. “I think it’s really awesome. I think Fletcher is an amazing school and it’s really impressive that we have 18 students here that are signing.”

Among the signees, two early signers for football, Hunter May, who committed to Tennessee-Martin and Miami signee, Jeremiah Peyton, one of the top wide receiver prospects in the state. 

8:32 a.m.

At Raines, the Vikings have 10 football players and a track athlete set to sign.

7:47 a.m.

The first school in our area to hold their signing ceremony was First Coast High School, where six football players inked National Letters of intent. Gelique Williams is going to Bethune-Cookman, Tyler Howard to Savannah State, Jalen Grimes will attend Hutchinson Community College, Cole Beckham committed to Garden City Community College,  Shamar Rush signed with Stetson and Darius Lewis made his decision between Georgia Southern and Bethune-Cookman.

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