Coastal Empire and Lowcountry footballers commit to college on day one of early signing period

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Years of training at 6 a.m., hours of grueling weight training, years of touch football games all the way to the high school state championship.

It all leads to a stroke of the pen; a motion that only takes a few seconds, but which will forever change the lives of these athletes.

Welcome to the start of the early signing period for college football, where football players across our viewing area have formalized their college choices.

BENEDICTINE: QB HOLDEN GERINER (Auburn)

Less than a week after leading the Cadets to their first state title since 2016, quarterback Holden Geriner made a commitment to the Auburn Tigers surrounded by friends and family.

Even though Geriner had known his college destination since last February, that didn’t make the day any less special.

“I mean, it’s really special; it’s a bit surreal, ”said Geriner. “I grew up watching these guys sign on TV and everything like that, so being able to have my name there myself is really cool. I can’t do it without my teammates. They make my job so much easier, but more importantly we all have fun together, so I wouldn’t trade the last four years for anything.

Geriner, in particular, would not trade his performance in the Class 4A Championship match for nothing; he threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns in Benedictine’s 35-28 win over Carver Columbus.

He finished the season with a school record of 3,377 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

Geriner will graduate as a Benedictine in December and report to Auburn on January 9.

“I really fell in love with Auburn,” Geriner said. “Not only the coaches, but I really fell in love with the place and the university as a whole. This is really why I stayed with Auburn. I really trust Coach Harsin and all the staff and what they do, which is why I stuck with Auburn. I am really excited about our future there.

COUNTRY DAY: QB BARRY KLEINPETER (New Hampshire), WR KENNY ODOM (Austin Peay)

Committing to college is a special time for any high school football player, but it takes on a little more meaning when you can do it with your best friend.

That’s what Barry Kleinpeter and Kenny Odom were able to do on Wednesday afternoon. The receiving quarterback duo who gave opposing defenses nightmares signed their letters side by side.

“We are very close,” Odom said. “Playing with each other for five years and building that relationship on and off the pitch is just a good thing.”

“It means everything,” Kleinpeter said. “Me and Kenny have been talking about playing college football since we started, probably in eighth grade, so being able to share that moment with him means a lot. “

For Odom, the day was a silver lining after an injury-ridden senior season. Odom only played two games before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery just before the Hornets’ home game against Metter.

The shoulder is healing well, according to Odom, and he’s grateful for the chance to prove it to the next level.

“It’s just a dream come true, as far back as I can remember I knew I wanted to play football to the next level so it’s just a special moment for me and my family today.”

ISLANDS: WR / CB LANGSTON LEWIS (Central Michigan)

Langston Lewis was a two-way terror for the Island Sharks, racking up 41 career receptions for 461 yards and seven touchdowns while recording six career interceptions.

He will, however, play one-sided for the Central Michigan Chippewas. The future MAC wide receiver took the time to thank both his older brother and the players he competed against for helping him grow.

“It’s a good feeling to be in this position right now, having my brother signed last year gave me the motivation to push even harder,” said Lewis. “We have dogs all over every school in Savannah. So it’s a nice feeling to be one of those top dogs and to be recognized.

JENKINS: DT JACQUEZ WILLIAMS (South Florida)

Jacquez Williams of Jenkins is no stranger to success.

After all, he played alongside Division I talent on two Jenkins Warriors teams that reached at least the state playoff quarterfinals.

Williams thanks former Jenkins players like Hawaii wide receiver Calvin Turner for showing him the way forward as he officially commits to South Florida.

“It helped me a lot; it showed me the ins and outs and being the player he is right now in Division I, it showed me the ropes. I feel a lot of happiness; really, really. excited to go out there and chase my dreams.

Upon arriving in Tampa Bay, Williams will play under the supervision of defensive line coach Da’Quan Bowers, a former NFL player and Clemson graduate.

HILTON HEAD: LB JAYLEN SNEED (Notre Dame)

From the start, the Class of 2022 in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry had an alpha dog. Only one player has been included on Rivals’ top 50 nationwide list. Only one player participated in the Under Armor All-American Game.

This man is Hilton Head linebacker Jaylen Sneed.

Sneed formalized his verbal commitment to Notre Dame starting in July in a ceremony at Hilton Head Island High School.

“It’s really shocking, it gives you chills down your spine,” Sneed said of the in-person experience at Notre Dame. “If you’ve never been in person, you have to go see him someday. I have been there about four times.

Sneed will graduate at Hilton Head earlier and show up at Notre Dame on January 8.

While it’s been a long journey for the star linebacker, Sneed said he knew early on he was destined for big things.

“One of my trainers told me that someday I would be special. (Head Coach) BJ Payne told me that maybe in week five of training he called me to a meeting in his office in first year and told me that you are going to be special someday. .

SOUTHEAST BULLOCH: WR TYLER GRIFFIN (Central Florida)

Southeast Bulloch’s Tyler Griffin dominated as a wide receiver and running back for the Yellow Jackets, racking up 1,191 scrimmage yards in his senior year with 14 touchdowns.

He helped guide Southeast Bulloch to a 10-2 overall record and their first playoff victory since 1973.

BULLOCH ACADEMY: RB RODNEY HILL (State of Florida)

Rodney Hill, a three-star Bulloch Academy running back, signed his letter of intent to the State of Florida.

Hill suffered an injury that caused him to miss a significant portion of his senior season, but is excited to prepare for the Seminoles.

BRUNSWICK: OL KANAYA CHARLTON (State of Florida)

Brunswick Pirates offensive lineman Kanaya Charlton joins Hill at Florida State.

Charlton was a key presence up front for the Pirates, who went undefeated in the regular season en route to a regional championship.

Charlton has received offers from 14 other schools, through Rivals, including Alabama, Miami, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.

JEFF DAVIS: DE MIYON CONWAY (Liberty), CB CJ PARKER (Kennesaw State), OL NATE LEWIS (Georgia Southern)

Jeff Davis signed the most footballers of any local school to the university on the opening day of the early signing period.

Nate Lewis became one of 20 players who made up Head Coach Clay Helton’s inaugural recruiting class at Georgia Southern. He is also the only Coast Empire among this group.


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