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College Ready: Taking National Signing Day to the next level

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc A great year for MNPS athletics gets even better on Wednesday February 4, as family, friends and coaches gather to celebrate National Signing Day – the day student-athletes choose a college and finalize athletic scholarships. The class of 2015 might be the deepest and most talented group of student-athletes MNPS has produced in many years and includes some of the nation’s top recruits.

The years of hard work and sacrifice pay off for student-athletes and their parents with the signing of college scholarship papers. The North Sports Report will follow the action of the day and attend as many of the celebrations across the district as I can. Nothing is final until the ink hits the dotted line, so the anticipation is building. Things can change right up to the last minute.

Here is the schedule for Wednesday:

  • 9:00am - Pearl-Cohn will have eight (that’s right, I said eight) student-athletes sign scholarship papers. Firebird running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Mr. Football, Hume Award winner, and Gatorade Tennessee Player of the Year – has listed his top choices as Illinois, Purdue, West Virginia and Louisville. His choice is the most eagerly anticipated of the day.
  • 10:00am - At Hillsboro, Vincent Perry is expected to join to play for Coach Butch Jones and the Tennessee Volunteers on the hill in Knoxville, and Juwan Davis is expected to sign with the Austin Peay Governors.
  • 11:00am - At McGavock, Damien Starks will sign to continue his studies and football at Cumberland University, and Chris Claybrooks will sign with Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.
  • 1:40pm - At Overton, DeAngelo Holt is expected to take his sack attack to Johnson City and join the East Tennessee State Buccaneers.
  • 2:30pm - At East Nashville, dual threat quarterback Isiah Upton is expected to be a wide receiver at the next level and will sign with the MTSU Blue Raiders. Lennox McAfee will take his talents to the Southern Conference as he signs with the Wofford Terriers.
  • Cane Ridge will host a celebration for the incomparable Track and Cross-Country star Bailee Dean who has signed to run for the Belmont Bruins.

Several other student-athletes signed earlier in the school year, including Hillsboro track star Janel Pate (Alabama). Other members of the class of 2015 graduated early and are enrolled in college, including some of the top recruits in the nation. Overton’s Ugo Amadi is at the University of Oregon and will play for the Ducks this fall; Hillsboro’s Michael Hughes is already continuing his education at TSU and will play for the Big Blue Tigers this fall; and Hillsboro’s Kyle Phillips has started his first college semester at UT and will a part of a top ten recruiting class.

Congratulations to the student-athletes and their families.