SIGNING DAY ROUNDUP 2020: SEVERAL LOCAL ATHLETES TO PLAY AT NEXT LEVEL
Story contributed to by WVUA 23’s William Galloway, McKenzie Williams, Hannah Hammonds and Dylan Morgan.
Several local high school football and volleyball players signed to play with colleges at the next level on National Signing Day, which was held Wednesday, Feb. 5. Here’s a recap of who signed:
Hayden Calhoun – Northridge High School
Calhoun, a senior at Northridge High School, signed to play college football at Mississippi College. The ceremony was held inside the Northridge gymnasium alongside family, friends, coaches and teammates.
Calhoun, an offensive lineman for the Jaguars, started 39 out of 40 games during his high school career. That one game he missed was due to injury. Calhoun is a member of the wrestling and baseball teams at Northridge as well.
“The coaches are phenomenal,” Calhoun said of his future college. “They brought me in and they made me feel right at home. Their facilities are amazing. They treat me like one of their players now.”
Mississippi College competes in the Gulf South Conference and Calhoun hopes to have an immediate impact just as he did at Northridge.
Joshua Darling – Gordo High School
The Grambling State Tigers Football Team has added local high school linebacker Joshua Darling to their 2020 recruiting class.
The 6-foot, 210-pound inside linebacker has been a star for the Gordo Green Wave and will be taking his talents to Grambling, Louisiana.
The Tigers finished the 2019 season 6-5 (4-3) with a loss to Southern University in the 46th Annual Bayou Classic.
Darling has been known as a “real thumper” at the linebacker position and will look to make an impact early on.
“It’s always been a dream to play D1 football and they gave me that opportunity,” Darling said. “They lost a good bit of linebackers, and possibly get some early playing time. So that was one of the big reasons why I picked Grambling.”
The Gordo High school Football Team finished their season 12-1 after losing to Mobile Christian in the quarterfinals of the Alabama 3A State Football Playoffs.
Xavier Morrow, Javarius Hoskins, AJ Shipman, Ty’Javian Edwards – Bryant High School
Bryant High School had four student-athletes sign for college football scholarships on this year’s National Signing Day.
“They’re leaders in our program, on and off the field,” Bryant head coach Eldrick Hill said. “It’s just a testament to their character, their support system and their efforts on and off the field.”
Linebacker Xavier Morrow will continue his academic and athletic career at Southern Mississippi University. Morrow started 42 games and broke the school record with 451 tackles.
Defensive end Javarius Hoskins signed with the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. Hoskins recorded 79 tackles, 11 sacks, and two touchdowns this past season.
Wide receiver AJ Shipman will move on to play for Fort Valley State University. Shipman was named ‘Mr. Clutch’ for the Stampede.
Quarterback Ty’Javian Edwards will continue his academic and athletic career at Dodge City Community College in Kansas. This group of four is a part of the ‘winningest’ senior class in Bryant High School history.
Javonta Leatherwood, Drew Albrook, Josh Cabbil – Central High School
It was a big signing day for football and volleyball standouts at Central High School, as five athletes signed with colleges across the southeast.
Running back Javonta Leatherwood signed with Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi, while defensive lineman Drew Albrook and Josh Cabbil signed with ASA Community College in Miami.
“This is what the kids practice for,” said head football coach Dennis Connor. “This is what they dream of doing, from the time they were in little league, middle school and now in high school.”
Markiya Smith, Shadiya Smith – Central High School
Falcons volleyball standouts Markiya Smith and Shadiya Smith both signed with Miles College in Birmingham.