Local Coverage: National Signing Day
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WRCB) -- A total of 36 high school football players signed national letters-of-intent Wednesday as part of the 2010 National Signing Day, which is the first day a high school senior can officially sign with a college program.
Fax machines started lighting up at colleges across the country at 7 a.m., so of course Channel 3's Keith Cawley and Paul Shaheen jumped behind the wheel to criss-cross the area and talk to lcoal standouts who made their college decisions official.
From start to finish, here's our day, followed by a complete list of today's area signings.
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - National Signing Day is the first day a high school senior can sign a binding letter of intent for college sports. Channel 3 Eyewitness Sports has crews roving all over the Tennessee Valley Wednesday. As local football players commit, we'll post it here. As the popular college teams in our area receive formal commitments, we'll post those here as well.
CALHOUN (WRCB) -- Keith Cawley is waiting for Da'Rick Rogers' official announcement. Also signing is Nash Nance (UT), Kedron Aker (UAB), and Cody Ralston (UCF)
Update from Twitter
CALHOUN (WRCB) -- No surprise in Calhoun: Da'Rick officially a Tennessee Vol.
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Boyd Buchanan Devin Caldwell follows his father's footsteps to play at UTC.
The Bucs offensive lineman committed to Chattanooga in December and officially filed his paperwork on Wednesday. Caldwell's father Darryl played with Mocs coach Russ Huesman at UTC and wore his old Mocs jersey to celebrate his son's signing.
Devin says, "I've seen a lot of changes in the program in the last year. I'm excited to be a part of it and help the Mocs continue to build on this past year's success".
Just a few days ago, UGA was 4th on ESPN.com's list. They've dropped to 9th.
FT OGLETHORPE, GA (WRCB) -- from Paul Shahen.. LaGreg Burns, running back, signs with Eastern Kentucky. He always he had the talent but needed the grades to match and he's finally happy that it's all coming together.
Defensive back Derrick Laney signs with West Georgia. The two star athlete had a tough choice to make --- it was either wrestling or football. He chose football because it's a guarantee of a college sports career along with a scholarship.
ROSSVILLE, GA (WRCB) -- Linebacker DeVaughan Buchanan signs with Murray State. Buchanan was a big time linebacker with Ridgeland High School and fell in love with Murray State with his first visit to that campus. He says the team already feels like family.
Safety Dewaun Harrison has signed with Butler Junior College out of Kansas, one of the biggest in the nation. Harrison hopes to later continue his career with a Division 1 school.
SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. (WRCB) -- from Keith Cawley: A tradition continued in South Pittsburg Wednesday as two more Pirates signed national letters of intent.
Quarterback Terrell Robinson will attend UT-Chattanooga, while defensive end Jiajuan Fennell stuck with his long-standing commitment to Middle Tennessee State.
Robinson was the TSSAA Class A Mr. Football Back of the Year, while Fennell was a finalist for the lineman of the year award.
Head coach Vic Grider praised both players for their performance on and off the field, noting that both will finish in the top five of this year's graduating class academically.
Wednesday's signings makes it 11 South Pittsburg players in the last five years that have signed national letters of intent to play college football, most of them at the Division I level.
RINGGOLD, Ga. (WRCB) -- from Paul Shahen: Martez Eastland's whirlwind month came to a close on National Signing Day when the Ringgold fullback signed a letter of intent for SEC-school Ole Miss.
Eastland was on the radar of several big schools for the last year, but academics were a concern. After working hard to improve his standing, he became academically qualified last month and immediately saw increased interest from several BCS conference schools.
After taking official visits to both North Carolina and Ole Miss last week, he decided to become a Rebel, where Houston Nutt expects to use him as either a fullback or an H-back.
DALTON, Ga. (WRCB) -- From Paul Shahen: Dalton's Jalen Fields was the only local player to sign with Georgia on National Signing Day.
After Calhoun's Da'Rick Rogers decommitted from the Bulldogs earlier in the day to sign with Tennessee, Fields stayed true to his word and signed with Mark Richt's program.
The four-star defensive end prospect said he always dreamed of playing for Georgia, so he never thought twice about passing up the opportunity from his in-state school. He cited Richt's staff and the overall campus atmosphere in Athens as the other overriding factors in his decision to wear the Red and Black.
TUNNELL HILL, Ga. (WRCB) -- From Paul Shahen: Northwest Whitfield's Nermin Delic became the sixth area player to sign with an SEC school when he faxed in his letter-of-intent for Kentucky Wednesday morning.
The big defensive end originally committed to Maryland last year, but jumped at the opportunity to play for the Wildcats in the SEC. Delic said having a chance to play in the best conference in the country made his decision to leave the Terrapins easier.
He also said one of the reasons he chose Maryland last year was because it was the first big-school offer he got, and he didn't know what else was on the way.
LOCAL RECRUITS THAT SIGNED ON NATIONAL SIGNING DAY
Zack Rayl (McMinn Central) - UTC
Keith Mayes (Red Bank) - UTC
Terrell Robinson (South Pittsburg) - UTC
Keon Williams (Red Bank) - UTC
Devin Caldwell (Boyd-Buchanan) - UTC
Jiajuan Fennell (South Pittsburg) - MTSU
Chris Deloney (Howard) - Tennessee State
LeGreg Burns (LFO) - Eastern Kentucky
Derrick Laney (LFO) - West Georgia
Da'Rick Rogers (Calhoun) - Tennessee
Jalen Fields (Dalton) - Georgia
Nash Nance (Calhoun) - Tennessee
Nermin Delic (Northwest Whitfield) - Kentucky
Jarred Duke (Walker Valley) - Ole Miss
Cody Ralston (Calhoun) - Central Florida
Kedron Aker (Calhoun) - UAB
Martez Eastland (Ringgold) - Ole Miss
Tevin McDermott (McMinn County) - Appalachian State
Cy Ables (McMinn County) - Tennessee Tech
Brandon Jenkins (McMinn County) - SE Missouri State
Ben Prater (Baylor) - Davidson
Sam Williams (Baylor) - Columbia
Channing Gordon (Baylor) - Mount Union
Jermaine Williams (Brainerd) - Tennessee Tech
Midoho Okpokowuruk (McCallie) -Tennessee Tech
Rashad Ramsey (Chattooga) - West Georgia
Senorise Perry (Chattooga) - Louisville
Maury Ragland (McMinn Central) - Alabama State
Tay Vaughn Wynn (Lookout Valley) - Campellsville
Derrick Pullom (Lookout Valley) - Campellsville
Anthony Douglas (Lookout Valley) - Campellsville
Ladarius Baker (Lookout Valley) - Campellsville
Preston Womack (Chatt. Central) - Carson-Newman
David Knowles (Howard) - Atlanta-Clark
Dewaun Harrison (Ridgeland) - Butler Junior College
Gerald Putman (Ooltewah) - University of the Cumberlands
Kevin Fortson (RedBank) - Northeast Oklahoma A&M (J.C.)
Deountre Davis (Central) - LaGrange College