Football standouts taking the next step on National Signing Day

02/03/2014 12:24 PM

02/04/2014 4:26 PM

Updated Tuesday from the print version.

This is a life-changing Wednesday for dozens of young men across North Texas.

It’s National Signing Day. No longer are the verbal commitments nonbinding. No longer are schools trying to convince these athletes to change their minds. No longer are the athletes stressing about this day. All they have to do is sign their letters of intent and have their parents follow up, fax it off and know that their futures are solidified for the next four or five years.

In football, Justin Northwest is expected to have eight, Carroll six, Keller Fossil Ridge four, Grapevine and Byron Nelson three. As this area continues to grow, the number of college football prospects will grow as well.

The class of 2014 featured Keller weakside defensive end Sione Teuhema. On Tuesday, reports indicated Teuhema de-committed from Texas and is expected to sign with LSU.

This is a major development because Teuhema had been committed to Texas for quite some time. In the previous two weeks, he had taken official visits to Oklahoma State and LSU. He is the area’s most sought prospect.

This was to be a package deal because his younger brother, 2015 offensive lineman Maea Teuhema, has also been committed to Texas. According to Rivals, Maea is the nation’s No. 17 recruit.

Keller Fossil Ridge’s four Division I recruits carry the local flavor and are also making the ultimate commitment. Defensive back Nick Foster and wide receiver Ryan Parker are signing with TCU.

Defensive lineman Anthony Villalobos and quarterback Jacob Gnacinski are going to the United States Naval Academy and United States Military Academy. To those two, there is no greater honor than to experience and graduate from these historic institutions.

No doubt, each is aware of the military commitment following their graduation. But when they are in the real world, someone is going to look at that Midshipman and that Cadet with gratitude. The journey those two are about to encounter will challenge every part of them. They will be better for it on the other side.

Keller Timber Creek celebrates history as safety Aaron Townsend becomes the first Division I recruit the program has produced. Townsend will be signing with UL-Monroe.

Carroll will be sending four to Division I programs. Offensive lineman Evan Brown is signing with SMU, place-kicker Drew Brown is signing with Nebraska and defensive back Ardaryan Jones and linebacker J.B. Copeland are signing with New Mexico State.

There likely will still be some last minute scrambling. There could be some players who will sign long after the hoopla of Wednesday has subsided. But of the more known non-Division I players, Grapevine running back/wide receiver Austin Parker is signing with Southwest Oklahoma, Byron Nelson’s Anders Huizenga is going to Yale and Carroll linebacker Steven Bergmark is signing with Tarleton State.

With all of these young student-athletes, this is the time to appreciate all of the time spent off the practice field and working in the weight rooms and on other agility drills when no one else was around.

The smile and the signature should tell it all.

New volleyball coaches search

It’s sounding like the Northwest ISD will have a new volleyball coach to replace Northwest’s Dayna Horak sometime this month Carroll’s replacement for ousted volleyball coach Arthur Stanfield should be named by April 1.

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