Local prep football stars make college plans official

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Five Indian River County seniors signed their letters of intent to play college football next season during National Signing Day, marking the first day high school seniors can accept scholarships to play college football.

Vero Beach High School hosted a NSD signing party, where defensive tackle Travonte Boles signed on to play for Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo Mich., and kicker Patrick Baker signed on to play for Georgia State University.  Both players figure to start immediately for their respective schools.



Boles had offers from Memphis and Toledo, but eventually chose Western Michigan for a number of reasons.

“Kalamazoo is a great college town, and I really liked the coaching staff,” said Boles.  “They said that I’m going to get playing time right away, and I’ll be ready when I get up there.  I want to thank the coaching staff for pushing to me to the limit, and my teammates for always being there for me.”

Baker had an offer from Illinois State, and last minute interest from Ole Miss and Stephen F. Austin.  He chose to stick with Georgia State, who’d offered him a scholarship around Thanksgiving.

“Georgia State invested a lot of time and money in getting me to come kick for them,” said Baker.  “My mom went to school there and they have a great Communications curriculum, which was a huge factor too.”

VBHS Coach Gary Coggin was happy to see his seniors going off to good institutions.

“Those schools are lucky to be getting two great football players,” said Coggin.  “Better than that, they are getting two fine young men.  I’m sad to see them go, but I’m happy for them all at the same time.”

Sebastian River High School Coach Randy Bethel confirmed that three of his seniors signed their letters of intent today as well.  Star athlete Cortez Ash signed to play at Florida Atlantic University, where he could be used at any one of five positions on either offense or defense.  “After his last game against Treasure Coast High School, he really impressed FAU,” said Bethel.  “Cortez is an exception athlete and a fine young man.  It doesn’t matter what position he plays at the next level, because he’ll excel almost anywhere.”

University of Arkansas Monticello signed two Sharks, defense back Jermel Collins and defensive lineman/offensive lineman Ben Coyle.  Several SRHS stand out remained unsigned, including running back Fred Macon (over 1,000 yards rushing last year) and defensive back Calvin Christian.

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