Five Atlanta Public Schools (APS) student-athletes signed scholarship letters Wednesday, the first day of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) new early signing period.
In years past, the first day high school seniors could sign their National Letters of Intent for the school they chose was the first Wednesday in February. The rules were changed to open up a three-day window – Dec. 20 through Dec. 22 – for those students who have qualified academically and are certain about the school they plan to attend.
APS Director of Athletics Jasper Jewell said having five student-athletes sign scholarships to NCAA Division 1 schools speaks volumes about the quality of the football programs in the district.
“It says a lot about the term student-athlete,” in APS, Jewell said. “It means that they’ve done what they needed to do academically and athletically, to be able to have this opportunity. Secondly, it says a lot about our coaches and the brand that we are building. We’re getting the best of the best from around the country to come here and recruit our kids.”
Wednesday’s early signees were:
— Octavious Battle, Carver, University South Florida
— Nicario Harper, Carver, University of Southern Mississippi
— Katerian Legrone, B.E.S.T. Academy, University of Nebraska
— Quindarious Monday, Carver, Auburn University
— E.J. Thomas, Carver, Kansas State University
Many more APS student-athletes will sign their scholarship letters at the traditional National Signing Day, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.
“It’s a blessing within itself,” said Carver head coach and athletic director Darren Myles. “To have one kid sign during an early signing period is one thing, but to have four, and we’re talking about all Division 1 scholarships, in a so-called inner-city program means a lot to me personally, means a lot to the program and means a lot to the community.”
Carver, Mays Finish in the Top Five in the State
Further proof of the quality of APS football was evident when the final state rankings were released earlier this week. The district has two teams that finished in the top five in their respective Georgia High School Association (GHSA) classifications: Carver finished the season ranked No. 5 in Class AAAAA, while Mays finished ranked No. 5 in Class AAAAAA.
1. Lee County
4. Glynn Academy
6. Northside-Warner Robins
10. Douglas County
2. Warner Robins
6. Jones County
7. Starr’s Mill
9. Eagle’s Landing
10. Wayne County