Bruce Judson of Cocoa and B.J. Daniels of Palm Bay were two of several Brevard County seniors who signed with college programs on Wednesday, the first day high school athletes could sign national letters of intent for football.
Judson, the four-year Tigers starter who led the team to the 2016 Class 4A state championship, followed former USF coach Willie Taggart to Oregon of the Pac 12.
Daniels, Brevard County’s leading rusher during the regular season, signed with Texas-San Antonio. Daniels said his decision was based on relationships. Though the coaches recruiting him had changed colleges through the years, they kept their eye on him.
“I think this decision really came down to the relationship I had with coach Frank Wilson and (assistant coach) Everette Sands,” Daniels said. “They never turned their back on me, so I can’t turn my back on them.”
Judson shared similar thoughts about his decision to switch from a school on the west coast of Florida to one on the west coach of the country.
“My parents and my family bonded with coach Taggart,” he said. “That was kinda big. I know he can help me in the long run, and I also want to help him win his national championship.”
After former Pirates running back Brian Lankford-Johnson got significant playing time as a Purdue freshman this year, Daniels, the latest Palm Bay star, expressed hope he can do the same next year with the Conference USA Roadrunners.
He will take a strong resume with him. Daniels rushed for 1,526 yards during the 2016 regular season, scoring 22 touchdowns. Along with a state title, Judson put up big numbers as well. He completed his Tigers career with 5,095 passing and 4, 230 rushing yards.
Connor Kaminski of Viera was another area football player to sign with an FBS program, but he will be staying closer to home. He signed with UCF in the afternoon at a Viera signee featuring 10 athletes heading to various colleges.
The fourth FBS signee was at Astronaut. Offensive lineman Kenny Willoughby signed with Army. The Black Knights of West Point, N.Y., play an independent schedule.
Two local players chose Florida Tech football: Cocoa Beach athlete David Demeter as a deep snapper, and Cocoa’s Dezmond Morgan, a tight end.
In a late morning ceremony at West Shore, Nick Burgess signed with UNF soccer just hours before he and his Wildcats team were to face Lake Highland Prep in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal game. Austin Camps signed with USF cross country at the same time.
Four Viera football players, Will Champion, Jaylin Wilson, Connor Kaminski and Marco Foreman, also signed. Two Hawks state champion soccer players signed as well: Malia Brock with Lee University and Hollyn Knight with UNF. Kaitlyn Jensen signed with UCF softball in the fall but was recognized at the ceremony.
Contact McCallum at 321-242-3698 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow facebook.com/FLtoday.brianmccallum and @Brian_McCallum on Twitter.
2017 Brevard County Feb. 1 signees
Jawan Armstrong, Cocoa football to Fullerton College
Cameron Barber, Viera gymnastics to Air Force
Jimmy Batch, Merritt Island football to Harvard
Samantha Brimhall, Viera golf to Seminole State
Malia Brock, Viera soccer to Lee University
Amanda Brust, Melbourne soccer to Methodist College
Nick Burgess, West Shore soccer to North Florida
John Cacciatore, Satellite cross country to William and Mary
Austin Camps, West Shore cross country to USF
Will Champion, Viera football to Albany State
Dayne Clark, Merritt Island football to Dakota Wesleyan
B.J. Daniels, Palm Bay football to UT-San Antonio
Destiny Deluca, Melbourne soccer to EFSC
David Demeter, Cocoa Beach football to Florida Tech
Marco Foreman, Viera football to Stetson
Bruce Judson, Cocoa football to Oregon
Macey Hedalund, Melbourne soccer to Florida Tech
Haley Hinz, Viera softball to Seminole State
Connor Kaminski, Viera football to UCF
Lasedrick King, Cocoa football to Hampton
Hollyn Knight, Viera soccer to North Florida
Caroline Larsen, Satellite soccer to North Florida
Kelly Lindquist, Merritt Island soccer to UCF
Connor Liston, Merritt Island football to Stetson
Dayna McDonald, Merritt Island softball to Southeastern
Kendell Mindnich, Melbourne soccer to Southern Miss
Macie Monborne, Merritt Island track to Boston University
Dezmond Morgan, Cocoa football to Florida Tech
Ian Newton, Cocoa football to Hampton
Sarah Beth Nies, Melbourne soccer to North Greenville
Timmy Pratt, Cocoa football to Warner University
Maddie Schricker, Titusville soccer to Middle Tennessee
Javon Spencer, Cocoa football to Lyon College
Ian Spradlin, Viera soccer to Harding
Lyana Thomas, Viera lacrosse to Tennessee Western
Bryce Wahy, Holy Trinity soccer to Trevecca Nazarene University (Tenn.)
Kenny Willoughby, Astronaut football to Army
Cooper Wilson, Merritt Island football to Columbia
Reece Wilson, Merritt Island softball to UCF
Jaylin Wilson, Viera football to Southern Illinois