Signing day was an exciting one for all who gathered inside Leon High School’s old gymnasium to watch 10 sign football commitments.
While excitement and anticipation filled the air with thoughts of their accomplishments on the field, coach Tim Cokely wanted to remind everyone what kind of men these boys have become.
“This is a big day for all these guys up here,” Cokely said.
“To be willing to put in the work and get better every day really shows how these young men have grown, and now they’re on their way to the next level. I can’t say enough about my coaching staff and the job they’ve done.”
A number of the guys won’t be making the journey on their own.
George Leland, Davell London, Mario Scott and Shaja Thompson will all be attending Warner University. And Barry Otieno and Jarvis Williams will both head to Clark Atlanta University. While those guys will have the support of each other, kicker Ryan Feely will have a different kind of support after signing with Florida State as a preferred walk-on.
“This has really been a long time coming for me — it’s all I’ve ever known,” Feely said.
“My grandfather played quarterback at FSU and my dad went to school there, too. The process was difficult though. Just this morning, FAMU offered me a full ride, but my heart was at FSU. Now I’m a Seminole.”
Brandon Byrd and Jacob Jones are a pair of guys who the Leon coaches can see getting even better with another year to improve. Byrd will attend Ellsworth Community College, while Jones will attend Southeastern University. Kris Lingo, on the other hand, is a guy that has already put in the extra work.
“This is something that I didn’t even think about as a freshman,” Lingo said.
“Football was kind of just a hobby, but then it clicked somewhere around my junior year. My coaches told me I could play college football if I worked hard, so I can’t thank them enough.”
» Football: DL Brandon Byrd, Ellsworth Community College; K Ryan Feely, Florida State (preferred walk-on); OL Jacob Jones, Southeastern University; LB George Leland, Warner University; OL Kris Lingo, Alcorn State University; CB Davell London, Warner University; CB/LB Barry Otieno, Clark Atlanta University; WR Mario Scott, Warner University; CB Shaja Thompson, Warner University; OL Jarvis Williams, Clark Atlanta University.