Official decisions made today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Many questions will be answered today, and the commitments of high-school athletes will become official.

Today is the day known as National Signing Day, the day when high-school senior football players will officially designate their college of choice. Most have committed long before now, but verbal commitments can often be as valuable as the paper on which they are written.

In Pike County, no less than 10 players will likely sign with college programs. Most have already committed, but a few have choices left.

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The entire state and fans of three Division I-A institutions will be looking toward Brundidge to see where Pike County quarterback and Alabama's Mr. Football Chris Nickson will decide he wants to play football. Though Web reports surfaced last week that he had committed to Vanderbilt, the PCHS valedictorian said late last week he would not decide until today. Southern Miss and Mississippi State are also finalists for Nickson.

Pike County tight end Nick Walker has already committed to Alabama. He will sign with the Tide today and join one of the better recruiting classes – according to several recruiting analysts – in the nation. Alabama is coming off a 4-9 season under first-year head coach Mike Shula.

Elijah Daniel, a wide receiver for the Bulldogs, will sign with the Louisville Cardinals. Daniel was a leading receiver for the Bulldogs this year, and he made two outstanding catches in the state championship game.

Also for the Bulldogs, wideout Chris Bell will sign with Albany State. Bell caught the game-winning touchdown against T.R. Miller in the playoffs. Anterrio Rodgers and Antonio Kelly, both big linemen for the Bulldogs, will either go to junior colleges in Mississippi or head to Albany State, according to Pike County High School sources.

At Charles Henderson, four players will sign with college programs.

Duran Boykin, a defensive back and running back for the Trojans, will sign with Troy State today. Boykin suffered some nagging injuries this season that limited his play. However, he still had a solid season while leading the Trojans to the second round of the state playoffs.

Jacquez Williams and Patrice Brooks are also going to be playing close to home. Williams and Brooks will sign with Alabama State. The Hornets had a surprising season last year after off-the-field controversy to begin the season.

Finally, wide receiver and defensive back Byron Williams will head to Tuscaloosa to play for Stillman College. Stillman is a Division III institution.