National Signing Day was a busy one for local schools and student-athletes with nearly 30 seniors signing letters-of-intent to play college football.
Heights High School will have a dozen young men playing at the next level and Waltrip, which is a three-time defending district champion, had another eight sign their names on the dotted line. St. Pius X and St. Thomas each had four players sign, although two of the Eagle players took preferred offers giving them high status as a walk-on candidate to play somewhere down the line.
The Heights had the most football signees of all the schools represented last week at the annual Houston ISD signing ceremony last week at the Delmar Field house with 13 and Lamar, which was the District 18-6A champion, was second with 12. Both school had three different tables set up to accommodate all the athletes they had signing and family in attendance. For both the Heights and Waltrip, the players will go from big schools — like defensive back Jalen Green to the University of Texas — to a number of small schools like Lamar University and Bethel College.
Green, who had his senior season shortened with an injury but the ability to play a number of positions and play them well while playing for the Bulldogs, led a large contingent of Heights’ players who have the opportunity to keep their careers going.
Safety Noah Bush signed with Army, wide receiver Jacoby Hopkins is going to Texas State, fullback Raphael Adams is headed to Wayland Baptist University and defensive back Marco Domio signed with Blinn Junior College. Running back Curtis Melrose will play at Grandview University in Des Moines, Iowa, quarterback Kamron Williams is going to Bethel College and wide receiver Kameron Curtis will take residence in Beaumont and play at Lamar University.
Five Heights’ seniors will remain teammates with Tyriq Paul, Matthew Wright, and offensive tackle Jaylon O’Neil all choosing to play at Texas A & T while inside linebacker/defensive end Joshua Reed and tailback Erick Hubert are going to Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas.
Johnathan Ogugua, the leading scorer for the Heights’ basketball team, also signed and he will attend Butler Community College.
Waltrip had athletes in multiple sports make their futures official with their signings. Besides the eight in football, Ulysus Rodriguez will play baseball at Hill College.
Three senior football players — Samuel Lemond, Cameron Boudreaux, and Tyree Burton — will be at Tyler Junior College and Jonah Butler and J’Lon Kearney are going to Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma.
Tyrell Buard is headed to Stephen F. Austin to play for the Lumberjacks in the Southland Conference while quarterback Cameron Howe signed with Texas A & M-Commerce and Ricky McElroy is headed to Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma.
St. Pius X had four student-athletes make their football commitments official with offensive tackle Tyler Vrabel, the son of former Houston Texans’ defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel, signing with Boston College in the ACC and wide receiver Jacob Jefferson joining Northwestern in the Big 10.
Defensive players Benil Johnson is going to Texas A & M-Commerce and Ricky Lester will be at Liberty University in Virginia.
St. Thomas had a pair of players — lineman Max Banes and linebacker Melvin Larkin — sign with the University of Houston and two others will go the preferred walk-on route in college. Defensive back Jackson Hanna will be at the University of Texas and try to play for the Longhorns while wide receiver Blaine McDaniel will be a walk-on at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.