By Anthony Rhoads
Each year, there are usually several Division I football signees out of the Southern Crescent and this year signing day should be no different.
Today, several local athletes are slated to ink football scholarships with Lovejoy leading the way on national signing day.
Lovejoy offensive lineman Chris Scott, 6-5, 322 pounds, announced last week that he was going to sign with Tennessee. Scott has been one of the most highly recruited lineman in the nation and has garned many accolades in 2004 including being named a Parade All-American and getting to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Scott's teammate, defensive back Keith Fitzhugh, is slated to sign with Mississippi State while lineman Jonathan Battle will sign with East Carolina.
Other Lovejoy signees today include Mark Pettaway to Albany State and Denzel Holloway to Assumption College.
Several other Lovejoy football players are expected to sign later.
"We've been very fortunate," Hughes said. "It's a thrill for me personally. It's such a good thing for our school, our community and our kids. Their college educations are getting paid for and it's an exciting opportunity for them."
North Clayton's Dirk Engram, the Daily's All-Southern Crescent All-Around Athlete of the Year in 2004 is expected to sign with North Carolina and Jonesboro kicker Patrick Saxby is expected to sign with the United States Military Academy.
In Henry County, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy's Alec Huber will make school history is he will be the school's first Division I signeed.
Huber, who was one of the top tight ends in the state in 2004, will be the school's first Division I-A signee when he inks a scholarship with Purdue.
"Alec is a great player," new ELCA head coach Nick Westbrook said. "He's a quiet leader. I definitely think he's for real and will realize his potential at Purdue."
Huber, at 6-foot-5, 235-pounds, was one of the top receivers in Class A in 2004 with 35 catches for 564 yards and nine touchdowns.
He ended the season being voted as the Region 5-A MVP and was a first-team selection on both offense and defense on The Daily's All-Southern Crescent team.
"We're obviously ecstatic that one of our boys is good enough to make it in football and to sign with Purdue," former ELCA head coach Tim Luke said. "I'm thrilled about Alec. There's not a finer young man I know. He's a very unique and humble young man; he deserves everything he gets."
Huber, who was recruited by many schools including Arkansas, Illinois, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Alabama, Duke Stanford and Furman, had previously verbally committed to Northwestern but recently changed his mind.
Huber's teammate Cole Springer is expected to sign with Davidson University. In 2004, he was one of top quarterbacks in Class A and was named the Region 5-A Coaches' Choice as the region's most outstanding athlete.
"He's going to be a great college quarterback," Westbrook said.
Huber and Springer helped lead ELCA to a runner-up finish in Region 5-A, a state playoff appearance and an 8-3 record in 2004.
"It's great for our program and great for these guys," Westbrook said. "They had great senior seasons."
In addition to their football skills, both Huber and Springer have gotten it done in the classroom. Huber's ambition is to become an engineer while Springer wants to be an architect.
"They're brainiacs," Westbrook said.