Randy Anyanwu, left, says distance wasn’t a factor when he decided to sign with Buffalo on National Signing Day Wednesday. His mother, Victoria, said that academics was a key factor in helping him make his decision. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
Proximity wasn’t a big factor for most senior football prospects when they decided to sign their letters-of-intent on National Signing Day on Wednesday.
Clayton County football went national with players signing as far north as Buffalo, N.Y., and Minnesota as other chose schools in California.
Parents seemed more relieved that their sons finally able to sign their scholarships, instead of worrying about travel distant.
“He is a mature young man, and I know he will do the right things,” Victoria Anyanwu said about her son, Randy, signing with Buffalo. “The big thing is that he knows how to handle his business. The coaches at Buffalo have assured me that they have his back.”
Despite the inability to reach her son on a short drive, elder Anyanwu knows that she can get to him if need be.
“Delta flies everywhere,” she said.
Eunice Celestin was a little relieved about her son signing with Minnesota after finding out that two of her former college classmates live in Minneapolis. She has one former classmate that actually works for the Big Ten Conference school.
“I went away 10 hours from my home to college,” Eunice Celestin said. “He will do well.”
With longtime friend and teammate Rodney Smith also signing with Minnesota, the elder Celestin was happy.
“He has an instant friend,” she said.
Jonathan Celestin agreed.
“We are like brothers,” the Mundy’s Mill linebacker said. “It is great to go off to school with your best friend.”
Smith turned down closer offers to East Carolina and Southern Mississippi to sign with Minnesota. Essie Smith said her family spirituality will help in easing any fears she had about him being so far away from home.
“It is a long way, but we are putting everything in God’s hand,” Essie Smith said moments after her son signed his scholarship papers. “This family is led by faith first. We will continue to pray for Rodney. He will be fine. A mother’s first concern is for her son to be happy, and he was happy with Minnesota.”
He can expect frequent visits from the family.
“We will do a lot more vacationing in Minnesota now,” she joked.
The two former Mundy’s Mill standouts weren’t the only players from the school’s record-setting football team to sign with colleges far away. Four players off this past season’s state quarterfinals team signed with Mount San Jacinto College in San Diego, Calif.
Signing with the community college were William Wyatt, Davantarious Washington, Anterrion Crowder and Dolonte Tedder.
“I would go to Antarctica to play football on the next level,” Wyatt said. “I’m going out there with four of my teammates, so I have some friends. I think this is a good opportunity for each of us.”