Athletes commit to colleges on national signing day
By Lily Parsi
National Signing Day, Feb. 4th, has astronomical meaning to a select few at our school. Their entire athletic career has built to this one day, a day for them to commit themselves and their college days to a team of their choice. Most of these athletes have almost prepared their whole lives to have this experience.
Senior Jeremiah Booker can attest to this.
“In elementary school, I played football during recess with the older kids, and I began watching it on TV,” Booker said. “That’s when I fell in love with the game.”
Senior Jaylen Hinckley’s interest in soccer was sparked at an early age as well.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing since the age of four, but I didn’t realize I wanted to pursue it in college until my junior year when I started hearing from other schools,” Hinckley said. “When my other teammates began committing at this time, I realized I didn’t want to stop playing it.”
For University of Florida commit and senior Macgregor Hines, his love for his future school began at a quite different origin.
“Florida has always had a special place in my heart because my sister played softball there,” he said. “It has always been my dream.”
Along with Hines, five other members of the baseball team signed to schools in November: Walker Davis and Jaxxon Grisham to Sam Houston State; Ryan Johnson to TCU; Baylor Rowlett to Oklahoma State; and Cody Staab to Rice. Senior Kelsie Warren also signed to run track and cross country at Texas A&M.
Hinckley’s love for her school spurs from family ties as well as other factors.
“Both my parents went to Utah State and my brother is currently going to school there too,” she said, “So Utah State has always been a top choice for me.”
For Booker, college football did not become a reality for him until his junior year.
“When I started getting recruited, it was a relief because I was finally getting exposure,” Booker said. “I thought, ‘this is where my career finally starts’ and it gave me motivation to work harder.”
His final visit with The University of Kansas proved to be the right school for him, and he committed the day after he met with the head receiver coach.
“The coach and I had a great relationship,” he said. “I visited [the school] with an open mind, and just seeing the facilities, all the coaches and players, and the atmosphere, I just fell in love with the campus and everything felt comfortable and the right place for me to go.”
Booker describes his decision as one of the best days of his life.
“Every day after I spoke with the coach, I kept praying and hoping this would be the school for me,” Booker said. “Once [the coach] gave me a full scholarship, I started crying. I was relieved and happy and glad at once. This whole recruiting process has been stressful and I knew it was finally over.”
Hinckley’s decision to commit to Utah State can be described with similar feelings as well.
“It was very relieving because I knew I made the right decision and that I would be happy there,” Hinckley said.●