Thursday June 29th, 2017 3:22AM

VIDEO: National Signing Day represents huge moment in lives of area athletes

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
  Contact Editor

Just three years ago Jake Simpson thought this day was an impossibility.

But today, the Buford High senior will join gridiron standouts across the nation -- as well as northeast Georgia -- in committing their futures to a collegiate program on National Signing Day.

It is the first day that high school senior football players may sign National Letters of Intent to make their choices binding (other sports have early and varying signing periods but football remains at one) -- in other words it is a hugely momentous day and one that Simpson plans to savor.

"I hate to use the word overwhelming but it kind of encompasses that," said Simpson, who actually thought about stepping away from the game before a stellar junior campaign opened the flood gates on scholarship offers -- from which he chose Wake Forest. "Paying the dues might be an understatement. That sophomore year was brutal, and I learned a lot, grew up a lot. A lot of people's sophomore year they figure out whether they love football or not, and I questioned coming back to it. But I'm so glad I stuck with it."

And while each standout lucky enough to ink a Letter of Intent on Wednesday has traveled a unique path, almost all trails included adversity in some shape form or fashion. That is certainly the case for several in northeast Georgia -- in fact some are still battling adversity.

In the video above, three area stars discuss their respective recruiting processes, how it effected them and the paths they are now set to tread in the wake of National Signing Day. (NOTE: To watch it, simply click "play" in the box above.)

Below is also a list of area players expected to join in the celebrations. (NOTE: We want to hear from you. We realize that in the confusion surrounding the recruiting process that the names gathered below may not include every standout in northeast Georgia headed to the collegiate ranks. If you signed a National Letter of Intent with a college football program on Wednesday, or will do so in the coming days, please let us know:

Northeast Georgia Football Players Expected To SIgn Letters Of Intent*
Players listed by high school (some players have not chosen officially and will do so on Wednesday)

Ethan Morris, Reinhardt University
Will Smith, Point University
Gunnar Wright, Reinhardt University

Tanner Alexander, Sewanee-University of the South
KJ Anderson, Western Michigan
Chee Anyanwu, Northwestern
Joshua Blackwell, Duke
Connor Mills, Princeton
Jack Ness, Kennesaw State
Dean Powell, United States Military Academy at West Point
TD Roof, Georgia Tech
Mic Roof, UNC Charlotte
Garrett Scoggins, Gardner-Webb University
Jake Simpson, Wake Forest
Tyler Thurmond, West Virginia
Zac Waters, Catawba College
Hank White, Columbia

Cole Chancey, Harding University
Cade Overstreet, Harding University
Lane Sorrow, Harding University

Nasser Clark, West Point 
Luke Martin, Delta State/St. Francis/Iowa Central
Wyatt McMahon, University of Cumberlands

Deon Ellison, Carson Newman University

Herve Aklotsoe, Reinhardt
Willie Brooks, Limestone College
Kris Montague, Limestone College
Calvin Murphy, Limestone College
KD Smith, William Penn
Tyree Robinson, East Tennessee State
RD Timmons, William Penn

Zack Boobas, West Point
Caleb Chandler, Louisville
Dontae Wilson, Georgia State

Michael Allen, Wake Forest 
Juwuan Jones, Western Kentucky
Josh Stroud, Indiana Wesleyan 
Tyler Taylor, LSU
Ethan Wilson, Tennessee Tech (Preferred walk-on)

Zach Matthews, West Georgia

Ace Williams, Reinhardt University
Dylan Artman, Seton Hill University
Nick Campbell, Western Carolina University
Tyler Fannin, University of Virginia
Jack Franklin, Coastal Carolina University
Edmond Graham, Mercer University
Jamar Hall, Mercer University
Victor Heyward, Georgia State University
Brenton King, Georgia Tech
David Milon, Nichols College
Preston Norwood, University of Pennsylvania
Anthony Presto, Reinhardt University
Ayoola Ogun-Semore, Ohio University
Demetrias Rias, Nichols College
Joe Thomas, Air Force Academy
Matthew Winston, Princeton University

Noah Cannon, Citadel

 AJ Howard, West Point/Furman/Citadel

Russell Cox, Point University

Jacob Satterfield, Wingate University

* - If you're a northeast Georgia football player that signed a Letter of Intent on Wednesday, please email us at with a picture of the ceremony. Please list the school signed with and identify those in the picture.

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
  • Associated Tags: High school football, National Signing Day
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