College Early Signing Celebrations Enjoyed Across Florida
The chance to get a college education and still continue playing the game that you love is what so many high school baseball players work for throughout their careers. That work pays off when a college makes a scholarship offer, but the joy of that moment is best realized when the student-athlete can actually sign that letter-of-intent and finalize the deal.
Those celebrations have happened all over Florida and the nation recently, as the fall’s biggest recruiting holiday just officially wrapped up from National Early Signing. These special ceremonies marked the culmination in realizing that dream to play collegiate baseball, and there was no shortage of Florida ball players that seized their moment to put their ink on the paper. Hundreds of Florida baseball players made it official during some sort of ceremony.
This is a special occasion for players, but also for their coaches and families, as it means a lot to them to see these players realizing and enjoying such an important moment in their lives. So many kids do not get the opportunity to go to college, and many of their parents may have missed out on that themselves. They have sacrificed in hopes of this day, and this is a memory that will be cherished for years to come.
“This is what it’s all about,” Tocoi Creek Manager Phil Wisser said. The first year manager at the new Jacksonville school previously coached at St. Joseph Academy, where two of his former players signed last week. Evan Rodriguez signed with Tallahassee Community College and Hunter Pankey signed with Stetson University. “I want to congratulate Evan and Hunter on signing their National Letters of Intent to play at the collegiate level. I’ve always said this is better than any win. I am so proud of both of you and wish you nothing but the best.”
State champions had a strong presence, with the largest groups all coming from programs that won a state championship this past season. The Class 8A state champion Douglas Eagles had a total of nine players sign, the Class 3A state champion The First Academy Royals had seven signees and the Class 4A state champion North Broward Prep Eagles had two players sign.
Several prominent programs welcome Douglas players to headline the large group. Chris Arroyo and Jake Clemente signed with the University of Florida, Santiago Ordonez with Florida State University, Roman Anthony with the University of Mississippi, Sammy Beir with Florida Atlantic University, Cameron Harris with Wingate University, Grant McDonald with Radford University, Maddox Raley with Tallahassee Community College and Brandon White with South Florida State College.
The Florida Gators got one more Broward County state champion. North Broward Prep’s Yoel Tejeda Jr. signed with the University of Florida, while Jonathan Xuereb signed with Appalachian State University.
It always seems to make the occasion even more special the larger the group, and both Lake Brantley and Taravella also enjoyed that chances with six signees each. Taravella’s Matthew Rubin, Vincent Samuel and Jassiel Valbuena all signed with Indian River State College, Jordan Edwy and Christopher Scinta both signed with Keiser University and Jacob Smith signed with the University of the Pacific