Welch spurns Arkansas, commits to South Florida

Williston running back Deonte Welch rushes past P.K. Yonge defenders.

Tricia Coyne/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, February 1, 2010 at 3:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 1, 2010 at 3:23 p.m.

There are two news items regarding the Williston High School football program.

On Monday morning, Deonte Welch switched his verbal commitment from Arkansas to South Florida. That is according to newly re-hired coach Jamie Baker.

Welch, who is projected as a wide receiver in college, was a small-school first-team all-area selection at running back this past season and is expected to sign a national letter of intent with the Bulls on Wednesday morning. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Welch ran for 1,324 yards on 228 carries and 16 touchdowns and also caught 18 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown to lead Williston to a 7-4 record and a berth in the Class 2B playoffs. He also had a punt return for a touchdown, a kickoff return for a touchdown and intercepted four passes on defense.

Baker resigned as Red Devils coach following the 2008 season to pursue cattle ranching, which his family and his wife's family have done for years. He was 29-25 in five years with Williston, which included four regional playoff appearances. On the 2009 staff as an assistant, Baker replaces Derek Chipoletti, who recently accepted the Bradford head coaching job.

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