Area athletes signing capsules


Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 12:32 a.m.

A look at where a dozen area athletes signed on to play at the next level on Wednesday.

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Buchholz's Chris Godwin signs with Florida State where he will compete in cross country and track. (Submitted photo)

FOOTBALL SIGNINGS

Bradford

DEXTER CLAYTON

Position: Running back

Height/weight: 5-foot-7, 175 pounds.

College chosen: Reedley College (Reedley, Calif.)

Stats: Ran for 855 yards with 10 TDs and also caught 32 passes for 377 yards and 4 TDs.

Quotable: “I have two old teammates that went there. I wanted to go and see for myself. I'm always excited about that second chance. It doesn't bother me that it is so far away. I think I will like California. I will adapt to it pretty well.” — Dexter Clayton

— Larry Savage

Columbia

DEQUAN IVERY

Position: Nose guard

Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 320 pounds.

College chosen: Miami.

Other schools considered: Louisville.

Stats: A first-team all-area selection this past season, Ivery had 40 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and four sacks as the Tigers reached the regional playoffs.

Quotable: “It was a nervous excitement. I wanted to stay closer to home, plus I wanted my family to be able to come to the games whenever I have a home game. I wanted them to be able to travel down there and get there at a certain amount of time and not have to spend so much money to do that. It was very hard, thinking about family and thinking about just being at “The U.” It was a lot of personal stuff, which is why I chose to go to the University of Miami, stuff family-wise. By the end of the night, I'll be relieved.” — Dequan Ivery

— Cliff Olsen

Fort White

A.J. LEGREE

Position: Wide receiver.

Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 180 pounds.

College chosen: Kentucky.

Other schools considered: Southern Miss, Western Kentucky, Iowa State.

Stats: The Sun's small school player of the year caught 47 passes for 698 yards and 10 touchdowns. As a defensive back, he had 107 total tackles and six interceptions as the Indians reached the regional playoffs. Legree was The Sun's male track athlete of the year last spring after he won the FHSAA Class 2A state title in the high jump.

Quotable: “It was crazy. My heart was racing, and it was amazing to see all these supporters that I didn't really recognize and some of them I didn't know. At first I looked at their (Kentucky's) depth chart, I saw that they had three seniors leaving, one is going to be a senior this year. They told me that they wanted me to come play right away, and I love competing and I feel like I can go in and compete and get a good education at a good Division-I school. It was excitement and emotional. Yes (I was relieved), my phone was ringing off of the hook. I was ready and I'm glad. This is just a blessing.” — A.J. Legree

— Cliff Olsen

Gainesville

TASHON WHITEHURST

Position: Linebacker.

Height/weight: 6-foot-3, 190 pounds.

College chosen: South Florida.

Other schools considered: Syracuse and Rutgers among 15 Division I offers.

Stats: Registered 162 tackles with two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery; Gainesville Sun first-team all-area.

Quotable: “The coaching staff was good at all the schools, but at South Florida I kind of felt more at home. The players are great. The facility is within walking distance for me. The weather is great. It kind of felt like I was home once I made my decision and breaking down everything.” — Tashon Whitehurst

— Larry Savage

CORDERO DIXON

Position: Wide receiver/ cornerback.

Height/weight: 5-foot-9, 175 pounds.

College chosen: Weber State (Ogden, Utah).

Other schools considered: Florida Atlantic, South Florida.

Stats: Offensively, had 7 receptions for 109 yards and 1 TD, ran for 96 yards, 74 on a TD run against Columbia, averaged 26.3 yards on kickoff returns, returned a punt 72 yards, and defensively, registered 33 tackles with six pass breakups; Gainesville Sun first-team all-area.

Quotable: “I like the academics, and in football I like the coaches. I enjoyed the visit out there during the holidays. I was excited about today and couldn't wait to sign. Will really miss the team because we all knew each other. It is like losing a part of your family.” — Cordero Dixon

— Larry Savage

HUB NIXON

Position: Running back/wide receiver.

Height/weight: 5-foot-7, 165 pounds.

College chosen: Mayville State (N.D.)

Other schools considered: Defiance College (Ohio), Delta State (Miss.), Nicholls State (La.)

Stats: Ran for 484 yards with 1 TD, caught 8 passes for 133 yards, averaged 38.8 yards per punt return, returning two for TDs, including one for 88 yards, and averaged 23.4 yards per kickoff return; Gainesville Sun first-team all-area.

Quotable: “It is like the best day in my life. I've worked hard for this. The people in Mayville went for this. It's far away, but I really want to play football.” — Hub Nixon

— Larry Savage

CEDRIC JOINER

Position: Cornerback.

Height/weight: 5-foot-10, 175 pounds.

College chosen: Mayville State (N.D.)

Other schools considered: Defiance College (Ohio), Utah.

Stats: Had 71 tackles, 44 solo, with one interception, two forced fumbles and two pass breakups.

Quotable: “I'm taking one of my teammates with me. I didn't want to go to college by myself, so I get to go with Hub Nixon. Coaches told me I could see immediate playing time, which was a big part in my decision. I'm looking forward to going to the next level.” — Cedric Joiner

— Larry Savage

CORTLAN WATSON

Position: Defensive line.

Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 220 pounds.

College chosen: Clark Atlanta University (Ga.)

Other schools considered: Weber State (Utah), Lenoir-Rhyne University (N.C.), Furman.

Stats: Had 31 tackles, 11 solo, 8 tackles for loss with 2.5 sacks and 6 quarterback hurries.

Quotable: “It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. Feel like all my four years of high school football paid off. I'm getting a full ride, which makes it even more exciting. We fell a little short this year, but it happens. Have to look forward to the future now.” — Cortlan Watson

— Larry Savage

ANTWAR JELKS

Position: Wide receiver.

Height/weight: 6-foot, 180 pounds.

College chosen: Weber International (Babson Park, Fla.).

Other schools considered: Morehead State, Florida A&M, Sanford.

Stats: Caught 17 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns.

Quotable: “Feels good being up here and signing this with all my teammates and friends. We have been here like three years together, and it is nice that we all signed together. I liked the academics (at Weber) and how they are involved in everything there. It's fun. I think I will fit in well there.” — Antwar Jelks

— Larry Savage

Suwannee

NAHJAWAN DUKES

Position: Nose guard.

Height/weight: 5-foot-7, 288 pounds.

College chosen: Waldorf College (Iowa).

Other schools considered: Marietta College (Ohio), Stetson University, Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

Stats: In four games at noseguard, had 16 tackles, two for loss, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble; moved to offensive guard and played that position in last six games. Had 11 tackles in the Lake City East-West All-Star game last month.

Quotable: “What I liked the most about Waldorf is that they believed in me. I haven't visited them yet, I plan to go in the next month. I trust the coaches' words. They projected me to start in the rotation at noseguard. It's a long ways away from home, but I think it will be worth it once I get up there and start.” — Nahjawan Dukes

— Larry Savage

OTHER SIGNINGS

Buchholz

CHRIS GODWIN

Sport: Cross country/track.

Height/weight: 5-foot-8, 130 pounds.

College chosen: Florida State.

Other schools considered: Florida, South Florida

Stats: Finished as the FHSAA Class 4A state runner-up in cross country in the fall, and also competed in the Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego. A two-time champion of the Buchholz Bobcat Classic, ran a personal-record 15:10 at the Foot Locker South Regional in November. A two-time Gainesville Sun cross country boys runner of the year.

Quotable: “The other schools have a lot of great runners and are good programs, but I felt like I fit better at Florida State. I felt like I would get more out of running there, and it was just a good fit all around. I'm very excited. I think I have a lot more to improve on, and look to prove myself in college.” — Chris Godwin

— Larry Savage

Trenton

BRANDON STONE

Sport: Track & field.

Event: High jump.

Height/weight: 5-foot-10, 170 pounds.

College chosen: Florida State.

Other schools considered: U.S. Naval Academy

Stats: A first-team all-area selection last spring, he cleared a personal-record and area-best 7 feet to place first at the District 4-1A meet, which ranked him No. 1 in state and No. 9 nationally. Stone placed third at the Class 1A state meet (6-2).

Quotable: “It was excitement, but I get nervous when I talk in front of a whole bunch of people. It was fun, the excitement of signing, thinking about going to Florida State, all of these people here supporting me. The whole town was here because I guess there hasn't really been a Division-I athlete from here in a while, so it is fun knowing that I am that athlete and everyone is supporting me. All that hard work paid off and helped me do this but it also means that I need to keep working just as hard to get better.” — Brandon Stone

— Cliff Olsen

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