A balanced 2018 class of 72 signees from across DeKalb County had football players spread out pretty evenly across all four NCAA Divisions, NAIA and Junior Colleges across the United States on Wednesday.
Forty-nine colleges from 21 states benefitted from the deep talent pool of DCSD football players with 10 Georgia colleges leading the way with 15 of the 72.
The area represented in this signing class runs from Maine (Husson University) to Massachusetts (Dean College) to Nebraska (University of Nebraska and out west to Utah (University of Utah) who contacted and found the right fits with their signees.
The NCAA represents four divisions that accounted for 51 of the signees. The Football Bowl Series Division, formerly Division 1A, picked up the highest total of 19 signees. Schools such as Georgia (1), Georgia Southern (3), Ole Miss (1), Auburn (2), South Carolina (2), Arkansas State (1), Nebraska (1), Colorado State (1), Tennessee (1), Western Kentucky (1), Troy (1), Iowa State (1), Utah (1), Naval Academy (1) and the Air Force Academy (1) picked up players from DeKalb.
Dunwoody wide receiver Turner Nims (almost 1,000 yards receiving in 2017) became the second Wildcat to sign with Air Force since 2003 and the ninth overall from DeKalb. Arabia Mountain defensive back Justin Nelson became the sixth DeKalb football player to sign with Navy since 2003 and the first from Arabia Mountain.
Football Champion Series Division members Kennesaw State (1) and Mercer (1) picked up two of the nine DeKalb players to go to what was formerly known as Division 1-AA as well as Davidson (NC) signing two student athletes.
The second most signees from DeKalb went the Division II route as 16 student athletes chose such schools as West Georgia, Fort Valley State, Delta State (MS), Tuskegee (AL), and Malone University (OH).
Division III had seven signees from DeKalb to select such destinations Maryville University (TN), LaGrange (GA) and Husson University (ME).
NAIA which separate from the NCAA totaled 13 DeKalb signees choosing such schools as Edward Waters College (FL), Reinhardt (GA), William Penn (MO) and Middle Georgia State University.
Eight athletes went the junior college route as all eight chose to head to Kansas to Fort Scott CC (5), Hutchinson CC (3) and Coffeyville CC (1).
A pair of former DeKalb student athletes saw their hard work and perseverance pay off. Towers defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt went to Hutchinson Community College in Kansas after signing with Georgia to improve himself in all areas and it paid off with a scholarship to UGA this week. Wyatt (6-3, 301) totaled 30 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and a blocked PAT in 11 games in 2017 and was ranked as the No. 8 rated JUCO recruit in the country.
Former Redan defensive end Jeremiah Jordan (6-4, 233) signed with Division II Limestone College coming out of high school and transferred to Mt. San Jacinto College (CA) for his sophomore season. His play at Mt. Jacinto (45 tackles, 12 for a loss and 4.5 sacks) earned him a scholarship to the University of Utah in its 2018 signing class.
The 72 signees come from 16 of the DCSD high school football programs including Tucker (17), Stephenson (8), Miller Grove (7), Columbia (7), Southwest DeKalb (5), Lithonia (5), Cedar Grove (4), Martin Luther King Jr. (4), Towers (4), Redan (3), Arabia Mountain (2), Dunwoody (2), Chamblee (1), Druid Hills (1), Lakeside (1) and McNair (1).
Several schools expect more signees in the coming weeks that could push this total towards the 90 mark. The 72 on Wednesday pushed the total signees since 2003 to 1,586. The expected signees could have that number hovering around the 1,600 mark by April.