Signing day roundup: Chattanooga-area prep athletes make college commitments

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Dalton senior running back Tyson Greenwade, shown during the Catamounts' region game at Calhoun on Oct. 21, has signed with Charleston Southern. Greenwade went from not being considered a college prospect before the season to becoming the leading rusher in the Chattanooga area last fall.

Here's a roundup of a number of Chattanooga-area prep athletes who made college commitments on Wednesday.

Dalton star running back Tyson Greenwade makes his choice

The Chattanooga area's leading rusher in 2022 has found a new home.

Tyson Greenwade signed with Charleston Southern University during a ceremony Wednesday at Dalton High School, completing a nine-month journey in which he went from not being a college prospect to becoming one of Georgia's most productive running backs.

Greenwade, despite missing two games, rushed for 1,914 yards and 23 touchdowns in his final season for the Catamounts, including a 371-yard, six-touchdown performance against North Murray in the opener and 375 yards and four scores against region opponent Hiram in late September.

Now he's an NCAA Division I signee. Charleston Southern competes in the Football Championship Subdivision as a member of the Big South Conference, and the Buccaneers are entering a new era with first-year head coach Gabe Giardina.

"I really think it's a great positive for him and the team," Dalton coach Kit Carpenter said of Greenwade's decision. "They are getting a great football player and a high-character kid who provides great leadership on and off the field. He's getting a top-notch education in a beautiful place."

After rushing for 800 yards as a junior, Greenwade received very little attention from college recruiters. He vowed to change that in the offseason.

"Before the season, he told me he wanted to rush for 2,000 yards," Carpenter said. "The only 2,000-yard rusher I knew (for Dalton) was (2020 graduate) Jahmyr Gibbs, but when Tyson sets his mind to something, he can do anything. If he hadn't missed those two games, there is no doubt he would have reached that goal.

"He was down after his junior year, but the kid who played for us this year was incredible. To witness it each week was really fun to watch."


More stories from Wednesday's signing day:


Delinois to ETSU

Andrei Delinois will have four more years to work on his "y'all."

A two-way star for McCallie's football team the past two seasons, Delinois -- a boarding student who spoke very little English two years ago, when he arrived in Chattanooga from Canada just before his junior season -- is set to remain in the Volunteer State for at least another four years after signing a scholarship with East Tennessee State University.

"It has been a dream for some time to play college football," said Delinois, who's from Quebec. "I was looking for a program that felt like the right fit, and once I visited ETSU, I sort of knew right away that it felt like where I wanted to be.

"After moving here, the first two months were probably the hardest, just because I was still learning to speak English. I listened a lot more than I talked for a while, but I believe coming here definitely prepared me for the next level and I was able to adjust to being away from home."

Shortly after signing, Delinois spent several minutes on a FaceTime call with his mom, who still lives 1,100 miles away.

Although the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder played both receiver and linebacker for the Blue Tornado, he is projected to play defense in college, with ETSU listing him as an outside linebacker. He finished with 50 total tackles and returned one of his three interceptions for a touchdown last season, when he helped McCallie reach the TSSAA Division II-AAA semifinals after a junior season in which the program won its third straight state title.

He will also join a pair of former McCallie teammates -- quarterback William Riddle and receiver Xavier Gaillardetz -- at ETSU, a Football Championship Subdivision program that competes in the Southern Conference and has a strong rivalry with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

"Dre is that hybrid-type athlete that so many colleges look for now," Blue Tornado coach Ralph Potter said. "He's big enough and physical enough that he can play linebacker but also fast enough to play in the secondary. He's got great hands and made quite a few big plays for us at receiver, but he will be a special player for them wherever they line him up on defense.

"Besides his physical talent, the thing that has stood out about him is what a great leader he is in the locker room and on the field. He's a kid who wants to be coached hard and responds well to being challenged."

Busy day for Bucs

Boyd Buchanan senior Jenna Randolph can consider the opportunity to play college soccer a major blessing.

In July 2021, she underwent a spinal surgery after being injured in a car wreck. After missing her junior season, Randolph returned to lead the Lady Buccaneers to their second region championship in four years with her assist on the winning goal in a 2-1 victory against Silverdale Baptist last fall, when she was also an all-district selection.

Randolph will play at the next level for NCAA Division II member King University in Bristol, Tennessee, and she was joined in signing Wednesday by two Boyd Buchanan teammates: Abigail Aman (Southern Wesleyan) and Gavynn Davis (Bryan College). Aman was a TSWA all-state selection and had 20 goals and 19 assists in her prep career. Davis, a three-year starter, also helped the Lady Bucs make a run to the TSSAA Division II-A semifinals this past fall.

It was a busy day for Boyd Buchanan as several other athletes at the Chattanooga private school celebrated their college decisions: Molly Burnett (Milligan bowling), Jacob Hutcheson (Kentucky Wesleyan football) and Cali Sandhoff (Covenant volleyball).

Sandhoff was a TSWA all-state selection and region MVP who had 412 digs, 303 kills, 387 assists, 95 blocks and 75 aces to lead her team to a 30-4 overall record and the state semis this past fall. Hutcheson, a quarterback, totaled more than 1,000 yards of offense, and Burnett won two region championships and bowled a three-game set high of 664.

Busy week for Calhoun

Northwest Georgia football power Calhoun will have five seniors signing with colleges this week, including three-year starting offensive lineman Brody Balliew.

Balliew, a two-time Times Free Press Best of Preps selection, is signing with Furman, while receiver/defensive backs Cam Curtis and Dustin Kerns are signing with Reinhardt and C.J. Hawkins and Kelly Wells are staying close to home at Shorter.

"Those five have meant a lot to our program," Calhoun coach Clay Stephenson said. "This group of seniors led us through a coaching change and COVID-19, and their commitment and dedication kept our program heading in the right direction. We are very proud of these five players for being able to continue their education and getting a chance to play football at the next level."

Area haul for Reinhardt

Six local football players at Georgia schools signed or will sign scholarships with Reinhardt University during this period, the rewards of consistent recruiting in the area by coaches from the NAIA school in Waleska, about an hour north of Atlanta.

Among the group is Coahulla Creek quarterback Kace Kinnamon, who had more than 2,700 yards of total offense and accounted for 26 touchdowns as the Colts made the GHSA state playoffs for the first time in program history.

"Reinhardt is definitely making a great investment in Kace Kinnamon," said new Coahulla Creek head coach Drew Carter, who was the program's offensive coordinator the past three years. "The tangibles speak for themselves. He's a true dual-threat quarterback, and what separates him is that he's a great competitor and student of the game. Nobody outworks him and he's never satisfied with success.

"I really think he's just hitting his stride as a quarterback and his best football is ahead of him."

Kinnamon will have a familiar face to throw to in Heritage receiver Tyler Cheatwood (23 catches, 673 yards, eight touchdowns), as well as Calhoun's Curtis and Kerns.

Those three are joined by offensive lineman Jayden Calhoun from Southeast Whitfield and North Murray's Austin Davis, an athletic defensive lineman who will likely move to tight end in college.

North Murray coach Preston Poag was among the coaches impressed by the Reinhardt staff.

"Reinhardt sent several coaches and were on our campus two or three times a week in recent weeks," said Poag, who listed unsigned quarterback Seth Griffin among Reinhardt's interests. "They did a really nice job, and Coach (James) Miller is building a good program."

Catching on together

Sonoraville tight end Ridge Redd and Ringgold receiver Ty Gilbert are signing with FCS power Jacksonville State this week.

Redd, a 6-foot-5, 235-pounder who was a member of the Times Free Press Dynamite Dozen, was a big part of coach Denver Pate's explosive offense with 612 yards and three touchdowns on 36 catches. Gilbert (6-1, 180) had a knack for finding the end zone for the Tigers in 2022, scoring nine times on 31 catches and producing 484 yards.

Compiled by Stephen Hargis, Patrick MacCoon and Lindsey Young. Contact them at

  photo  Staff photo by Robin Rudd / McCallie's Andrei Delinoi, right, tackles Montgomery Bell Academy quarterback Marcel Reed for a loss during a regular-season game this past September.