With all the newness surrounding the debut of the three-day early signing period for high school football players, there is one familiar feel: Baylor School will have multiple signees.
Among the area's players who will begin signing today will be Red Raiders defensive backs Jaylon Baker and Brendon Harris, offensive lineman Walker Culver and long snapper Cade Long, all with Bowl Subdivision programs. Baker will sign with Virginia, Harris with Vanderbilt, Culver with Virginia Tech and Long with Georgia Tech.
The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Culver had a whirlwind recruiting process over the last two weeks, with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer visiting him at Baylor, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh calling and Auburn extending an offer last week. Culver, a Times Free Press preseason Dynamite Dozen member who had committed to Colorado in the summer, visited Virginia Tech last weekend.
"There were several factors that weighed in on my decision," Culver said. "At the end of the day I had to sit down with my family and see what would be best for me and my future and where I fit in. I really like the coaching staff — you can tell they genuinely care about their players — and I just felt like it was the best fit for me.
"At times it was definitely a little stressful, but I was honored that colleges would take time to visit me or offer me (a scholarship), and I'm excited about the next step."
Baker, a 6-2, 170-pound cornerback, had 17 total offers and also made his decision after a campus visit last weekend.
"I have a great relationship with my position coach and the whole staff," Baker said. "This was one of the hardest decisions of my life because of the relationships I had with other staffs, but Virginia has great academics and everything about the school helped make my decision. I just want to make my family proud."
"It's pretty special for our school to have so many guys signing with great programs."
Other area players expected to sign during the 72-hour early-signing period include Boyd-Buchanan defensive back Kohl Henke and Bradley Central receiver Lameric Tucker with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Bradey linebacker Jay Person with Appalachian State and Bradley offensive lineman Christopher Cash with Air Force.
Cleveland's Keegan Jones committed to Navy last weekend but will wait until February to sign, according to Blue Raiders coach Scott Cummings.
Among the area's northwestern Georgia signees are Dalton offensive lineman Dylan Cole (UTC), Northwest Whitfield quarterback Luke Shiflett (Middle Tennessee State), Ridgeland defensive back Markeith Montgomery (Kennesaw State) and running back Jalyn Shelton (Austin Peay) and Southeast Whitfield defensive end Luke Johns (Georgia Tech). Dalton athlete Nasir-Love Porter, who is committed to Austin Peay, likely will wait until February to sign.
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.