National Signing Day for high school football players is three days away. Beginning this Wednesday, the NCAA permits players to sign binding letters of intent to accept scholarships from its member schools. That day often represents the end of an arduous process for players and their families.
Leading up to signing day, The Augusta Chronicle will speak with a prospect from four area counties.
Burke County senior Terrell Brigham has committed to play at South Alabama, which will begin its second full season of football next fall.
The program is in the middle of a move that will eventually land it on the Division-I FBS level as a full, bowl-eligible member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2013. Earlier this week, Brigham, the area's Georgia Player of the Year in 2008, discussed his decision for the final part of our monthlong series.
Q: Had you ever been to Mobile, Ala., before you took your visit? What did you make of the city and the school?
A: I took the official visit -- it was like It was like 71/2 hours away -- and the players were very down to earth and welcoming to me and everything. I committed before I left (Jan. 16), because I didn't want them to give my scholarship away if anyone else came in to visit. My father and my little brother went with me. My father really liked everything he saw and heard. He was happy I made the decision and was congratulating me.
Q: South Alabama played its first football game last fall and went 7-0 against mostly junior- college and prep-school teams. When you were down there, how excited do you think the school was to add football?
A: The coaches and the staff were telling me how the fans had really rallied around the football team. Since it was the first year, football was like everything down there.
Q: Where did the coaches at South Alabama tell you the program was headed? What did they tell you about its future?
A: They just talked about how they were going to play in the Sun Belt and play big-time teams down the road like Tennessee, Ohio State and all of them.
Q: Since the program is essentially still a start-up (South Alabama won't give out the full 85 scholarships until the 2011 season, according to its athletics Web site) there will be plenty of newcomers on campus. How does that appeal to you?
A: The head coach was really (stressing) this little thing about playing for five years. Since they are pretty much a new program (and have an unclassified NCAA status), the first season I play will not count toward my eligibility You can still play five years. Basically, you can play during your redshirt year without it counting toward your eligibility.
Q: You played quarterback for only two years in high school, two great, record-setting years, actually. How did you think teams would recruit you, position-wise?
A: South Alabama told me they want me to play cornerback, but the coaches said they could still use me in situations to put me in different positions -- like at wide receiver or quarterback. Georgia Southern was recruiting me to play quarterback, but (South Alabama) will give me a chance to go off and grow up.
Terrell Brigham amassed more than 3,100 yards of offense and had 34 total touchdowns as a senior at Burke County.