Corey Gomillion goes from rebuilder to foundation starter.
After the Fighting Irish football team went a combined 8-22 from 2006-08, Gomillion helped Aquinas go 20-13 the past three seasons. His senior season was the best, when he had more than 500 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, helping the Fighting Irish finish 9-4 and advance to the Georgia High School Association Class A state quarterfinals.
Now he’s going to be there for the reinstatement of a football program, as on Friday, the Aquinas senior signed with Mercer alongside two of his classmates. Gomillion and Collin Oliver will play football for the Bears and Matt Moses signed for soccer.
“It’s similar to here,” said Gomillion, who was also looking at Furman, Georgia Southern, Georgia State and North Carolina State.
The Bears had stopped playing football after the 1941 season but will compete in the Pioneer Football League. Mercer’s head coach is Bobby Lamb, an Augusta native who led Furman from 2002-10. Lamb had previously played for and was an assistant coach at Furman.
The Mercer football team won’t play until 2013, so the first year will allow Gomillion and Oliver to get acclimated to college life, especially academics and the demands of a collegiate football program.
The players will still get four years of playing time, Oliver said, even though play won’t begin until 2013.
The situation seemed to work out for Oliver, who made four sacks as a senior and gave thought to Georgia State, James Madison and Presbyterian.
“No matter where I wanted to go, I wanted to redshirt.” Oliver said.
On the soccer field, Moses hopes to make an impact right away for a Bears squad that went 9-8-3 overall in its most recent season as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The Augusta Chronicle’s boys soccer player of the year for this past season, Moses committed to Mercer and coach Brad Ruzzo as a junior. He scored 24 goals and had eight assists in the 2011 season, when the Irish reached the state quarterfinals.
“(Ruzzo) can put me anywhere,” Moses said. “If he needs to fill a spot he knows I can go there.”