LOUISVILLE, Ga. — Flanked by family members and news cameras, it was hugs, handshakes and high fives for three Jefferson County High School players who signed letters of intent to play football on National Signing Day.
Melton Brown will be playing for Georgia Southern University, Parker Stokes with Furman University and Sam Harris with Reinhardt University.
“These are great kids,” said Jefferson County coach JB Arnold. “Melton really was a star when he first set foot on our campus, both on and off the field. Parker is what you call a true ball player. He’s got a motor that don’t stop. Deep down he’s really silly and shy, but he plays hard and plays aggressive. Sam just worked hard for three years. He’s worked hard to start.”
Brown, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive end, had offers from Tulane, Georgia State, Southern Miss, Mercer, Northern Iowa, University of Texas San Antonio, Western Kentucky, Air Force, The Citadel, Sanford, Stetson, Furman, Wofford and Purdue.
Brown racked up 65 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, forced three fumbles, and had one fumble recovery that he carried in for a touchdown in his senior season.
“Today is a great day, one I always dreamed about,” Brown said Wednesday morning. “This is a dream that came true.”
He said that while he visited several other schools that offered him scholarships, he said he felt most at home in Statesboro, which is just an hour’s drive from his current high school.
“To all the other players who want this opportunity, keep God first, remain true to who you are, remain humble and continue to work hard. If you set out a plan or vision, go do it,” Brown said.
Stokes transferred to Jefferson County this fall from Evans High after his father took the head baseball coach’s position in Jefferson County.
“My dream, when I was little, was to play college football,” Stokes said. “When I hit my junior year it felt like I wasn’t going to get the chance to. I had interest, but once I moved and got out here in Jefferson County my coaches kind of broadened my horizons. After my first offer from Delta State they just started rolling in.”
This past season he played nose guard for the Warriors and spent some time at offensive guard. In his senior season he had 70 tackles, 12 for loss, caused a fumble, recovered a fumble and had one interception. On offense, he had 20 pancake blocks.
After receiving offers from the Naval Academy, Presbyterian, Delta State, Valdosta State, Carson-Newman and Savannah State, he chose Furman University.
“Furman has a long tradition of learning football and their academics are…well, if you have a Furman degree it’s hard to compare with others. I decided that this is where I needed to be.”
Harris is headed for Reinhardt University.
Harris was first team all-region this year at linebacker and had 73 total tackles, four for a loss, a sack and a fumble recovery.
“This means a lot,” Harris said Wednesday. “I’m about to start a new chapter in my life going off to play football. It’s not going to be easy, but I am ready to better myself so I can be prosperous and help my family the best way that I can.”