Originally created 02/04/03

Yellow Jacket finds a school



Frayne Abernathy - and the leg he says is about 80 percent healthy - finally have a place to call home.

The North Augusta senior, who broke two bones in his leg in the middle of the season, committed to play college football at Northwestern on Monday and will sign a letter of intent to the Big Ten school on Wednesday's National Signing Day.

Before Northwestern's scholarship offer became official, though, its doctors had to approve Abernathy's X-rays. Around 4 p.m. Monday, the Wildcats gave their OK.

"I was just really relieved," said Abernathy, who completed 36 of 76 passes for 423 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing for 213 yards and four more scores. "It's been a long process."

Abernathy, who played quarterback for the 8-3 Yellow Jackets but was recruited as a tight end, was injured when he was sandwiched between two White Knoll players in a 30-7 North Augusta win.

"It's a great deal for him," North Augusta coach Joe Long said. "Coach (Randy) Walker liked him, and they wanted to make sure his leg was OK. They're really excited to get him."

BREAKOUT

Hephzibah fullback Ralph Gunter will sign a letter of intent with Middle Tennessee State at 2 p.m. in the school's library.

Gunter, who will be the only Division I signee from Richmond County, rushed 79 times for 770 yards and seven touchdowns for the 5-5 Rebels.

As a defensive end, the 6-foot, 255-pound Gunter - who committed to the Murfreesboro, Tenn., program January - also recorded 29 tackles and five sacks.

Reach Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3216 or josh.katzowitz@augustachronicle.com.