Originally created 02/03/05

Day is filled with drama for Laney High athletes



A few pen strokes began the finishing touches of a spectacular senior class of players at Lucy C. Laney High School.

Out of the 44 area players who signed college scholarships on Wednesday, the Wildcats' day was wilder than most. The easy decisions came first.

Senior quarterback Dominique Walker won 30 of his 41 starts. He signed a letter-of-intent with Albany State. Senior transfer Wayne Canty used his 11 touchdowns in six games and his 980 SAT to score a scholarship at Albany State.

Imposing defensive tackle Corvey Irvin (6-foot-5, 245 pounds) signed a junior college offer at Georgia Military, hoping for his Division I-A offer to come in two years like it did for former Wildcat J.K. Sabb at Middle Tennessee State this year.

Then the day got crazy.

Wide receiver Curtis Sapp was expected to become the seventh area player to sign with Albany State. Except his scholarship papers were late.

They finally arrived via Fed Ex two hours after the Wildcats had their signing ceremony. The delay opened up a window for Fort Valley State, who came in hard for Sapp at the last minute.

They had faxed Sapp a scholarship offer by the time his Albany State papers arrived.

"Curtis is going to have to figure it all out Wednesday night," Parker said. "Both schools have said they will wait for tomorrow to see what he decides to do."

Then came another wave of interest in wide receiver/defensive back Robert Dunn. Dunn backed off what was interpreted by South Carolina State as a commitment last weekend.

"Things got really crazy for Robert last minute," Parker said. "Robert really did himself a service by not stressing out and signing at the last minute just to sign. We've had contact from big-name schools about what kind of grades situation he is in and how close he actually is to qualifying."

Dunn has an approximate grade-point average of 2.2 and an 830 on the SAT. He's expecting a new score in the next two weeks.

Auburn, Georgia, Nebraska and Maryland have all contacted Parker or Dunn recently. The consensus involves a wait-and-see approach with his academic qualifications.

"I really think that if Robert gets close to qualifying a lot of schools are going to come out of the woodwork for him," Parker said. "Whether that means trying to place him in a prep school or thinking about him as a recruit for next year out of prep school."

Dunn admits his decision is a little befuddling right now.

"I am really leaning toward prep school to get stronger academically," Dunn said. "That could change depending on what happens with my grades and (test) scores the rest of the way."

Glenn Hills' Aquantis Mobley, another area standout, is in a similar situation as Dunn. He's a candidate for a prep school or a junior college with the hopes of signing on with a major Division I-A school in two years or less.

Washington County had eight players sign with colleges Wednesday. Three signed at the junior college level. Defensive back Josh Gordy joined Glenn Hills' Larry Knight at Central Michigan.

The Augusta-Aiken area produced a total of 10 Division I-A scholarship recipients this year, down from 19 last year.

Area division I-A signees

19986

19994

20005

200111

20028

200311

200419

200510