Signed, sealed and delivered

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As his football coach and principal stood in front of dozens of Jefferson County supporters in Louisville, Ga., and described how he grew into a football player coveted by the likes of Georgia Tech, Chris Crenshaw wore the look of someone fetching the mail.

"I don't like the attention ... I just wanted to get it over with," he said.

Crenshaw might not have wanted to do it in such a formal way, but he signed a binding letter-of-intent to play football for Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

Crenshaw was one of five area players who signed with Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) schools on National Signing Day, including three with teams that play in Bowl Championship Series conferences.

A sixth player, Lakeside's Kyle Tudor, is already enrolled at East Carolina.

Washington County linebacker Brandon Watts will join Crenshaw at Georgia Tech. South Aiken offensive tackle JerQuari Schofield signed with Tennessee.

North Augusta linebacker Brett Johnson and Greenbrier defensive lineman Dylan Turner signed with Air Force.

Crenshaw capped his senior season by setting school records for single-season (13.5) and career (28.5) sacks.

"Chris has done it in a classy, unselfish way ... he got it done in a low-key way," said Warriors coach J.B. Arnold, emphasizing Crenshaw's 3.2 GPA. "For every bit he's shy, get him on that football field and his motor clicks on."

Watts, the Region 3-AAA Defensive Player of the Year, became one of the first players to commit to coach Paul Johnson's first full recruiting class last spring.

Watts and Crenshaw were part of Georgia Tech's 21-man class, which included 14 in-state players.

"Me and him played not that far apart. ... I think we'll both make a difference there," Crenshaw said.

Schofield committed to Tennessee in June, but as late as January received an in-home visit from Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and new Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin. His decision came down to a fierce battle between the two schools.

"It was (close) ... (Clemson is) a big school in my home state," he said. "But I had to pick the school that was right for me."

Johnson appeared relieved signing with Air Force. After all, he had spent almost his entire senior season limited by a foot injury. The injury forced him to miss two full games.

"Our first game we played ... he had surgery on his foot two weeks before, and he was in there and didn't miss a beat," coach Dan Pippin said. "I told every recruiter that story. It shows toughness."

Said Johnson, "I just tried to be a leader from the sideline as much as I could. It was real frustrating."

Johnson said he will redshirt and play for the Air Force Huskies prep school, located on campus.

Turner said his future was never really up for debate. His father, Randy, played football for East Carolina. An uncle played two years for the New York Jets, and a cousin played for South Carolina.

"It's kind of a family tradition to play football," Randy Turner said.

Dylan Turner recorded 103 tackles and seven sacks during his senior year at Greenbrier, earning all-region honors. Air Force, he said, was his best fit.

"When I went there, I knew it was for me," he said. "All the coaches made me feel like family."

Former Aiken standout Taikwon Paige signed with Auburn by way of Georgia Military College. He played his senior year at Aiken in 2006, then two years at Georgia Military.

Billy Byler and Stephen Fastenau contributed to this article.

Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or matt.middleton@augustachronicle.com.


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