MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Whitehaven High School football’s reputation as a pipeline for top college football programs is strong after another successful national signing day. Five Tigers signed to Division I schools during the early national signing period on Wednesday.
Four-star wide receiver Keveon Mullins, once a Memphis Tiger commit, signed to play for the University of South Carolina.
“I just had to do what was best for me and my family,” Mullins said. “I just wanted to leave home. There was something different about South Carolina compared to the other schools, and I had to make a decision off that.”
Three-star offensive guard Melvin McBride, a long time University of Tennessee commit, officially became a Volunteer on Wednesday morning. McBride said UT head coach Jeremy Pruitt’s coaching pedigree played a big role in his decision to go to school in Knoxville.
“He’s trying to turn us into another Alabama,” McBride said. “I believe in what he’s doing. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have committed.”
Three-star athlete Devin Boddie Jr. made his long standing commitment to Vanderbilt University official as well. Boddie said the genuineness of the Commodores coaching staff made him feel comfortable with Vandy, along with the school’s academic reputation.
“In my household academics is a huge part,” Boddie said. “Football won’t last forever. If my break my leg tomorrow I’m going to have to use my head, and my brain’s going to last me forever.”
Vincent Guy Jr., who led the Tigers to the 2018 TN Class 6A state championship game as quarterback and defensive back, signed to play for University of Tennessee at Martin. Guy is the first member of his family to receive a full ride to college.
“It means a lot,” Guy said. “Me and my family have been through a lot. I’m just happy. I feel like we’re in the promised land right now. I’m just ready to go, show out and represent my family in a good name."
Three-star tight end Cormontae Hamilton was the only Tiger to sign with a non-Southern school. Hamilton will play for Ohio State University.
“Ohio State just stood out to me with the educational programs,” Hamilton said. “If you don’t make it in football you have a chance to be whatever you want to be after college, and that’s something I really enjoy.”
Whitehaven head football coach Rodney Saulsberry said seeing his players move on to the next level is just proof that the school’s mission of “using athletics as a means to and end,” is working.
“The biggest issue we have to address in our city is the issue of poverty, and having socioeconomics,” Saulsberry said. “We need football to give people opportunities to change their lives, and the trajectory of their families.”
All five players will graduate in May 2019. Saulsberry said more Tigers are expected to sign to colleges on National Signing Day in February.