Calhoun Football’s Class of 2019 now has the most college commits of any class in program history. On Monday, Zack Fuller, Jonkell Tolbert and Logan Parker all committed to play football at the college level, bringing the total number of commits to 11.
“We try to teach them to be fine young men in the four years they play football, but we also want to give them the opportunity to go to the next level if that’s what they want to do,” former head football coach Hal Lamb said.
Lamb announced his retirement in February after 20 seasons at the helm of Yellow Jacket Football.
Zack Fuller has officially signed with Berry College in Rome. Jonkell Tolbert committed to Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, and Logan Parker is heading to Maryville College in Tennessee.
“These three are perfect examples,” Lamb said. “They went through the process, found schools that were good fits for them and I’m happy for all three of them.”
Fuller, who played running back with the Jackets, sported a Berry College tie when he put pen to paper on Monday afternoon inside the Calhoun High School media center.
“I’m just so excited, so elated,” Fuller said. “It was a hard decision for me to choose, but when I knew it was right, I just knew that was the place that God wanted me to go.”
Fuller said the decision to commit to Berry was fueled by the beauty of the campus and its strong academics.
“Academically, they’re strong and they can get me to where I want to go eventually because I want to go into the medical field,” Fuller said. “They have a great football team and, while you’re in college, might as well go have a little fun and play some football.”
Lamb said Fuller was a leader on the Calhoun football team.
“His character is off the charts (and) his will to win is off the charts,” Lamb said. “He’s just a phenomenal young man. He’s going to succeed no matter what he does in life.”
Jonkell Tolbert, who played running back and cornerback while in a Yellow Jacket uniform, will be off to Cumberland University in the fall.
“I’ve always wanted to play football and playing for Calhoun was a very good part of my life,” Tolbert said. “To sign and go on to play at the next level is truly a blessing.”
Tolbert said one of the components that drew his attention to Lebanon was the small-town vibe.
“I think it’s the right fit for me,” Tolbert said. “I kind of like small-town football. It was a very small-town feel, so I was pretty set on that choice.”
Tolbert said one of his fondest memories was a road game at Liberty County when his services were called upon.
“One of our running backs got hurt and I had to step up at running back,” Tolbert said. “It was a fun game for me.”
Lamb said Tolbert was a late bloomer, starting at cornerback and serving as a backup to Fuller at running back.
“He’s another one with great character,” Lamb said. “I’m real happy for him because it’s been a struggle to find him a place and you find him a place up there in Cumberland that he’s going to like.”
Logan Parker played at wide receiver and cornerback during his time at Calhoun High School.
“They always seem to pack out the stands and the alumni seems to pack it out,” Parker said. “They’re used to winning. They’re a winning school.”
Parker said the day provided feelings of both elation and excitement.
“We’re the largest signing class at Calhoun and it just makes me happy I get to see all my friends as well as me go on to be successful after high school,” Parker said.
Lamb said Parker played at wide receiver, but also saw a lot of time on special teams and at corner.
“I don’t know where Maryville’s going to play him at, but … if he stays the course and trusts the process, I think he’ll be a great, great player for Maryville College,” Lamb said.
Due to Lamb’s retirement, this is his final senior class he will see off, and Lamb noted 11 players committing to the next level is something not many schools can tout.
“When this crew came in in ninth grade, I thought this was going to be a really good class,” Lamb said. “Three or four years ago, I said this is probably going to be the last class that I coach and … during the three or four years, nothing really changed my mind. I knew this was going to be a special class and they’re a bunch of great kids.”