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NATIONAL SIGNING DAY: Area schools recognize players who are moving on to the next level

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Pen was put to paper several times in Floyd County on Wednesday as the second go-round of National Signing Day was observed with high school football players marking their official commitment to play in college.

The day saw students, faculty, coaches and communities come together to honor the hard work both on and off the field of the group of young men that were celebrated across the area.

A full school assembly was the backdrop for Rome High School’s signings and recruits on Wednesday afternoon as eight players marked their college choices with a formal signing or a show of commitment after signing during the early signing period in December.

The Wolves’ defensive linemen highlight the group, with Jamarcus Chatman having officially made the decision Wednesday morning to sign with Florida State and play for first-year head coach Willie Taggart.

“He came to me house for an in-home visit, and the things he talked about just sounded amazing. And he wasn’t even talking about football the whole time, he was talking about life after football, and that affects me and my family,” Chatman said.

“I have a chance to go there and make a big impact. And if I play the way I’ve been playing at Rome then I feel like I could be great there.”

Defensive tackle Ja’Quon Griffin only recently announced his commitment to Georgia Tech after having to work through the ups and downs of recruiting, but the 6-foot-1, 265-pound standout was glad to have made the choice.

“It’s relieving. It all worked out for me. It was really God, because I had an offer come in and how I came to visit, it was like a dream come true,” Griffin said. “I get to play at a Power Five school like I always wanted to. The coaches really wanted me and had seen what I can do. They really believe that I can play at the top level.”

Adam Anderson previously signed with Georgia as the five-star recruit helped give the Bulldogs the top recruiting class of 2018 as rated by several recruiting sites, and TJ Cammack has held firm to his commitment to Navy ever since last summer.

“I just felt like it was the best place for me to grow as a person. It’s a great education and great football. I went in July to visit and everything just felt right to me,” Cammack said.

Rome head coach John Reid said the students recognized Wednesday represent just some of the players they hope to sign in the coming weeks and show just how much they’ve been able to raise the standards of the program both athletically and academically.

Darlington head coach Tommy Atha was all smiles as he welcomed family and friends to the Tigers’ Signing Day festivities, which saw four of Darlington’s 10 seniors mark their post-graduate choices.

Running back Tijai Whatley will be attending Georgia Tech, while tight end Jacob Hunt heads to UNC Charlotte. Lineman Elijah Ball and defensive back Karl Swiger both are going to Wofford College.

“This is a tremendous day no just for Darlington football but for Darlington school as well,” Atha said. “These young men are pursuing their goal of playing football at the next level and continuing their education, which is an important part of it.”