Feb. 8—THOMASVILLE — After making tsunami-sized waves in the last two years with two region titles, a 27-1 record, and a state championship, the Coach Rogers era continues to defy logic. On National Signing Day, Thomas County Central broke a school record that it set last year as ten Yellow Jacket football players signed on to play college football. This ten-player signing class is the largest in Thomas County Central history and gives the Yellow Jackets football program 18 signees in just two years.
"It's great to be able to see that. The nation kind of knowing where you're at and wanting to recruit your school," said Rogers. Rogers went on to explain the importance of marketing his players and making sure they get the opportunity to play at the next level.
"I think it's very important that we do all we can do because it's very difficult now. College athletics, and college football especially, has changed and it's a lot more competitive for those spots than it used to be. So, that's a testament to them separating themselves. That's something we always want to do is market our guys and give them opportunities," Rogers continued.
The signees included the hard-hitting linebacker whom Rogers called "the spark plug of the team," Caleb Anderson, and the run-stopping DB Clayton Hutto, both of whom are heading to UPike in Kentucky. Also headed to the same program are linebacker Tywon Christopher and corner Devin Ross who have both signed with Kennesaw State.
Anderson had a lot to say during his speech, namely about being an undersized linebacker. He spoke on how it doesn't matter how small you are. If you have the right work ethic, motivation, and mentality you can do anything.
"Being an undersized linebacker, not too many people have an opportunity like me, so I'm just highly blessed to have an opportunity like this," Anderson said.
D-lineman Walter Reddick, who had a dominant senior year, will be taking his talents just over the state line to Jacksonville State in Alabama. Workhorse running back Trey Brenton will be heading to North Carolina to play for Lenoir-Rhyne University. Jimmy Dawson is staying close to home at Albany State and so is Ty Brown, as he signed with Valdosta State.
"I wanted to stay home close to family to see my little sister and be a part of her life. Family is important. Without family I wouldn't be here today," Brown said. "It feels great. God always has a plan and He led us this year."
Brown's comments spoke for every signee as each took the time in their speech to thank God for their opportunity and their families for their support and sacrifice.
The biggest signing for the Yellow Jackets was the big tight end Malachi Thomas, who signed on with Pitt to play in the ACC.
"It feels great to go to a Power Five university. I didn't ever think I was going to make it. It's a great feeling," Thomas said.
Thomas made it clear that he was not only ready to get his collegiate career started but that he had NFL aspirations as well.
"I'm ready. I'm ready to run the plays, I'm ready to be at Pitt. I'm ready to be a Panther," Thomas said. "I'm going to the next level after that as well, for sure."
With a 6A state title, a record-breaking recruiting class, and big-time programs recruiting in Thomas County, the future of Yellow Jacket football is blindingly bright.