Most high school athletes will tell you that it’s their dream to play their sport at the next level. Three South Aiken football players confirmed their plans to do just that on Wednesday, as Justin Day, Terell Johnson and DeAndre Schoultz all signed their letters of intent to play college football.
Day, listed at 6-foot-8 and 300 pounds, will continue his career as an offensive tackle at the University of Kentucky. He plans to pursue a degree in broadcasting and business management and said he’s looking forward to competing at a Southeastern Conference school.
“Getting better every day and going against the top competition every week, every day actually because people on my team are going to be top competition,” Day said about the perks of playing at Kentucky. “I know it’s just going to be better and better preparing me for that next level.”
Day has only just completed his first year on the offensive line after starting his time as a T-Bred in a defensive end position. His large frame plus potential for technique development down the road give him a “high ceiling,” head coach Jeremy West said, adding that Day is “just scratching the surface” for how good he can be as a tackle.
“He just played offensive line for one year, and he’s still got unlimited potential,” West said.
Johnson, who will play cornerback at Newberry after accumulating 49 tackles, an interception and two fumble recoveries, chose the Wolves over Coastal Carolina and Furman. He said he plans to major in social media and chose Newberry for the feeling he got from the coaching staff.
“Newberry’s a great program. It’s more like a family, more than anything,” he said. “All the coaches ... they put the program and the players before anything else.”
It’s fitting that the intangibles led Johnson to Newberry because that’s what West highlighted about Johnson as a player. He also hinted that the 5-10, 170-pound corner might not be done improving on the football field.
“He’s got a good work ethic; he’s a hard worker,” West said of Johnson. “He’s kind of started coming into his own a little bit.”
One player that has been coming into his own for the T-Breds for a while now is DeAndre Schoultz. The electric athlete has filled multiple roles, including kick returner, wide receiver, defensive back, running back and wildcat quarterback, but he’ll focus on A-back and kick returner at The Citadel.
Schoultz was the team’s leading receiver and was named All-Aiken Standard first team at that position as a senior with 734 yards and two scores on 50 catches, but he also racked up 26 tackles and had 49 rushes for 391 yards on the year while making a big impact in the return game on punts and kickoffs.
West said that, despite his efforts on the other side of the ball, the coach always knew Schoultz had a future on offense.
“I thought he would play offense some place,” West said. “He’s got a chance to return kicks early on, too.”
Schoultz, who plans to major in engineering, said that The Citadel stood out from his other options – chiefly Mount Union, Lenoir-Rhyne and Colorado State – for a commitment shown in one of the school’s mottos.
“The saying that they have down there is, ‘Sacrifice four for 40 years,’” he said. “So, I mean, I sacrifice these four years of playing hard football and running, military aspect, but then I’ll be set for the rest of my life if I get out and get a good degree.”
Jeremy Timmerman has a journalism degree from Mercer University and has been at the Aiken Standard since June 2010.
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman Surrounded by friends and family, South Aiken football players, from left, Terell Johnson (Newberry), DeAndre Schoultz (The Citadel) and Justin Day (Kentucky) sign to play college football on Wednesday.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman Joined by family and friends, South Aiken football players, from left, Terell Johnson (Newberry), DeAndre Schoultz (The Citadel) and Justin Day (Kentucky) enjoyed their National Signing Day festivities on Wednesday.×