NORTH AUGUSTA — As his classmates and teammates from the football squad signed letters of intent, North Augusta High School’s Antaun Andrews could only sit and wait.
Finally, well after his graduation, Andrews committed to the University of Memphis for track and field.
“I had some other schools looking at me,” he said. “The University of Memphis recruited me for football earlier in the year, so I had already been to their campus. I liked it there a whole lot. I already had an offer from Savannah State, I just took a trip to UNC Charlotte and I was in contact with the Iowa State coach as well. I liked the weather up there. I don’t like it too cold. It’s just a good area. I did some research on their program and I feel like it fits me pretty good. They compete with some of the best, and that kind of led me to choosing Memphis.”
Andrews attended each signing for his football teammates. He said it was tough to be in limbo, especially after he made the sacrifice of giving up basketball. Andrews called it his favorite sport, but his AAU track and field coach, Michael Johnson, asked him for his full commitment.
“He told me if I gave him the time, and put the work into it that he would get me signed to a Division I school,” Andrews said. “When signing day came around for all of the football guys I was happy, and I said ‘man, I wish I was up there with them.’ The only football interest during that time that I had was Southwestern Mississippi Community College. They didn’t even called me; Coach (Dan) Pippin told me about them. I felt like God had a plan for me, and I felt like Coach Mike wasn’t going to let me down.”
In late April, Andrews said he was ready to go to Savannah State. However, around that time the University of Louisville called and asked him to visit.
“They stopped talking to me,” he said. “I found out the Louisville coach was leaving and he didn’t know where he was going. I felt like I was pretty much out in the water with nothing.”
Andrews’ specialty is the 400-meter run, and he said he was “decent in the 200-meter.”
“I’m sure when I go to Memphis they’ll work with me and I’ll get better at that,” he said. “What got me there is my 400 meters.”
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @NAStarRodgers.