PETTICOAT JUNCTION — Alijah Alford's leadership sets him apart. Football head coach DeAngelo Bryant said it's unlikely that you'd find a harder worker than him.

Ja'Cory Tanksley is like having five people all in one, according to Bryant. His impact was unmatched.

Donovan Bush just carried himself with a high standard, and it resonated throughout the team. He 'did a lot of his talking through his actions.'

Those were the attributes Bryant turned to when talking about what he'd miss about three of his seniors. On Wednesday, the trio signed letters of intent to compete athletically in college.

Bush and Tanksley will be teammates on the football team at Erskine College. Alford is set to follow in the footsteps of his dad and brother and attend The Citadel on a track and field scholarship.

Bush was the leader of the Bulldogs' defense from the linebacker position. He led the team in tackles and was a player the opposition always had to account for. Tanksley got the job done at multiple positions, playing in the defensive secondary and at receiver.

Each will join an Erskine recruiting class which loaded with players from the CSRA.

"It feels like we're going to be making our own legacy," Bush said. "It's a fresh start."

"I felt the good energy and good vibes there," Tanksley said. "I've got family there and brothers that also played football here that went there last year. I'm just ready to go play football."

Alford, a three-sport athlete, wont be on the football field at The Citadel. He's headed to the Division I military institute in Charleston to run track. For him, the choice was a no-brainer.

"My dad played football at The Citadel and my brother wrestles there now, so I just want to continue the tradition," Alford said.

Alford, who has been a successful wrestler during his time at Silver Bluff, said there was discussion and thought about other paths in college. He ultimately stuck with what he knew best.

"I love track. It's always been at the center of my heart," Alford said. "It's my first sport, so I just decided that's the sport I know best and that's the sport that will take me all the way."

Follow Eric Russell on Twitter @ericj_russell