By Ken Jackson
Five more members of an Osceola Kowboys senior football class that went 46-6 on the field in their four years will move on to the college ranks.
Four signed letters of intent, with schools spread out across the Eastern time zone, on Tuesday. A fifth, running back Da’Nas Pinellas, signed with Concordia (Il.) College in March.
Braxton Jones (Albany State), Kameron Moore (Adrian University), Quavon Brown (University of Pikeville) and Fillimore Wynter (Marshall) pushed the total of signed seniors from the 2017 to eight. Defensive linemen Dion Bergan (Wake Forest) and Jordan Redmond (Virginia) signed during the inaugural December early signing period, and running back Malcolm Davidson (Florida Atlantic) sent his National Letter of Intent off to Boca Raton on Feb. 7.
Tuesday’s quartet of signees saw the wait as a chance to make an educated decision on where to take their athletic talents and academic future.
“It was my plan to wait and take my time,” said Brown (5-10, 170), who is off to Kentucky to play for the NAIA Bears’ program after totaling 36 tackles, four pass breakups and an interception for the Kowboys in 2017. “But it is a relief to have this out of the way.”
Brown, who projects as a cornerback at Pikeville like in Kissimmee, cited a comfort level with the coaching staff on his visit at the end of March.
Jones (5-10, 165), who started at quarterback for Osceola the last two seasons and also held the punting duties.
63-401-5, including a dramatic 58-yard touchdown scamper on third-and-8 against Dr. Phillips in the regional semifinal that briefly gave the Kowboys a 10-7 lead in a game they’d lose to the eventual Class 9A state champions, 17-13.
The Albany State (Ga.) Rams are a Division II program in the Southern Intercollegiate Conference. Jones chose them over Florida Tech, Northwood in Michigan and Monmouth (N.J.) University.
“On my visit they treated me like I belonged,” Jones said. “And I plan to major in business administration and the school had the program I wanted.”
Nichols said the Rams’ “offensive coordinator loves him.”
“They said he’ll have every opportunity to with the quarterback spot, but if he doesn’t he’ll probably put him in the slot, but the kid’s going to play early,” he said.
Moore, a 5-7, 165-pound defensive back, had nearly the same stat line (32 tackles, 4 PBUs, one INT) as Brown, said he’s ready to go to a place with real winter — Adrian, a Division III program, is about 45 minutes from Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan.
“I know that I’ll get to play, and have the chance to start,” he said.
Nichols said both Brown and Moore both had plenty of places to play that offered.
“They both visited (perennial D-III champion) Mount Union and went together to a school in Iowa, but Brown fell in love with Adrian and Kam really like Pikeville.”
Wynter, a 6-3, 185-pound receiver, is probably the surprise of this wave of signees — that a receiver in a Flexbone offense that threw the ball just 58 times in 11 games last season is the Football Bowl Subdivision signee of the bunch, headed to Conference USA’s Thundering Herd in Morgantown, W.V.
“It was a very family-oriented program, and it will be like here, waiting for my chance and making a play when it is,” he said. “You can’t be selfish in the offense we run here.”
Wynter was a target on the Kowboys’ few downfield passing plays, catching 11 passes for 135 yards and four touchdowns.
Nichols said Marshall is bringing Wynter in as a tight end; the team graduated senior starter Ryan Yuracheck and currently only has rising sophomores on its roster at that position.
“Fill’s the one I’m really, really happy for,” he said. “He was here for a semester then moved then moved to Fort Pierce as freshman. He came back with a 1.2 GPA. He’ll graduate with almost a 3.0, so the work the kid’s done has been awesome on his part.”
Nichols even put his allegiance to his hometown West Virginia Mountaineers aside for this signing.
“I’ll send these kids anywhere to where they want to play,” he said with a laugh.