Photo: Gadsden City High School seniors Trey Blount (pictured sitting at left) and Jakari Embry (sitting at right) signed football scholarships with Bethel (Tenn.) University last Wednesday (Feb. 5). Pictured with Blount and Embry is GCHS head football coach Ali Smith. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
A pair of Titans are headed to the Volunteer State to continue their academic and athletic careers.
Last Wednesday (Feb. 5) on National Signing Day, Gads-den City seniors Trey Blount and Jakari Embry signed football scholarships with Bethel University in McKenzie, Tenn.
Last season at receiver, Embry caught a team-high 32 passes for 535 yards and six touchdowns.
“It feels really good now that everything’s panned out,” said Embry, who plans on studying physical education in college. “The [recruiting] process was hard. I went into the  season with no [scholarship] offers and I got to the point where I didn’t like football anymore, but once the season was over, coaches started to reach out to me. I like where I’m going, and I think I made a great decision.”
Embry, who also competes on the GCHS track team, plans on joining the track program at Bethel. Embry qualified for the Class 7A state track and field meet last season after winning a silver medal in the 110-meter hurdles at sectionals. Embry, who won the third-place bronze in the 60-meter hurdles at last year’s AHSAA state indoor meet, will go for the gold in the event this weekend at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
Blount had 22 receptions for 434 yards and four TDs in 2019.
“It’s like a dream come true,” said Blount, who plans on studying athletic training at Bethel. “You dream about playing college ball as a kid, and now, it’s your time. From a football point of view, [Bethel] was spot on, but as a school, you get a lot of one-on-one from the teachers, and school is way more important than football. Everything kind of fell into place at the last minute, so I’m just thankful to the man above for giving me this opportunity.”
An NAIA school, Bethel competes in the Mid-South Conference and went 5-6 in 2019. Blount and Embry will join 2018 GCHS graduate and sophomore linebacker Jakobe Griffin on the Wildcat roster.
“I always tell our student athletes that [signing an athletic scholarship] isn’t so much about football as about getting a college education,” said GCHS head football coach Ali Smith. “You cannot put a price tag on a free education, regardless of where it may be. Trey and Jakari have been in our program for the past four years and they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them.
“I think that Bethel has given Trey more than they’ve given any other scholarship athlete, and they’re getting a heck of a ball player. Jakari is an explosive multi-sport athlete who, to me, has next-level talent if he stays there and works hard.”