By Stan Veitch/Sports Correspondent
For the first time in Drew Noles’ three seasons as head football coach at Etowah High, the Blue Devils are sending not just one, but three players (and possibly more) to college programs.
Noles stated that there are a few more athletes who are still being looked at for possible future signing as the colleges mull over who they have and in which areas they are lacking.
Wednesday (Feb. 3) on National Signing Day, running back Stacy Williams and linebacker Darius Moore signed letters-of-intent, while defensive end/linebacker Crishun Young recommitted to Campbellsville (Kent.) Young did not sign Wednesday because his father is out of town and the family wants him to be able to see the signing.
Moore signed with Campbellsville, while Williams will be attending Independence (Kans.) Community College.
Moore said that Campbellsville gave him a better overall experience.
“They came off like they really wanted me,” he said. “The coaches talked to me like I would fit right in with their defense. Plus, it’ll be nice playing with my buddy (Young).”
Moore will continue to play at linebacker.
Young was impressed with the town of Campbellsville, as well as the coaching staff.
“I got along very well with the coaches,” he said. “And they’re in a small town, which I like. It’s a small school in a small town. I really think it’s going to be a good experience.”
Young was told he’d play in a hybrid position of defensive end/linebacker.
“It’ll be kind of like high school, with Darius alongside me,” Young said. “We’ve always pushed each other and that helps both of us.”
Williams liked the fact that Independence will let him continue to play at ru-nning back.
“(Independence coaches) talked a lot about the school and I loved the way they treated me,” Williams said. “I think it’s a good fit for me. There’s a good chance I’ll get a good bit of playing time because my running style fits their offense.”
Noles pointed out that the trio really fit the mold of outstanding players.
“When people talked about our defense, they spoke often of Darius. They always said that he’d probably make the first tackle of the game. And to watch Stacy run through people when he had the chance to run around them, that was always inspiring. And what can you say about Crishun, besides the fact that he finished his senior season with 14 sacks?”
Noles also credited recruiting coach B.J. Brooks for a lot of the attention the Blue Devil athletes are receiving.
“He sent videos to over 500 colleges,” Noles said. “If there’s a school in America, they’ve heard of Etowah, thanks to Brooks.”
Brooks said he sends game film, practice film and even weight room film to college coaches, as well as their grade transcripts. He said that his phone has rung off the hook for the past week or so, as coaches scramble to look for that last piece of the puzzle.
“Today is like Christmas to me,” Brooks said. “I love what I do and I love interacting with these kids. I work a lot, but it’s well worth it – especially on Signing Day.”
Moore received 10 offers, while Young and Williams had eight and seven, respectively.
Williams, who was named Overall MVP of the 2015 Class 5A, Region 7 team, rushed for 1,453 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns while helping the Blue Devils to a 7-3 record, a second-place region finish and a berth in the state playoffs.
A three-time first team all-state selection at linebacker, Moore totaled 134 tackles and six sacks this past season.
Young, who was a second-team all-state pick this season, finished with 84 tackles and 14 sacks at defensive end.
Moore and Young also were first-team All-region selections in 2015.