Gadsden City gridders sign scholarships

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By Chris McCarthy/Editor

Five Gadsden City High seniors will compete on the gridiron for the next four years.

Quarterback Ahmad DeRamus (Tuskegee), offensive lineman Jamahl Jelks (Tennessee State), receiver Darnell Mooney (Tulane), receiver Denzel Mooney (Miles College) and receiver Jalen Swain (Miles College) signed letters of intent on Wednesday (Feb. 3) on National Signing Day. 

“What impressed me the most about these guys is that besides their athletic ability, they’re all students of the game,” said GCHS head football coach Matt Scott. “As far as football IQ is concerned, this is the best bunch I’ve ever had.”

DeRamus last season threw for 1,568 yards and 15 touchdowns. He led the 2014 Titans to the state semifinals. He holds the GCHS career records for attempts, completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns.  

“More than anything else, I appreciate the leadership that Ahmad brought to the program,” said Scott. “I can’t remember any of these guys missing a practice and a workout, and we don’t see that every day. Their dedication has really been a boost to our program. They’ve been great representatives of our program and our school, which is a great reflection on us.”

A three-year starter and first team ASWA All-State selection this season, Jelks played in the Alabama/Mississippi All-State Classic in early December.

“If I’m not mistaken, Jamahl has started every game since I’ve been here,” said Scott. “He can play any position across the line, and we really never had anybody else that could do that. He can center, guard and tackle.”

Darnell Mooney had 37 receptions for 697 yards and nine touchdowns.

“Darnell is a great example of a student-athlete,” said Scott. “At this time last year he was at a crossroads academically, and he really hit the gas and did well in the classroom. He’s also one of the best skill players I’ve ever had, and Tulane is getting a good one.”

Denzel Mooney caught 20 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns, while Swain caught 10 passes for 179 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

“Denzel and Jalen are two more guys that barring injury, have started every game since I’ve been here,” said Scott. “They’re both very smart players who are fundamentally sound. Denzel talked about things during a game that a lot of coaches couldn’t tell you.”

Scott pointed out that senior kicker Parker Holland has received several offers and will decide on his college choice in the near future.

“Parker is the best kicker that I’ve had since I’ve been a head coach,” said Scott. “The recruiting process for kickers is a little different, but Parker’s football future is just as bright as these five guys. I won’t be surprised if Parker is a preferred walk-on in the SEC. Years ago I’ve had two guys who kicked for Alabama, as he’s as good as those guys were. The thing I’m really impressed with is how Parker has really worked hard and put himself into a position to succeed.” 

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