National Signing Day allows athletes to focus on future

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 8:46pm

Jalen Ramsey decided to go East rather than West.

In a development Monday night, Ramsey decided he would attend Florida State. Last summer he announced his intention to sign with Southern Cal but almost at the 11th hour switched his allegiance to the Seminoles.

Ramsey spoke publicly about his decision for the first time during a national signing day ceremony for Brentwood Academy athletes at the school Wednesday.

“This is such a hectic process — it’s crazy, coaches at your home, some calling you all the time — there’s aspects of it I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” Ramsey, a five-star wide receiver/defensive back, said. “It turned out Florida State had everything I was looking for – great school, great coaches, a place I really liked.”

Asked about calling the Southern Cal coaches to tell them of his de-commitment, he said, “that was very tough. But that’s in the past. At this point, I just want to look to the future with a positive outlook for how I can do to help Florida State.”

Ramsey, who won a state decathlon title last spring, was heavily recruited by many Division I colleges, including Vanderbilt which he said, “was also in the mix.”

SISTERS STICK TOGETHER

Another notable development at BA was twin sisters Breanna and Deanna Tate’s decision to sign with Ole Miss for women’s track.

Both are sprinters. They were members of 2012 state championship 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams as BA won the Division II state championship last May.

They have two noteworthy older brothers.

Golden Tate, currently an NFL wide receiver with the Seattle Seahawks, played for Notre Dame after he graduated from Pope John Paul II. Wesley Tate signed with Vanderbilt, where he has one year of eligibility left.

The brothers attended the signing ceremony.

“I am so blessed, it’s a wonderful moment for them,” mother Yolanda Tate said of the twins, who both received full scholarships. “They deserve this day, and I am so proud of them.”

The Tate sisters said their final three choices were Ole Miss, Troy (Ala.) and Southern Illinois, with Vanderbilt and Tennessee also in the mix.

“When we made our visit there [Ole Miss], we just loved the school, loved the coach and everything about it,” Breanna, who is three minutes older, said.

“They have an absolutely beautiful campus, everyone down there was so nice, and their track program is on the rise,” Deanna said. “It was definitely where we wanted to go.”

Other BA signees included: Max Staver, football quarterback (Florida), Will Haynie, baseball (Alabama), Austin Jackson, baseball (Freed-Hardeman), Amos Mason, football (Naval Academy), DeMontre Wade, football (Murray State) and Garrett Wilson, cross country (Union).

• CPA signings: Six Christ Presbyterian Academy athletes signed national letters-of-intent Wednesday and were recognized at a ceremony in the school gym.

Among them was quarterback Albert Mitchell, who signed to play football at Samford.

“It’s been an unbelievable experience,” Mitchell, who help lead the team to the state semifinals last fall, said. “I was so fortunate to play for a coach in Ingle Martin, who has played on every level and someone so knowledgeable about late game situations, preparation and competing.”

Said Martin: “Albert is someone who adapts to coaching, excels in competition and works toward a goal bigger than himself. I’m very excited about what his future holds.”

He said leading receiver Chase Smith would attend Tennessee, but not to play football.

Other signees included:

Lindsay Curtis (King) and Mickie Dye (Tennessee Tech) in women’s soccer. Both were all-state players for the Lions (20-2-2), who won their first state championship last November.

Robert Brown (Mercer) for football.

Pole vaulter Chris Charles (U.S. Military Academy, West Point) for track and field.

James Elliott (Furman) for football.

• Battle Ground Academy signings: Keenan Bass (Tennessee Tech) for football.

 Ansley Tomlin (Birmingham Southern) for women’s soccer.

Gavin Shellnut (UT-Martin) for golf where he will join older brother Tyler on the team.

Anthony Dunavant (Virginia) and Del McSpadden (Lipscomb University) for track and field.

• Montgomery Bell Academy signings: Jatarii Donald (Mercer), Brooks Best (Mercer) and Morris Eguakun (Stetson) for football.

Trey Gill (South Carolina) for soccer.