Signing day: Stone to UT, Page to Tech, Lassing to VU

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 5:06pm
Ensworth's 2,000-yard rusher Orleans Darkwa had family and friends cheering him on Wednesday morning when he signed with Tulane. / Mike Strasinger for The City Paper

When one walked into the Franklin Road Academy Auditorium Wednesday, a big screen TV was showing highlights of Doug Page during the 2009 season. And there were plenty — touchdown run after touchdown run.

Now, he’s hoping to continue a few of those runs at Tennessee Tech, a school he signed with on national signing day. And it was a “feel good’’ scenario for the top-notch Franklin Road Academy star that led him to sign with Tech.

Early signs were pointing to UT-Chattanooga in late fall. But things changed, and Page ultimately made official visits to Austin Peay, UT-Martin and Tech.

“When I made my visit, it just seemed to feel right,’’ Page said. “I had a great visit with Coach Watson Brown, who is an outstanding coach. I got to meet all the coaches, and I was really impressed with them.’’

Page joined dozens of other prep standouts committing to football programs around the country on Wednesday.

Versatile Fitz Lassing and his Montgomery Bell Academy teammate Brad Bars both signed full scholarships with BCS conference schools Wednesday — Lassing to Vanderbilt and Bars to Penn State. Vanderbilt who earlier offered Lassing a walk-on status, changed course and Tuesday offered him a full scholarship, which he accepted. He was scheduled to make a trip to Stanford later this month, but turned down an offer from the Cardinal and from Harvard when the Vanderbilt offer emerged.

Late last week, Bars got a sudden call and visit from Penn State and shortly later committed to the Nittany Lions. He jumped at the chance to play for legendary Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno.

Also, MBA Mr. Football finalist kicker finalist Andrew Fletcher said he would walk on at Louisville rather than except a scholarship to attend Tennessee State University and hope for a scholarship by his sophomore year.

Maplewood’s James Stone, one of the most sought after players in Nashville, finally ended the suspense over his college choice Wednesday when he signed with Tennessee.

The giant 6-4, 295-pound all-state star and Class 2A Mr. Football winner, narrowed his choices down to UT and defending national BCS champion Alabama last week.

Page said Tech’s coaches told him he would get a chance to play tight end and H back in the Eagle offense.

He has credentials, rushing for 1,580 yards and 16 TDs, passing for 447 more and making 68 tackles from his linebacker post. He made DII all-state and is generally one of the greatest players ever to compete for FRA.

His father, FRA athletic director Kurt Page was a star quarterback at Vanderbilt in the mid-1980s, still holding a number of school passing records.

“I just hope I can keep improving, keep getting stronger and that can make good things happen when I play there,’’ Page added.

Tech, which has a renowned Engineering school will concentrate on that, adding, “I’ve always liked math and science, and that will fit right in.’’

Other signings (Corrected 2/3, 11:30 p.m.)

It was a special day for Whites Creek defensive back Kenneth Pettiford who signed with Tennessee State. His father, Kenneth Pettiford, Sr., was an All-American QB at TSU, leading them to a perfect season in 1971.

Pearl-Cohn star linebacker Jaime Amos wound up committing to Austin Peay Tuesday after he was one of the bright spots in the Firebird season.

Ensworth had three commitments, including 2,000 yard rusher Orleans Darkwa, who signed with Tulane and tight end Sam Cooper, who signed with Clemson. They were joined by linebacker Myers Beaird who committed to Wesleyan University.

McGavock had two signees, twin brothers DE Everett Colbert and TB Lorenzo Colbert, who are both headed to Tusculum. Also, Glencliff’s Kennedy Emebunor, one of the Colts leading tacklers, has also committed to Tusculum.

Glencliff DB Michael Whittaker and Colts LB Antonio Witherspoon have signed with Carson-Newman after leading the school to its first playoff berth since 1999.

Ryan QB Trey McPhail has committed to Mt. St. Joseph’s of Ohion and Irish WR Joe Franceson committed to Austin Peay. Also, Mr. Football kicker Nick Pollard signed with UT-Chattanooga.

Overton star defensive end/tight end Dezmond Johnson who committed to Duke recently, has signed with Blue Devils.

Brentwood Academy had three signees – DT Ishmael Lewis to Tennessee State, OT Wesley Sherrill to Tennessee Tech and TB Josh Tate to the Naval Academy.

Hillwood DE Max Ugboaja is headed to MTSU. Brentwood High RB Jordan Evans committed to Brown.



1 Comment on this post:

By: fdanshep on 2/4/10 at 8:32

Does anyone know if Kevin Ashabranner of Jo Burns signed?