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Athletes select colleges

Eigth Comets earn full-rides to higher education

mthomas.advocate@gmail.com

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 14:02

Eight Comet football players are one step closer to their dreams of playing football at the professional level after signing contracts to Division I colleges Feb. 6 in the Recreation Room.

Sophomore offensive lineman Desmond Harrison had a big smile on his face the entire night. After receiving more than 40 offers from different Division I colleges, the nation’s No. 1 ranked junior college offensive tackle, according to www.247sports.com, signed his letter of intent to University of Texas because it is in Austin, which is close to his hometown of Houston.

“It’s just a better fit with me — just to play and represent Texas again,” Harrison said. “I feel good and I’m glad I got bunch of offers.”

Football coach Alonzo Carter said, “He is a freak of nature — 6-foot-8, 315 pounds. You don’t find players like that (very often). He can be special with all his abilities.”

Introducing all of the players who are taking a step forward in their academic and football careers, Carter became a little teary-eyed when talking about sophomore offensive lineman Raushawnzai “Shawn” McCants, who will be attending Lane College, a Division II program.

“I do this every year and it’s a different feeling every year,” Carter said. “I got choked up for a minute talking about Shawn’s story.” A knee injury and his subsequent loss of passion for the game almost forced McCants to quit football.

Sophomore running back Rashad Hall finished second in the Bay Valley Conference in rushing yards with 1,402 this season helping to lead Contra Costa College to a Living Breath Foundation Bowl championship. He received just one full scholarship offer — from Utah State.  
“It was my only offer,” he said. “I felt a connection with the coach there. They were cool and kept it real with me.”

Some players use football to keep themselves out of trouble, and that is what sophomore defensive lineman Demetrius Cherry said he will continue to do.

Cherry is going to Arizona State University along with teammate, linebacker Eriquel Florence. Cherry said that he thinks he fits in with the Sun Devils coaching style and believes he can go there and be a starter right away.

“I feel real good,” Cherry said. “It’s a feeling I can’t explain right now — it hasn’t sunk in to me yet,” he said.

When Florence visited the ASU campus he felt like he was in the place to be. He was searching for a D-1 college in a nice area and environment. Florence said he is excited to make the transition to a new city and college.

“(ASU) just had everything I was looking for in a college,” he said. “(The college) has a nice atmosphere and community.”

The event also had two guest speakers — UC Berkeley defensive lineman Antoine Davis and ex-Kansas City Chiefs running back Jarmar Julien.

Davis played defensive end and linebacker at CCC for one season before committing to Cal in 2012. Julien is on Carter’s coaching staff as running back coach. He talked about his experience in the NFL and how he squandered his opportunity by taking shortcuts.

Carter is proud of his players and his team’s accomplishments, but he is not done with this process yet. He is still trying to get more of his players into colleges, either D-1 or D-2.

“I appreciate everyone’s work and dedication to build this (program),” Carter said. “(However) we still are not (finished) yet.”

Unable to attend signing day was sophomore defensive lineman Michael Douglas who also received a full scholarship offer to Shaw University.

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