“A couple of schools came late in the running but I knew I wanted to stick with FIU the whole time,” Guest said.
Running back Lorenzo Woodley did not sign on Wednesday.
Northwestern’s football team made a return to the playoffs this past season after missing it for the first time in 20 years.
But coach Stephen Field said the highlight of the season came Wednesday morning.
Northwestern had 17 of its football players sign with colleges at a special ceremony at the school’s library.
“Today was our state championship,” said Field, who led the Bulls to a 9-3 record in his first season. “This is what it’s all about and it’s a dream come true for these kids.”
Eight of the Bulls’ signees signed letters with FBS schools headlined by defensive back and track star Artie Burns, who signed with the University of Miami. Burns, ranked No. 2 overall in Miami-Dade County, had four interceptions this past season and has been the fastest high school hurdler in the nation each of the past two years.
“It’s my hometown team and I knew for a longtime it’s where I wanted to be at,” Burns said. “A day like this means a lot because a lot of us have been together since the 10th grade. There’s a lot of talent at UM and looking forward to accomplishing my goals.”
Running back Darius Tice signed with the University of South Florida. Tice, one of the county’s top rushers, chose the Bulls after originally having committed to Cincinnati. Tice ran for 1,210 yards and 20 touchdowns this season.
“I sat down with my parents and decided to stay close to home because I have a very close family,” Tice said. “I visited USF a week ago and I fell in love with the school and my family loved it too.”
The Bearcats did, however, sign another Northwestern player when talented cornerback Aaron Brown signed with Cincinnati.
Tice’s backfield teammate Fabian Johnson signed with Western Michigan.
Offensive lineman Gerald Wright signed with Marshall.
Defensive back Leverick Johnson signed with Western Kentucky.
Strong safety Deandre Coley signed with Arkansas.
Linebacker Darius Redmond signed with Kent State.
Defensive end Marquis Blanchard, who led the county in sacks with 24, signed with Howard University.
More signees included linebacker Tim Salter, defensive back Germarlon Hollingshead, defensive linemen Yonel Henry and Larmond Braxton with Atlanta Preparatory School.
“Our whole secondary and both starting tailbacks went Division-I and that’s exciting,” Field said. “It’s a great thing to see for these kids and their families.”
Andre C. Fernandez
Anthony Walker Jr. showed up at Monsignor Pace all decked out in purple — including a purple bowtie. And, no he wasn’t going to a Prince concert. Walker Jr., a wide receiver/defensive back who played both ways for the Spartans last season and was known as the quarterback of the defense, was wearing the colors of Northwestern University, which is where he signed up to go.
Walker Jr., whose father Anthony Sr. is the offensive coordinator, committed to the Wildcats last summer and never waivered on his commitment.
“They contacted me last spring, took my visit then and was sold from the start,” said Walker Jr., a 4.7 GPA student and two-time first team All-Dade selection. “I fell in love with the program, the school and the coaches right away. Coach [Pat] Fitzgerald has a great thing going up there and they just won their first bowl game in 50 years so I’m really excited about this opportunity.”