National Signing Day arrives

Briarwood Christian School senior Cooper Harrington addresses the student body before signing a football scholarship Feb. 2 with the University of Southern Mississippi. (Reporter Photo/Wesley Hallman)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

National Signing Day has arrived in Shelby County.

Several high school football standouts signed national letters-of-intent Feb. 2 with universities across the Southeast.

The highest profile signee in Shelby County is Briarwood Christian School senior Cooper Harrington, who inked scholarship papers with the University of Southern Mississippi in a signing ceremony at 2 p.m. in the school’s auditorium.

Harrington, who missed a majority of his senior season with a back injury before returning for the Lions’ run to the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A championship game, will become a fourth-generation Golden Eagle when he steps on the field in the fall.

Harrington, who committed to Southern Miss in May 2010, will play either wide receiver or defensive back for the Golden Eagles. The 6-foot, 180-pound Harrington caught four passes for 42 yards in limited action during his senior season.

Harrington is rated as a three-star recruit on Rivals.com. Harrington took his official visit to the Hattiesburg, Miss., campus Jan. 21-23.

Calera High School senior quarterback Brandon Wells cemented his collegiate future Feb. 2, but his destination has changed since a verbal commitment to Samford University in Aug. 2010.

Calera High School senior Brandon Wells, seated next to his mother Antionitta Bryant, signed a football scholarship with Alabama A&M University during a signing ceremony Feb. 2 in the school's library. (Reporter Photo/Brad Gaskins)

Wells signed a scholarship with Alabama A&M University, where he will join former high school teammate Kaderius Lacey. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Wells took an official visit Jan. 14-16 to the Alabama A&M campus in Normal, which is just north of Huntsville.

Wells, who also played through injuries during his senior season, played both offense and defense for the Eagles and will has the potential to play on either side of the ball in college. Wells signed his scholarship at 2:15 p.m. in the media center at Calera High School.

Three Spain Park High School football standouts also signed scholarships on National Signing Day.

Defensive back Jamel Cook, who played at Homewood before finishing his career at Spain Park, signed with Tennessee Tech University. Senior defensive lineman Emmanuel Cooper inked scholarship papers with the Virginia Military Institute. Senior wide receiver Zak Michael signed with the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater, a Division III school. UW-Whitewater won the 2010 NCAA Division III football championship.

In addition to the football standouts, several other student-athletes in Shelby County were recognized for signing collegiate scholarships Feb. 2.

Twelve Spain Park High School student-athletes were recognized for signing collegiate scholarships during a signing ceremony Feb. 2 in the school's gymnasium. Signees include (Bottom, L-R) Lakin Eddy, Keri Krake, Hannah Camp, Marie Blunt, Annalika Steyn and Michael Johnson; (Top, L-R) Zak Michael, Jamel Cook, Chris Ellis, Emmanuel Cooper, Alex Close and Carter White. (Contributed)

Nine student-athletes at Spain Park joined Cook, Cooper and Michael in a 2:30 p.m. ceremony in the school’s gymnasium.

Annalika Steyn signed a women’s soccer scholarship with West Virginia University.

Lakin Eddy signed a women’s golf scholarship with Auburn University. Michael Johnson signed a men’s golf scholarship with Auburn University.

Hannah Camp signed a softball scholarship with the University of West Florida and Keri Krake signed a softball scholarship with the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Marie Blunt signed a women’s soccer scholarship with the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Three Spain Park baseball players will be recognized for signing scholarships in Nov. 2010.

Chris Ellis signed a baseball scholarship with the University of Mississippi, Carter White signed a baseball scholarship with the University of Memphis and Alex Close signed a baseball scholarship with Liberty University.

Four student-athletes at Briarwood Christian joined Harrington in signing scholarships at a 2 p.m. ceremony in the school’s auditorium.

Five Briarwood Christian School student-athletes signed collegiate scholarships during a signing ceremony Feb. 2 in the school's auditorium. Signees include (L-R) Cooper Harrington, Meredith Botes, Harrison Foster, Sara Kate Bracewell and Caroline Seay. (Contributed/Rick Watson)

Caroline Seay signed a softball scholarship with Samford University.

Sara Kate Bracewell signed a volleyball scholarship with Birmingham-Southern College. Meredith Botes signed a women’s basketball scholarship with Faulkner University. Harrison Foster was recognized after recently signing a baseball scholarship with William Carey University.

Oak Mountain High School senior Megan Dancy signed a women’s soccer scholarship with the University of Alabama in Huntsville at 3 p.m. in the school’s lunchroom.

Oak Mountain High School senior Megan Dancy signed a women's soccer scholarship with the University of Alabama in Huntsville during a ceremony in the school's lunchroom Feb. 2. Dancy is pictured with Oak Mountain girls' soccer coach Kelly Clayton. (Contributed)

Chelsea High School senior Iyani Hughes signed a women’s soccer scholarship with Kennesaw State University during a signing ceremony in the school’s media center at 3 p.m.

Chelsea High School senior Iyani Hughes (Left) signed a women's soccer scholarship with Kennesaw State University during a signing ceremony in the school's media center Feb. 2. Hughes is pictured with (L-R) her father Leo, her sister Maya and her mother Deneen. (Contributed)

Several other student-athletes in Shelby County plan to sign college scholarships in the near future, but won’t have a signing day ceremony.

Thompson seniors Mason Morris and Jake Hester each plan to join teammate Jonathan Keller, who signed a baseball scholarship with the University of Alabama in Nov. 2010, in signing college scholarships.

Morris plans to sign a baseball scholarship with the University of Montevallo in a ceremony at the school during the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s spring signing period in April. Hester plans to sign a baseball scholarship with Shelton State Community College.

Two student-athletes from Chelsea High School are expected to sign women’s soccer scholarships in the near future.

Kaity Potter plans to sign a women’s soccer scholarship with Shorter College. Kayla Ogletree plans to sign a women’s soccer scholarship with the University of West Alabama.

Two Pelham student-athletes recently signed baseball scholarships.

Nick Foster recently signed a baseball scholarship with Lawson State Community College. Hunter Pearson recently signed a baseball scholarship with Northwest Shoals Community College.

Two former high school football standouts in Shelby County completed transfers on National Signing Day.

Former Pelham standout Andrew Fields, who has attended UAB the past two years, transferred to Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Ky., to play college football. Former Briarwood Christian standout Zeke Walters, who played at Southern Miss last season, transferred to Samford University.

Report additional signings to sports@shelbycountyreporter.com.