Thompson’s Harris signs with Auburn, Hicks, Sims, Davis also make decisions official at signing day

Published 1:46 pm Wednesday, December 20, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – After wrapping up their Warriors careers, four of Thompson’s standout seniors wrapped up their recruitment journeys by putting pen to paper and signing with their colleges of choice.

Thompson’s Kaleb Harris signed with the Auburn Tigers at an official early signing day ceremony at Warrior Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 20, and he was joined by his teammates Tyler Hicks, who announced his decision to go to Austin Peay, Zach Sims, who will join Alabama State, and Jayden Davis, the latest member of Southeast Missouri State (SEMO).

After being offered by the Tigers during his junior season, Harris committed to Auburn in the middle of his standout senior season and was excited to make his decision official after building a relationship with Hugh Freeze and his staff.

“What he was preaching, I bought in to it,” Harris said. “I think we can take over college football in the next two to three years.”

Harris grew up an Auburn fan, which already cemented them as an early favorite in his mind, but he wanted to see how Freeze led the program in his first two seasons.

After hearing Freeze’s vision, Harris was completely sold and is excited for the future at Auburn.

“The blueprint he showed me, he showed me how he’s going to build this thing all the way up on the ground and we’re going to make history,” Harris said.

While three of Thompson’s four signees announced their decisions prior to the ceremony, linebacker Tyler Hicks made his commitment at the podium. He decided to sign for Austin Peay after meeting with the program’s new coaching staff and hopes to play a key role for the Governors.

“The community, the atmosphere, and the coaches always know what a winning program is,” Hicks said. “The community will always be there no matter what, and I can’t wait to play for something like that in the future.”

Warriors quarterback Zach Sims committed to Alabama State on Saturday, Dec. 16 after a long recruitment period for the multi-time state champion.

Sims always knew he wanted to go to college close to home, and he felt like he was valued by ASU and would be a priority for them in their future plans. He hopes to help the Hornets take the next step towards winning the SWAC and an HBCU national championship.

“They definitely made me feel like I was a priority, expecting me to come in there and just make an instant impact, so just the love from day one and just how they’ve consistently just been on me and pushing me,” Sims said on what led him to ASU. “The love, that was the biggest thing.”

Davis also made his decision official to play for SEMO, a team that he says reminds him a lot of Thompson between their dominance in the Ohio Valley Conference and the values the coaching staff preaches.

“Coach Tuke, I tell him that all the time, he reminds me just of coach Freeman,” Davis said of SEMO coach Tom Matukewicz. “He keeps God first, keeps his family first and coach Freeman is one of those guys where you’re going to work for it and you going to get it, you’re going to do things right, and that’s how he is. It’s just you do things right, you do everything the right way, the way it’s supposed to be, and God will work it out for you.”

In the end, the common thread for all four signees was their love for each other, Thompson and the city of Alabaster, and they were proud that they could make this important decision alongside members of their football family.

“It really means a lot,” Davis said. “Like I said up there on the stand, those are my brothers. Me and Kaleb. We’ve been in the indoor working our tails off day and night since freshman year. And then Tyler, that’s been my buddy since we were literally in kindergarten together. We’ve grown up all the way together. Me and Zach have been close since he moved here in middle school. It really means a lot signing with the boys that you go through every day with.”