For most of Gwinnett's seniors who made their college selections on Wednesday, National Signing Day represented an end to the recruiting process.
For Parkview running back Brandon Jacobs, who sent in his National Letter of Intent to Auburn early in the day, Wednesday is only the beginning of what figures to be a long period of decision.
With his stock rising as a prospect in this summer's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, the decision whether to jump to pro baseball or stay with football will be a tough one.
However, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound running back/linebacker/outfielder also knows signing his letter of intent on Wednesday not only broadens his options, but also puts him in a position of strength when he begins negotiating with any major league organization that may draft him in June.
"I think it gives me more leverage," Jacobs said. "It's nice to have (the option of football) for sure."
Exactly what decision Jacobs makes may depend on what round he is taken in the baseball draft and what kind of financial offer that may entail, though he says for now, he's keeping his options open.
"I've heard (from some projections) I could go in the third or fourth round, but it's not so much the round as the money (that may be available)," Jacobs said. "It's something my parents and I will have to sit down and talk about and decide."
Change of heart
Central Gwinnett offensive lineman Kaycee Ike apparently had a last-minute change of heart with his college decision.
The 6-5, 243-pound tackle had given a verbal commitment to be part of Georgia State's historic first signing class over the holidays, but signed instead with Alabama-Birmingham of Conference USA on Wednesday.
Big-play Black Knights still looking
Two of Ike's high-profile Central teammates are still weighing their college options.
Running back Diante Drake, who led all Gwinnett running backs by averaging 153.6 yards per game last fall, is likely headed for a junior college, and will visit East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss., soon, according to Central head coach Ed Stokes.
Stokes also said receiver Malcolm Moulton is looking at several different schools.
Moulton and Drake are hoping to join Ike and three other Black Knight teammates who did sign Wednesday - guard Edmund Kugbila (Valdosta State), safety Khary Powell (Fordham) and noseguard Justin Kelly (Coffeyville (Kan.) CC).
More waiting games
Peachtree Ridge's Vincent Brown is experiencing one of the unique aspects of signing with a smaller school.
The 6-0, 205-pound safety has an offer for a full scholarship from Lenoir-Rhyne College in North Carolina, but is also weighing an option to go to Division III Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Like all Division III schools, Carnegie Mellon does not offer athletic scholarships, but can work out other financial aid arrangements for athletes who qualify academically.
"They hadn't told him how much (aid) he'd get because he had to (be accepted) first," Peachtree Ridge coach Bill Ballard said. "He found out (Tuesday) night that he'd gotten in. So, he's waiting to see how much (aid) they're going to offer before he makes a decision - probably by the end of this week or early next week."
Auburn too late for Whigham
Shiloh's Cameron Whigham signed with Ole Miss on Wednesday, but it was a tough decision for the defensive end.
Whigham was offered by Auburn a couple of weeks ago after the senior had already committed to Ole Miss. Had the Auburn offer come sooner, Whigham might be have been playing on the plains next season.
"That's the first school I wanted to go to in the SEC," Whigham said of Auburn. "But Ole Miss seemed like a better opportunity for me and I felt like it was a better chance for me to do what I want to do."
Whigham said he was impressed with what head coach Houston Nutt did in his first year at Ole Miss. Nutt led the Rebels to a 9-4 record and a Cotton Bowl win.
Whigham is the first Division I signee for the Generals since Davey Pollack in 2001. Whigham was joined by Max Allen (Birmingham Southern), Sejean Hart (Alabama State) and Kadeem Boyd, Guy Holmes and Gerrard Stepp, who signed with Louisberg College.
"We always talked about going to play football in college, but never together," Boyd said. "So it's was kind of a surprise for us. It's real special."
Broncos' Williams: Saban 'a real great coach'
Fans around the SEC typically don't have kind words for Alabama head coach Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide coach is often referred to as Nick Satan and other derogatory names.
Brookwood offensive lineman Kellen Williams has a different point of view after signing with Alabama on Wednesday.
"I think the fans don't understand that he's hard with the media, but once you are committed and he gets to know you he's real personable," Williams said. "He's actually a real nice guy. I'm sure I'll see some sides of him like yelling and screaming when you mess up, but other than that he's a real great coach and knows what he's talking about. He's not the way he comes across in the media."
Williams was a Daily Post All-County selection, leading the Broncos to the Class AAAAA state playoffs last season and hopes to make an early impact in Tuscaloosa.
"This summer I'm going to bust my tail and hopefully make the two-deep depth chart and travel with the team," Williams said. "If worst comes to worst and I redshirt, I wouldn't mind a redshirt, it's just an extra semester of college."
Tough UGA workout doesn't keep Lee from Buford
Dallas Lee's Wednesday morning routine was tougher than most. He had two big events - Buford's signing celebration and his first set of mat drills at Georgia.
The big lineman graduated high school early and enrolled at Georgia last month, but returned to Buford for the signing ceremony with his classmates. Lee wasn't sore yet, but he planned to be today.
"I know a bunch of coaches about killed him this morning," Buford head coach Jess Simpson joked of college football's notoriously tough workouts.
"That was hard," Lee said of the mat drills. "It was freezing walking over. It felt like about 10 degrees. It was miserable. And then coming out soaking wet. It was rough."
Good for the family
Buford senior Blake Bennett had a wide variety of offers, but his favorite school also worked out best for his family.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pounder signed with Wofford, where his older brother Landon (who played at GAC) is on the football team. Now the Bennetts won't be faced with splitting up on college football Saturdays.
The younger Bennett became a popular recruiting prospect with a standout senior year, making up for missing most of his junior season with a knee injury. His 40-yard dash time of 4.68 seconds is particularly impressive for a player his size.
Devils get their due
Norcross led the county with 10 college signings on Wednesday, celebrating the occasion at the Blue Devils' Duke House.
The senior class was highlighted by heavily recruited D.J. Adams (Maryland) and Prince Kent (Miami). It also featured a late decision by defensive lineman Wesley Hollingshed, who decided on Nevada.
Mill Creek was forced to move its signing day celebration from its usual location - the Hawks' team room in the fieldhouse.
That room would have been too small this year because the team had a school-best five signees, forcing a switch to the media center. The ceremony honored Micah James, Jordan Johnson, Davis Moore, James Powell and Ryan Robinson, but the Hawks' list will grow to six next week when Ed Russ signs with West Georgia.