E.A. Sports Today

Signing Day Scenes

Smiles are everywhere as local players make their college choices

Saks quarterback Devin Harris (L) and Wellborn running back Kevin Mixon share a moment at Harris' signing ceremony Wednesday. The cousins made an appearance at each other's ceremony. (Photo by Bridget Merriman)

Saks quarterback Devin Harris (L) and Wellborn running back Kevin Mixon share a moment at Harris’ signing ceremony Wednesday. The cousins made an appearance at each other’s ceremony. (Photo by Bridget Merriman)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Landon Machristie used to watch the highlights of previous National Signing Day ceremonies and couldn’t wait to have his own.

Machristie had his day Wednesday and, while maybe not the scale of those he used to see on ESPN, it was all he had anticipated.

“It was everything I dreamed about as a kid,” the two-way Wellborn star said after signing with Campbell University. “You had the media here, the whole student body cheering you on, the people you love most right beside you. It was really a surreal moment for me. It really made me feel great and loved and appreciated in this community.

“Those guys you see on ESPN, they’re signing with major Division I schools. Of course, it’s not going to be that caliber, but as far as me signing Division I FCS and getting the whole experience of that, it was top notch.”

Machristie was decked out for the occasion. He arrived at his signing ceremony with an orange Campbell Camels cap and matching orange tie.

Quarterback/linebacker Landon Machristie and running back Kevin Mixon address the crowd in the Wellborn library after signing their letters of intent Wednesday. Machristie signed with Campbell, while Mixon signed with Lindsey Wilson.

Quarterback/linebacker Landon Machristie and running back Kevin Mixon address the crowd in the Wellborn library after signing their letters of intent Wednesday. Machristie signed with Campbell, while Mixon signed with Lindsey Wilson.

Mixon has his day — and a special guest

Kevin Mixon didn’t know if he would even have a signing day. The Wellborn running back was uncertain of his college plans for the longest time, but there he was Wednesday on stage with teammate Landon Machristie signing with the program of his choice — Lindsey Wilson.

“I always kept believing,” Mixon said. “It’s been one of my dreams to sign on Signing Day my senior year and I just believed. It happened for me and I’m just thankful for it.”

Mixon made his decision after a whirlwind visit to the campus Tuesday. He was one of 49 players the Kentucky-based NAIA school announced in a massive signing class. He said he didn’t know about Lindsey Wilson’s interest “for a long time,” but the Blue Raiders knew about him.

“I just found out how they really wanted me to come up there,” he said. “When I got up there I fell in love with the campus.

“(Their interest) really surprised me because I had missed the trip I was supposed to go on last week and I didn’t think they thought I really wanted to come up there, but when I did they treated me like they really wanted me. That same day they offered. … I believe I’ve got a really good chance of going up there and making a make for myself.”

Mixon enjoyed all the trappings that come with a signing ceremony on the stage of the old gymnasium. When he got to the bottom of the steps afterwards, he had a surprise waiting for him. Saks quarterback Devin Harris, a cousin he considers like a brother, was there lending his support.

Mixon and Machristie returned the favor, driving over to Harris’ signing ceremony about an hour later.

Emotional day for Parker

For Jacksonville linebacker Savon Parker, signing day was an emotional time. He lost mother three and a half weeks ago and she was very much in his thoughts Wednesday as the family gathered for his big day.

“It was hard losing my mom, but I just think about doing everything for her,” he said. “She wanted me to sign today. She wanted me to go to college and get my degree. I want to do everything for my mom. I’m just trying to make her proud.”

Young makes his choice

After weeks of weighing his various options, Saks linebacker Monty Young decided Wednesday morning his best option was to take an offer to join Jacksonville State as a preferred walk-on. His 28 on the ACT allowed the Gamecocks to offer him a leadership (academic) scholarship. Plans were in the works for him to sign the paperwork today.

“It’s close to home, it’s like familiar territory,” said Young, the East Alabama Sports Today county defensive player of the year. “I’m very relieved. It’s just one less thing to think about and with the area basketball tournament coming up it’s good to get it off my mind.”

Record-setting JCA quarterback Daylon Brackett and Lincoln kicker Mason McLean have also taken that route to JSU. The Gamecocks’ official signing day list had only 15 players, and those three players weren’t on it.

Oxford running back Tre Gamble signed with East Central (Miss.) Community College.

Jacksonville Christian quarterback Daylon Brackett is congratulated by Thunder coach Tommy Miller after signing a leadership scholarship to play football at Jacksonville State. (Photo by Joel Brackett)

Jacksonville Christian quarterback Daylon Brackett is congratulated by Thunder coach Tommy Miller after signing a leadership scholarship to play football at Jacksonville State. (Photo by Joel Brackett)



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