Signing Day at Bob JonesPublished 10:32pm Wednesday, February 1, 2012
It was the kind of day Bob Jones High School head football coach Kevin Rose dreams about. A school record five football players who had received scholarship offers signed letters-of-intent on Wednesday Feb. 1, National Signing Day.
A signed letter of intent is a contract officially linking the student-athlete and the university.
“It says a lot about the work ethic we have had in the weight room and on the practice field,” Rose said at the signing ceremony. Rose also talked about the work the five have accomplished in the classroom.
“These young men have put in a lot of hard work in the weight room and in the classroom to be able to sit at this table today. I want to congratulate them and as always make sure at the next level they keep their priorities right and get their education first and football second ,” Rose said.
“ We have developed great players and won a lot of games. We’ve become a top 5 football program. This is a special group of seniors and they deserve it, all five of these guys have been instrumental in our success.”
Defensive end Marquez Pride culminated his one season at Bob Jones by signing with Western Kentucky University. Pride transferred from Sparkman High School with the goal of getting noticed by colleges and landing a football scholarship. Mission accomplished.
“Coming over playing for a program that actually wins games it motivates you and inspires you to work harder and get up with the team and do the things that they do,” said Pride who was voted co-MVP by his Bob Jones teammates this past season.
One of Pride’s teammates who made a big difference in his play was Reggie Ragland, who signed a football scholarship with Alabama.
“Reggie was a big influence on my play. We stayed on each other. At practice we would go head to head and make each other better players. He really motivated me to get better.”
“When I go in I plan on getting on the field. Work hard and play with the big guys, I’m ready. When I took my visit I loved it. There was no other school I want to be at. The coaches are young energetic and want to win. That what I like about it.”
Playing at 6-foot-3, 265 pounds Pride had an outstanding season and topped it off by being named Class 6A All-State. He recorded 12 sacks and 78 tackles, including 17 for loss. Western Kentucky is a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
Rose knew about Pride from playing Sparkman. He also knew Pride came from a big family and had cousins who had played football at a high level. Pride’s father had played football at Butler High School.
“He has been such a good kid, very respectful, just put his hand in the dirt and went to work. The kind of kid you like to coach and see be successful,” Rose said of Pride.
“That’s a great program he is going to,” Rose said of Western Kentucky. “They have got big-time facilities and an exciting head coach.”
Wide receiver Nick Richardson turned down several offers to sign with Alabama A&M. At 6-foot-3, 175 pounds Richardson was one of Bob Jones biggest playmakers last years with 10 touchdown catches.
“They told me they had a small class and I was one of their top prospects and I was glad to sign with them. They have been recruiting me since mid-season,” Richardson said. Alabama A&M head coach Anthony Jones told him “to come to summer workouts to get bigger, stronger, and faster so he can play me the first season instead of redshirting me,” said Richardson who made his mind up just last week on his official visit.
Rishad Goode, a 6-foot-0, 185 pound defensive back and kick returner signed his letter-of-intent to play with Troy University. Goode made special mention of head football coach Kevin Rose who gave him a second chance to be on the football team and he made the most of it.
“I have been through it all here,” said Goode. “I’ve loved it to. Bob Jones is a great place to be.
Even though he had other offers, Goode knew Troy University was the place he wanted to go after going on his official visit. One thing he doesn’t know is just where he is going to play for the Trojans.
“I have no idea where I will play. I’m just waiting to go down there and see which way I can contribute. I am going to love it whatever I do and give it my all to excel,” said Goode who has spent his whole career at Bob Jones. He credited coaches at Bob Jones for pushing him to achieve his potential.
Goode came on his senior season and made big plays both on defense and in the kicking game. He scored a touchdown against Decatur on a fumble recovery and he ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown against Hazel Green.
Another Bob Jones player to secure a scholarship was linebacker Dezmond Dennis. The recruiting process did not play out like he wanted initially as he did not get interest or offers from schools where his friends were getting. Davis, however, was elated when Division II University of Charleston (West Virginia) showed interest after the season.
“The recruiting process was frustrating when I didn’t get offers like my friends got offers,” said Davis. “Charleston came through with a full scholarship offer so I’m pretty excited. I visited Jan. 21 and they got good facilities, nice dorm rooms and good academics.”
The University of Charleston Golden Eagles competes in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.