Bryan County High School senior Markez Bostick said it wasn’t easy watching National Signing Day on Feb. 1, knowing he and two of his teammates were also heading to the next level.
"It was hard watching everybody else signing, but we knew it was coming," said Bostick, who made it official Tuesday along with teammates Kimonti Murray and Conner Schaffer.
Bostick is headed to Palmetto Prep in Columbia, S.C., where he’ll play running back. Murray will play outside linebacker at Presbyterian College and Schaffer is bound for Alabama A&M, where he’s expected to compete for a role as a defensive end.
The high school announced the commitments Feb. 1, but held off a week to set the event apart from dozens of others around the area. That didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm Tuesday.
"I’m extremely excited, because this is something we’ve been waiting for all our lives" said Murray, who said he chose Presbyterian because "it was like family. The coaches and players their all have the same goal, they want to win and they want to push me to get better."
He credited his mother, Natasha Murray, coach Mario Mincey and "God of course," for the opportunity to play college football.
Bostick gave a nod to his entire family, Mincey and God, while Schaffer thanked his brother, Todd Schaffer Jr., his parents, Todd Sr. and Denise Schaffer, Mincey and God.
Schaffer said he’ll study physics at Alabama A&M, a school he chose "for the environment, the academics and the coaching staff, because they give you the opportunity to compete for a job. The best players will play. I like that."
Bostick said he intends to study middle grades education and prepare for a four-year school.
While the three may have diverse interests and plans, they all were happy to be signing together.
"We all grew up together, we all made it a mission to sign together, and we did," Bostick said, while Schaffer said it was "one of those goals you set for yourself. It’s nice to have the opportunity to sign with teammates."
Bryan County head football coach Allen Cartwright said having three players go to the next level in a given year is a good thing, but he credited his players for making it happen.
"All three of these kids worked extremely hard and I think they’re going to do some good things," he said. "This is something they’ve wanted, it’s something they’ve stayed focused on and it’s something that’s been important to them. They’ve earned it."