National Signing Day: Coast athletes commit to college programs

Coast athletes commit to college programs during the Early Signing Period

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - High school athletes across South Mississippi participated in a formal signing ceremony Wednesday morning, deciding where they will spend the next four years.

One of the Gulf Coast's most-watched football players has made his choice. Gulfport High's Derick Hall signed a letter of intent with Auburn University Wednesday morning. Surrounded by his family and his coaches, the high school senior committed to the Tigers.

Earlier this year, Hall said he had narrowed his choices down to Auburn, Mississippi State University, or Florida State.

Hall will next take the field in the 2019 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game on Jan. 3. He's the first selection from Gulfport in the program's history. The game is happening in Orlando and will be televised by ESPN2.

Gulfport quarterback T.Q. Newsome signed with USM. Newsome also had offers from Kansas and South Alabama.

Gulfport High’s Keeilan Thomas signed a letter of intent with Pearl River Community College.

Hancock receiver Brooks Rayburn signed with Nicholls State. He chooses Nicholls State over an offer from Kansas.

Harrison Central offensive lineman Bryce Ramsey signed with Ole Miss over offers from Florida State, Memphis and Southern Miss.

D’Iberville offensive lineman Louis Paul Smith signed with USM as well. He was joined by two fellow Warrior offensive linemen, as Ridge Murphy inked with Millsaps and Quincy Brown signed with PRCC.

Here are a few other athletes who committed to Division I and junior college programs on Wednesday.

Poplarville linebacker Ross Barnett also signed his letter of intent with Pearl River.

Wednesday’s National Signing Day is the early signing period for high school seniors looking to go to a NCAA school. Early signing gives players the opportunity to enroll in college early and it also enhances their chances of learning the system and practice with the team a semester early. If they don’t sign this week, high school seniors will have to wait for the next national signing day in February.

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