Holy Innocents’, Johnson lead Signing Day Frenzy in Sandy Springs

David Evans

If you wanted to find out where the top high school players from Fulton County were going to play college football, then Taco Mac Prado was to place to be.

It was one of the five host sites for the National Signing Day Frenzy which was presented by Taco Mac and the National Guard. The event started at 11 a.m. and finished around 2:45 p.m on Wednesday.

Holy Innocents’ kicked things off with three players announcing their school of choice. Quarterback Luke Wright will play at Cincinnati, running back Owen Penn chose the Coast Guard and Jack Palmore will play for Brown.

Chattahoochee was up next and receiver Avery Ward led the way for the Cougars. He signed with Mercer while running back Chase Nelson signed with Wofford.

The Raiders of Alpharetta came up next and defensive tackle Auzoyah Alufohai signed with Kennesaw State while Chase Stratton signed with Holy Cross. Alufohai has played only one year of football which was the past season and considered other schools such as Cincinnati and Western Carolina.

The North Georgia Falcons followed the Raiders and they had two players going to the same school. Running backs Austin Rothenberger and Tevon Valdez signed to play for William Penn. Both players wanted to play for the same school so William Penn took them as a packaged deal.

Tim McFarlin brought five players from his Blessed Trinity team and fullback Carter McManes led the way. He signed his letter of intent to play for Samford in the fall. McManes was an All-Region player for the Titans as he rushed for 10 touchdowns the past season.

Centennial and Mays were the last two schools. The Knights players, Alex Estes and Devin O’Neill have yet to decide where they wanted to play college ball. For Mays, defensive back Jerome Smith will play at Georgia State next year.

But the last player that came to Taco Mac Sandy Springs was UGA commit Rico Johnson who spent this last season at Georgia Prep Sports Academy. Johnson originally committed to Georgia last year after having a great career at Swainsboro High School. However, he was ruled ineligible after the NCAA did not accept one of his classes. Johnson went to GPSA, put in the work and will be a Bulldog in the fall.

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