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PREP SPOTLIGHT: National Signing Day 2019

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AJ Dupree signs a Letter of Intent for North Carolina A&T at Greene Central High School Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019.

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Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The majority of high school football players across the country signed their national letters of intent in December, but there were those who wanted to take the extra time to make their decisions.

Wednesday marked the late, and traditional, signing period for those who were ready to announce where they would continue their athletic and academic careers.

D.H. Conley defensive lineman Reed Chandler kicked off the day by making a longtime dream come true, suiting up for Army West Point on the field in 2019.

“This is extremely exciting. I’ve been dreaming about this day since I was in seventh grade,” Chandler said. “To have it finally all come together is just awesome.”

Chandler will begin military service following his graduation from West Point. 

Just down the road, J.H. Rose watched as four players also signed commitments to various schools, starting with Ben Harris, the Rampants 6-foot-5 star wide receiver, signing with Charleston Southern. Harris, originally from Charleston, saw the opportunity as a way to return home.

“It’s a blessing to be able to play Division I football,” Harris said. “Not a lot of kids get to experience this, so its a blessing.”

Quarterback Grant Charles Jarman will stay close to home, accepting a preferred walk-on spot with hometown East Carolina.

“This is very special,” Jarman said. “I’ve grown up watching ECU football since I was born. Watching ECU play every Saturday has always been something I loved doing, so going out on the field next year will be a great experience.”

Rampants defensive back and top wrestler Phifer Ozimek signed on the dotted line to play for Campbell. Family ties played a big role in his choice to join the Camels.

“My brother went there, so I grew up going to the games and really liked it,” Ozimek said. “I really liked the coach a lot. After going to the camps, they showed me around and I really liked the facilities.”

The final Rampant to sign was Ethan Bower, who committed to Trinity (Texas).

“I was actually born in Houston, so this is like returning home for me in a way,” Bower said. “Originally, I wasn’t for it, but I went down to Texas and saw the campus, and the coaches were very supportive, and I feel like that’s the best opportunity for me to grow my career as a player and also as a person.”

Greene County and the Greene Central Rams also saw their top player, AJ Dupree, make his choice official, signing with NC A&T. Dupree, who spent time over his four years playing both sides of the ball, will play safety for the Aggies.

“I’m ready to get out there and prove myself and show this is meant to be and I’m meant to play on this stage,” Dupree said. 

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

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