- Around the School
- College Sports
- Fall Sports
- Winter Sports
Seven Sign on National Signing Day
February 3, 2016
National Signing Day is one of the most highly anticipated days in the career of a high school athlete. Some dream about signing a National Letter of Intent from the beginning of their first practice of freshman year. Four years of hard work both inside the classroom and out culminates with a written commitment to play at the next level. Seven Robinson student-athletes realized those dreams on Wednesday afternoon in the school’s auditorium, officially beginning the next chapter of their academic and athletic careers.
Defensive end Keldric Preston signed with the University of Wisconsin after committing to play for the Badgers last July. Preston, ranked a three-star prospect by 247Sports, had over 20 offers from Division I schools.
Q: What was it about Wisconsin that made it such a clear choice?
A: “I loved the college town, people, coaches and players. Plus, I have a chance to play early, which is a great thing.”
Q: Having committed in July, what kind of edge do you think you had during the season without having to worry about the recruiting process?
A: “The recruiting process is hard to handle. Not having to worry about it made me feel more relaxed on the field. I was able to have fun while playing and everybody who’s ever played a sport knows that’s the best way to play.
The recruiting process wasn’t as busy for quarterback Malik Tyson, who signed with Florida International University as a preferred walk-on. Tyson said a lot of coaches came through Robinson his junior year, but none were interested in him. After making his official visits to Alcorn State and Stetson in January, FIU came to Tyson just a week ago.
Q: FIU came up pretty last minute. How did all of that happen and what was that process like?
A: “FIU lost a couple of quarterbacks last minute and the coaching staff made a quick decision to give me a shot. The entire process happened so fast because they needed to know as soon as possible if I was going to commit.”
Q: What kind of opportunity do you think this represents for you?
A: “It’s a great opportunity to play Division I football and get an outstanding education.”
Wesley Sloan has wanted to play college football ever since the first time he stepped on the field. After playing free safety on varsity for two years, he signed with Aurora University in Illinois on Wednesday.
Q: What does it mean you that you’ll be able to continue your football career in college?
A: “It means a lot. At first I thought I wasn’t going to do it and I cried a lot. I’m happy now. I hope I don’t cry on stage, but I might.”
Q: What do you have to say about the support you’ve had over the course of your football career?
A: “My friends supported me a lot. I sent my film [to colleges] myself, so my friends supported me and believed in me. They’re all here to see me right now, so I’m glad I have good friends like them supporting me.”
Long before she was born, Catia Sleet’s father, Dan, was an All-American on the football team at Furman University. On Wednesday afternoon, the 2015 Hillsborough County High School Player of the Year signed to continue her volleyball career at the same school her father attended in the 80s.
Q: What does it mean to you that you’ll be playing at the same school where your dad played college football?
A: “I didn’t ultimately choose Furman because my dad went there, but it’s special to know that Furman was once my dad’s home. I’ll live and make memories at the same place he did.”
Q: What will you carry with you from your time with the Robinson volleyball program?
A: “My work ethic and love for the game came from Robinson. I’ll always remember playing with teammates who wanted to get better and wanted to win.”
After exploring her options, Bianca Dyer committed to the University of Rochester on Dec. 31 before signing with the YellowJackets on Wednesday. Dyer initially weighed the possibility of playing both volleyball and tennis at California Institute of Technology, but decided on Rochester, which was her top choice all along.
Q: What was it that drew you to Rochester over other schools?
A: “I really admire the attitudes and ethics of the coaches and the girls on the team. As a research institution, I feel like it’s a great place for my major, chemical engineering. I’m also really excited for the cold.”
Q: What was it that made you ultimately pick volleyball over tennis?
A: “I feel like the team aspect of volleyball is unique and it enables me to constantly learn more about myself and others.”
The 5 a.m. practices officially paid off on Wednesday when Maddie Strasen signed her letter of intent to swim collegiately at the University of Vermont. After three years as a team captain, four individual school records and two relay records at Robinson, Strasen is ready for a fresh start.
Q: If someone would’ve told you during your freshman year that you would be signing with Vermont by the end of your high school career, what would’ve gone through your mind?
A: “I definitely wouldn’t have believed it. My sister had applied there her senior year and I remember thinking that I would never want to live that far north. A lot has changed since then. Now, I can’t imagine myself living anywhere but New England.”
Q: What’s the one thing you are looking forward to most at Vermont?
A: “I’m excited for the freedom and class flexibility, but I’m most excited for how liberal the state of Vermont is. I’m a very liberal person so I’ll definitely fit well into the Vermont lifestyle.”
Just five days before her senior season came to an end in the regional finals, goalkeeper MacKenzie Johnson committed to play college soccer at Georgia Gwinnett College. Five days after the season-ending loss, she signed her National Letter of Intent.
Q: What does it mean to you that you’ll be able to continue your soccer career after having the success you had at Robinson?
A: “I’ve been working to play college soccer since 7th grade, so it means the world to me that I can continue playing the sport I love, especially after having such a good career at RHS.”
Q: What made Robinson such a special place to you over the course of your high school soccer career?
A: “Probably the relationships I’ve made with some of the girls and the bond I have with Coach Helms. And the atmosphere surrounding the team is amazing, everyone works hard for each other and cares for one another. It’s something you don’t find on every team.”
Bailey Adams is an 18-year-old senior at Robinson. He started writing about sports in May of 2013 before joining the RHS journalism staff later in the...