Oscar Smith’s Aaron Acevedo signs (Photo: Antowyne Shaw/recruit757)
Eight Oscar Smith football seniors confirm their commitments on Wednesday
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Oscar Smith is always rich with college football prospects and this year is no different.
While quarterback Cam’Ron Kelly graduated at the end of the fall semester and is now attending Auburn, eight of his Tiger teammates inked their NLIs on Wednesday.
Defensive lineman Elijah Alston committed to Marshall.
“It’s a new beginning. You’re done with high school and you’re moving on to a bigger stage. It’s pretty big. It’s a another step of life,” Alston explained. “You work hard. Keep your grades up. It’s all going to fall into place.”
“Without education, you can’t get anywhere in life.”
Aaron Acevedo may be small in stature, but he was a big playmaker for Oscar Smith. The 5-6 150 pound slot receiver/running back and return man had a great senior season and he made his commitment to play Division III football at Randolph-Macon College.
“I’m feeling good right now. I’m happy I have somewhere to sign to. I signed with Randolph-Macon because of the education and because of the football program. They have a great football program,” Acevedo stated. “I want to continue the tradition of winning.”
What’s Aaron’s advice to the kids coming behind him?
“Stay focused. Don’t worry about where you go, D1, D2, D3… it’s going to come. Just stay focused.”
Lineman D’ondre “Ton” Davis came to Oscar Smith for his senior season after transferring from a football rich program in Allen,TX. He fit into the Tiger football program immediately and played a role on the defensive line.
“(Signing Day) means a lot to me. The sacrifices my parents made to get me to this moment… I can’t even put into words. Now I can just focus on graduating from high school and getting to Virginia State,” Davis said.
His father was a legacy football player, so it should be no surprise that the younger Davis will also move on to play at the college level.
Defensive back and linebacker T.J. Tucker also chose Virginia State.
He was tied up in a bit of a recruiting controversy late last year. He committed to Division I Morgan State of the MEAC last summer. There was a coaching change, and when December’s early signing came, the Bears only offered a 50% scholarship rather than the full scholarship that Tucker expected.
Tucker didn’t address the specifics of the problem with Morgan State in our interview.
“This process has been long and stressful. There’s a lot that you don’t see in this process going on behind closed doors. I’m very relieved,” he said. “I chose Virginia State because it’s very close to home. I have family in Maryland and upstate Virginia, so they’ll have a lot of opportunities to come and see me play.”
Former Tiger defensive back Jaston George stood with T.J. at his signing.
Tiger lineman Isaiah Mayes was the third Oscar Smith Tiger in the Class of 2019 to commit to Virginia State.
Rodney Jones was the fourth Tiger committing to Virginia State, which put the Trojans in the position to clean up at Oscar Smith. Four of the eight Tigers signing on Wednesday committed to VSU.
Tiger wide receiver Kenny Etheridge verbally committed to Christopher Newport University last November, but changed his mind and decided to look further. He fielded offers from Wingate and Alderson Broaddus. His trip to Phillipi, West Virginia a couple of weeks ago helped him make his decision.
“It felt like home. The coaches welcomed me in very nicely. It was a good environment and I felt like I could be there for the next four years of my life,” Kenny said.
Placekicker Austin Benoit went on a binge of college visits after the season, and decided that the University of Charleston (WV) would be his college home.
“When went there for a visit, everyone there seemed to be loving. It felt like family,” Austin stated. “It’s great to go to school and not have to pay for it.”
That’s certainly a welcome scenario for Austin’s parents. Good grades are a necessity, and demonstrating good character helps in a big way. With those two elements in place, young athletes can leverage their football talents into a college education that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
– Andy Hilton