Tallwood LB Khairee Abdullah (Video Still: Antowiyne Shaw/recruit757)
Five Tallwood Seniors celebrate with signing day festivities
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
On Tuesday afternoon, Tallwood Football celebrated the college commitment of five more seniors.
Quarterback Sebien Stone, defensive back Ricky Harleston, athlete Khairee Abdullah, cornerback Daquan White, and wide receiver Blair McLain confirmed their college destinations.
Stone was a three-year starter for the Lions after breaking into the top position on the depth chart in his sophomore season. Sebien will stay close to home and play for Norfolk State.
“I’ve been working for this so long, since middle school. I’ve always wanted to do this. It’s been a dream of mine to go to college and play ball,” said Stone. “I’ve put in so much work: practicing all day, all night, summers with the team. Every day grinding.”
Ricky Harleston is headed to James Madison University, so he’ll keep on wearing the Purple and Gold.
“I’m very excited about today. Being able to sign with my teammates, I love it,” said Ricky. “I get to go to JMU to play football, but also get a great education. I’ll study Health Science as my major and Pre-Med as my minor, so it gives me a great opportunity.
Tallwood hasn’t been known as a big-time home for college prospects, but the list of Tallwood Football players heading off to college continues to increase. Under head coach John Kepple, Lions have been graduating to colleges big and small.
What advice does Harleston have for his teammates who are coming behind him?
“Keep faith and patience. Your time will come. All it takes is one school to get interested in you,” he said.
Daquan White is going in what some would call a non-traditional route.
He’s headed to the Newport News Apprentice School. The Builders play what is essentially a Division III schedule, but they’re not an NCAA program.
The Apprentice School offers an excellent opportunity to students with a high aptitude in science and math. Students who qualify can get a four-year degree, get paid while they are working and studying, play football in college, and have a highly-paid job waiting for them upon graduation. Instead of finishing school with loans, Builder football players typically graduate with a savings account built up.
“I’m able to bring a lot to the table and take care of my family as needed,” White stated. “I have to use my money wisely and take in the education there. I need to use what I learn there to further my future.”
Blair McLean didn’t miss out on the importance of the opportunity to play college football.
“Football and life have taught me a lot,” said Blair. “I’m very excited. This is a good opportunity to play at the next level.”
McLean will play his college ball at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Tallwood linebacker Khairee Abdullah will stay close to home, playing his college ball in-state for Division II Virginia Union University.
“It really means a lot to me to go to the next level because I’m the first kid in my house to actually go to college. It’s just a good feeling for me and my mom,” Khairee explained. “It’s my number one priority in life: to be a role model and to be a leader. I’m happy to have people follow in my footsteps.”
It was a feel good kind of day at Tallwood High School. Five more local athletes are going on to play college ball at various levels. Their opportunities to play the game they love and get an education while doing it are the main motivations for what we do at recruit757. We want to see young men grow and develop, earning the shot at a college education that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
– Andy Hilton
(Video by Antowyne Shaw/recruit757)