Wrapping up the Fall signing period

jheeter@macon.comNovember 24, 2012 

Here’s a look at the Middle Georgians who signed Division I scholarships during this period. If I’m missing a Division I signee, then please e-mail me or post a comment.

Boys basketball

Christian Kennedy, Northside (Chattanooga)

The 6-foot-10 Kennedy may have his best basketball in front of him. He’s already a strong shot-blocker and talented rebounder in Northside’s deep rotation. He is listed as one of the top 20 prospects in Georgia, according to 247sports.com.

"Christian Kennedy is long and athletic," Chattanooga head coach John Shulman said in a release. "He is a defensive force in the middle. He can rebound, block shots and run the floor. He has huge potential to be a really good player in our league.

Jarquez Smith, Jones County (Florida State)

Smith will join fellow Middle Georgian Terrence Shannon at Florida State. 247sports.com lists the 6-foot-9 senior as the No. 4 player in the state. Smith averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds as a junior.

"Jarquez Smith is an extremely versatile player who fits very well into our system," Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton said in a press release. "His abilities on the offensive and defensive ends of the court make him a very complete player even though he has yet to scratch the surface as the type of player he is going to be during his career as a Seminole. In addition to already being a player with solid fundamentals because of the coaches he has played for during his career, he is an outstanding person who gets along with our players and our staff very well. Jarquez is a great addition to our program"

Girls basketball

Allisha Gray, Washington County (North Carolina)

Gray is one of the most highly recruited girls basketball players in Middle Georgia history. She is ranked as one of the top 10 players in the nation by ESPN and was Gatorade’s Georgia Player of the Year in 2011-12. She is a two-time Telegraph All-Middle Georgia Player of the Year. Gray will likely miss her senior season following an ACL during training for USA Basketball. She led Washington County to a state title in 2010-11, and she has averaged more than 30 points in each of the past two years.

“Allisha is a pure scorer,” UNC head coach Sylvia Hatchell said in a news release. “She is a complete player who can take over a game from the guard position.”

Jamila Mayfield, Howard (Georgia State) Mayfield averaged a near double-double to help lead Howard to its first playoff appearance. Georgia State likes her potential as a 6-foot-4 post player.

"We liked her size, her hands in catching the ball down low, her athleticism and her soft shooting touch around the basket,” Georgia State head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said in a news release. "Her best basketball is truly in front of her as she continues to develop her skills. We are very excited about Jamila's potential and are delighted to welcome her to our program."

Ivey Slaughter, Tattnall Square (Florida State)

Slaughter missed half of her junior season with an ACL tear after transferring from Crawford County. When she was in the lineup, Slaughter was a dominant presence. She scored 30 points or more in four games as a junior. Slaughter is the No. 79 player in the nation, according to ESPN.

"Ivey is the prototypical athletic ACC forward," Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said in a news release. "She plays extremely hard. She rebounds and runs extremely well. She'll be able to play a lot of different positions for us. Ivey is a selfless player, a dedicated student and a great fit in our Seminole family."

Baseball

Dustin Fowler, West Laurens (Georgia Southern)

Fowler hit .474 with nine doubles, six triples and five home runs as a junior. He was named the Region 2-AAA Player of the Year.

Jordan Howard, Crisp Academy (Georgia Southern)

Howard led his team in home runs and finished second in batting average. He was named the GISA Region 3-A Co-Player of the Year.

Zach Jones, Upson-Lee (Georgia Southern)

Jones will transfer from Gordon College. He struck out 13 hitters in 14 1/3 innings as a freshman.

Aaron Mizell, Telfair County (Georgia Southern)

Mizell also comes to Statesboro from Georgia Southern. Mizell hit 10 home runs as a senior for Telfair County, earning All-Middle Georgia honors.

Tyler Payne, Stratford (Georgia Southern)

Payne went 5-4 with a 1.91 ERA with five complete games as a junior. He struck out 62 batters in 51 innings.

Softball

Lexi Rouse, Stratford (Louisiana-Lafayette)

Rouse helped lead Stratford to three straight GISA championships. Rouse holds the school records for pitching record, runs scored in a season and single-season strikeouts.

Emily Snider, Brentwood (Georgia Southern)

Snider signed with Georgia Southern after hitting .500 with four home runs, 27 stolen bases and 31 RBI as a senior.

Tennis

Daniel Strawn, FPD (Clemson)

Strawn returned to FPD this season after two years of home schooling. He is listed as a four-star recruit by TennisRecruiting.net.

“It’s definitely an accomplishment,” Strawn told FPDVikings.com. “It feels good to know that all the hard work I have put in over the years has paid off.”

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