Highly touted Northside defensive lineman Abry Jones walked around campus prior to his signing ceremony chomping his arms up and down as if he was going to change his mind and sign with Florida.
There was little doubt that Jones would follow through on his commitment, however, when he walked into the Northside cafeteria where his parents were decked out in red and black sitting near three Georgia cakes.
As Jones signed his national letter-of-intent, head coach Conrad Nix spoke about the defensive lineman's determination. When Jones arrived at Northside his freshman year, he wasn't exactly what the coaching staff had expected.
"He was just raw and big. He probably weighed about 215, maybe that, probably about 6-1. Just a guy you want to work with and then he grew," Nix said. "He's very coachable. He's like a sponge. He absorbs it. … He was determined. He had that work ethic, he worked. He listened to coaching and really blossomed into a great player."
Fielding a bunch of calls for Jones' services, Nix sat Jones down and told him early to narrow his schools down to four. That way, Nix would only accept calls from his four schools and all but ignore the rest.
Two weeks after that initial meeting, Jones walked into Nix's office and told him he wanted to go to Georgia.
Jones and Williams talked extensively when colleges began to call, and Jones never wavered from his decision to play for the Bulldogs.
"It came to my attention I think about 11th grade. He came and told me that he was trying to go sign with Georgia," Williams said. "He held true the whole way out."
SCOTT, WILLIAMS TO PLAY AGAINST ONE ANOTHER
When Northside quarterback Joe Scott and defensive lineman Anton Williams walked into their signing day ceremony today, both knew that they would never be teammates again. What they didn’t know, however, is that with the wave of a pen, the two would become opponents.
Scott signed to continue his college career at Faulkner while Williams penned his name to a letter-of-intent with the University of the Cumberlands. Both colleges are in the NAIA’s Mid-South Conference and the former teammates will square off Oct. 10.
“It’s going to be pretty good seeing my old classmate and all,” Williams said. “Let’s see if I can get a sack on him this time, make a couple of plays on him.”
Faulker’s football program is heading into just its third year, and Scott expects that he’ll be able to come in and compete for playing time immediately, which means Williams may get a shot at his former quarterback.
“We just found out (Wednesday) morning. I asked him where he was going and they’re in our division,” Scott said. “I think it’ll be really exciting, especially if he gets to play a lot next year. It’ll be a lot of fun to compete against him.”
BRINGING HOME THE BACON
As far as Northside head coach Conrad Nix is concerned, Tuskeegee got the steal of the Eagles’ signing class.
Running back Xavier Bacon, who rushed for 1,677 yards and 23 touchdowns last season and was named the GHSA Region 1-AAAAA player of the year, signed with the Tigers.
“Tuskegee got a great one,” Nix said. “If he stays healthy, he’ll do great. That’s something you can’t ever predict, what the health status will be, but if he stays healthy, he’ll be a great player for them.”
Here's a full list of Northside players who signed with colleges today:
Xavier Bacon, RB, Tuskegee
Eric Fields, LB, Northwest Mississippi Community College
Abry Jones, DL, Georgia
Joe Scott, QB, Faulkner
K.J. Morton, Georgia State
Anton Williams, Univ. of Cumberlands