Placing his arms around his grandmother and mother, Westside linebacker Julian Burnett received a thunderous ovation from his high school peers Wednesday afternoon, as he made his intentions known to play football at Georgia Tech next season.
One of two Seminoles to sign national letters-of-intent to play college football, Burnett told a large crowd gathered inside the school's gymnasium that he regretted seeing his days on campus end, but that he was glad to continue his career on a new level.
"It felt good from the beginning just to receive these offers," Burnett said. "But when this day actually came, it was just a whole other adrenaline rush, and everything is to the extreme. I'm just really happy to have the opportunity."
Joining Burnett in the college football ranks next season will be Westside defensive end Kory Threatt. Signing with Tuskegee, Threatt is hoping to make the most of this chance of playing at a higher level.
"Well, the thing that really grabbed my attention (about Tuskegee) was the coaches," Threatt said. "They showed a lot of appreciation. They showed how much they wanted me, and to be honest, I didn't really expect to go to college, so when I got the opportunity, I got it and ran with it."
One of the first few people in his family to attend college, Wednesday's signing had a lot of significance for Threatt.
"It's a big deal, because I'm the first person from my part of town to go to college for football, and I'm going to be the first male out of my family to graduate," Threatt said.
Westside head coach Robert Davis expects both to excel at their respective schools.
"There just aren't enough adjectives to describe Julian Burnett," Davis said. "Everything he does, he does right.
"And Kory's got his future in front of him. I don't think he's nearly reached his full potential. Once he gets a little bigger and gets the work, he'll be a heck of a defensive end."