Coaches, teammates, friends and family converged on the auditorium at Milton High School this morning to watch 13 Milton student-athletes declare their collegiate intentions and sign scholarships to compete at the next level.
Within the 13 signees inking letters-of-intent were 10 Eagle football players, a record number that Milton football coach Howie DeCristofaro hopes will set a precedent Milton football moving forward.
“This senior class really set the tone for the rest of our football program as a team that competes year in and year out,” said the second-year Milton coach. “We have some good kids coming up behind them and now the example of hard-work is set. They know what can be accomplished if you put your mind to something like [the 2013 class] did.”
Included in the Class of 2013 ootball signees were seven athletes signing full-rides to FBS schools.
“Anytime you get a kid going to school for free it feels great as a coach because you know the burden you have taken off their parents and you know that kids’ effort has really paid off,” said the Milton coach.
The class was highlighted by all-everything defensive end Carl Lawson, a 6-foot-3 250 pound sack-machine that exploded on the recruiting scene over the last year — earning five stars from rivals.com and espn.com recruiting services, garnering offers from football factories nationwide, and eventually committing to play at Auburn University.
“Auburn is where I felt most at home, everything about the place I really liked,” said Lawson. “It’s a great blessing for me.”
Lawson will be joined at Auburn by good friend and teammate Peyton Barber. Barber, the Eagles’ powerhouse running back that ran for 1,713 yard and 22 touchdowns as a senior, was a longtime Ole Miss commit before flipping his pledge to Auburn just days before signing day.
“I’m very excited and I’ll be heading [to Auburn] with something to prove,” said Barber, who also had offers from Texas, Clemson, Georgia Tech, UCLA and many others.
While Barber was churning up big yards on the ground, his monsterous offensive line was paving his way. Four of those lineman — Eason Fromayan, Cory Helms, Josh Harris and Connor Harp — inked college scholarships of their own.
Fromayan, who wasn’t present at signing day, has already enrolled and is taking classes at Texas Christian University, a Big 12 football program. Helms and Harris are bound for the Atlantic Coast Conference and Wake Forest University while Harp is headed to Davidson.
A sixth offensive starter, wide receiver Malik Mitchell, inked his scholly with Northern Illinois.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive tackle Noah Allen signed a scholarship to play for the Army Black Knights. Allen, a 6-foot-3 250 pound lineman, had 43.5 tackles (10 for a loss) and 2.5 sacks as a senior.
Mitch Williams, a linebacker, signed with Johns Hopkins and linebacker Grant Smith will join Lawson and Barber at Auburn as a preferred walk-on.
Non-football players signing at Milton included Becca von Bereghy (Soccer, Virginia Commonwealth University), Annie Kelly (Track and field, Ole Miss) and Nate Reich (Track and field, Furman).