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Former local standouts thrive on NCAA Division I level
by Greg Oshust
July 10, 2014 09:09 AM | 2619 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special / Danny Karnik / GT Sports Information / Former Westminster standout kicker Harrison Butker enters his sophomore season at Georgia Tech as the Yellow Jackets’ starting kicker.
Special / Danny Karnik / GT Sports Information / Former Westminster standout kicker Harrison Butker enters his sophomore season at Georgia Tech as the Yellow Jackets’ starting kicker.
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With the 2014 college football season less than two months away, a number of former local high school standouts are getting ready to play on the NCAA Division I level.

Former Westminster standout kicker Harrison Butker is looking to build on his successful college debut as he begins his sophomore season at Georgia Tech.

Butker will try to build on a 2013 freshman campaign in which the 6-foot-3, 201-pound kicker led Tech in scoring with 83 points, made 53 of his 54 point-after attempts – the second most in school history – and converted 10 of 14 field goal attempts for a .714 percentage.

Another ex-Westminster star is preparing to finish his successful college career as running back Ralph David Abernathy IV gets ready for his senior campaign at Cincinnati.

The 5-7, 161-pound Abernathy was the Bearcats’ second-leading rusher with 518 yards on 132 carries and five touchdowns as well as their top kick returner with 351 yards on 16 returns.

Former Westminster stalwart Andrew Bridges is beginning his senior season at Vanderbilt, where the 6-6, 280-pounder has been a key member of the Commodore offensive line the previous three years.

A strong local freshman contingent will be making their Division I debuts this fall.

Former Lovett star Grant Haley will try to continue his gridiron success on the college level as the 5-9, 185-pound defensive back starts his collegiate career at Penn State.

Boston College will have a strong Westminster flavor to it in 2014 as three former Wildcat stars – 6-6, 280-pound offensive tackle Sam Schmal, 6-1, 216-pound defensive back Cameron Seward and 6-4, 240-pound tight end Austin Chapman – join the Eagles.

Former Pace defensive back Denzel Franklin makes his college debut in the secondary as a freshman at Stanford.

Franklin’s Pace teammate Kameron Uter was also slated to begin his collegiate career this fall as a freshman wide receiver at Wake Forest, but the former Knights standout decided to go the professional baseball route instead after signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers – who selected him in the 12th round of last month’s Major League Baseball draft.

Recent Holy Innocents’ graduate Luke Wright is also looking forward to beginning his college career as the 6-3, 206-pound quarterback joins Abernathy at Cincinnati this fall.

Ex-Riverwood quarterback Grant Drakeford enters his freshman season at Georgia State, where the 5-10, 170-pound former Raider standout will play wide receiver.

Once again, the Ivy League will have its usual strong contingent of former local standouts.

Harvard will feature 6-0, 195-pound junior defensive back Scott Peters (Westminster), who recorded seven tackles in seven games for the Crimson in 2013, and 5-10, 200-pound junior running back Zack Boden (Lovett) as well as 6-2, 210-pound rising freshman quarterback Jake Forte (Westminster).

Princeton has 6-1, 180-pound junior cornerback Khamal Brown (Westminster), who is attempting a comeback after missing nearly two years while recovering from an aneurysm early in the 2012 season.

Brown will be joined on the Tigers’ roster by former Wildcat teammate Dylan Jeffay – a 6-4, 225-pound senior wide receiver.

Another local Ivy League player is former Holy Innocents’ stalwart Jack Palmore, a 6-2, 200-pound wide receiver who is entering his freshman year at Brown.

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