Signing Day coverage
Check for updates, photos, video and more all day Wednesday at naplesnews.com.
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NAPLES — There’s a big difference between a verbal commitment and a signed letter of intent.
Darion Hall knows that, which is why the Lely running back has been eagerly awaiting Wednesday for more than seven months. Ever since June when he told coaches at the University of Miami he’d love to be a Hurricane, National Signing Day couldn’t have come quick enough for Hall.
Come noon on Wednesday, the first day high school football seniors can sign letters of intent to play college football, when Hall puts his autograph on Miami’s scholarship offer, the Trojans star will officially be a ’Cane.
"I’ve been excited about this ever since I knew I was going there," Hall said. "I’ve been waiting for this for a while now."
While Hall has known where he’ll play college football for nearly eight months, others still aren’t sure. For them, Wednesday is more than a formality. Signing Day could decide their futures.
Teammate Jhony Faustin, who had verbally committed to Purdue, will have to wait. Faustin has not made his qualifying test scores.
For former Naples High star Carlos Hyde, the waiting is over. After not qualifying last year to gain admission to Ohio State, the running back attended Fork Union Military Academy, and has now enrolled in Columbus.
At Barron Collier, kicker Marvin Kloss has been in talks with South Florida, as well as Miami and Florida, but head coach Mark Ivey indicated in an e-mail that Kloss was "99.9 percent" headed to USF. Kloss was waiting to see if any of the schools will offer a scholarship rather than a preferred walk-on spot.
Gulf Coast has a ceremony set for noon, and it might not include the Sharks’ highest profile signee. Kicker Conor Goulding will end up at a Bowl Championship Series school, but he probably won’t know which anytime soon.
Goulding verbally committed to be a preferred walk-on at Virginia Tech in December. Recently, though, Miami and Central Florida have shown interest. Goulding said the Hurricanes want him to visit campus sometime this week.
"I’m still in process of thinking about everything at the moment," Goulding said Monday. "I’m going to take as much time as I need to find the perfect place to go."
One Shark sure to sign is linebacker Dana Luebbe, who’ll make his commitment to the Air Force Academy official.
For the Cougars, at least one Cougar will sign – defensive lineman David Joyce will play at Colgate – but Ivey could have as many as five football players sign.
Offensive lineman Chris Pasalodos, linebacker Jury Paulson and receiver Matt Higgins all are pondering where they will play next year. Ivey said he is "99.9 percent sure" Pasalodos will sign with the University of Charleston (W. Va.), but the other two aren’t certain.
Paulson has offers to play at Charleston and Colgate, while Higgins also has drawn interest from Charleston, Ivey said.
Ivey indicated in an e-mail Tuesday that defensive end Nate Rathbun will sign with Wittenberg (Ohio).
At Immokalee on Wednesday morning, receiver Maurice Roberts will sign with Western Michigan, former Indians coach Israel Gallegos said in an e-mail.
In the principal’s conference room at Naples, running back Chris Krieg will sign with Colgate, while Jose Davila also will sign with Charleston. Receiver Cameron Schlagel was undecided late last week, but Golden Eagles coach Bill Kramer said he likely would sign Wednesday.
South Fort Myers’ Tray Schley has committed to Gardner-Webb. He had previously made a commitment to Florida International, but that ended up not working out.
Signing Day isn’t only for football players, it’s for soccer players too.
At Barron Collier, girls soccer player Jamie Lockie will sign with Lynn University in Boca Raton, while teammate Meaghan Barry will go to Wingate (N.C.). Boys soccer player John Damasco Jr., will sign with Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. At Gulf Coast, Nick Rogers will sign with Delta State.