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Different paths to college for Boca Ciega players

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Wed. February 1, 2012 | Rodney Page | Email

Different paths to college for Boca Ciega players

Boca Ciega's Denzel Conyers had a college stick with him despite a season ending knee injury. Florida International stayed true to its offer, and Conyers signed his scholarship Wednesday afternoon in Boca Ciega's auditorium.

Elijah McClendon had his scholarship yanked by Middle Tennessee last Monday, but he landed on his feet on signing day when he accepted a scholarship offer from Tennessee-Martin. And a third Pirate, Andreas Harris, signed an offer from startup program Stetson. 

"Florida International was my first offer,'' Conyers said. "And even through the injury they stuck with me. There were times when I didn't know if I'd keep the scholarship, but they stuck with me. It's like a family down there and I knew it was the place for me to go.''

Conyers was moved to free safety, but  tore his right ACL in spring practice and did not play his senior season for the Pirates. He said he his feeling better and ready to play again.

McClendon felt left at  the alter last Monday, but he said he got a call from Tennessee-Martin on Wednesday and visited over the weekend. He made his commitment as soon he returned home. "It makes all the blood, sweat and tears worth it,'' McClendon said. "This is something I've wanted to do since I was yea high.''

McClendon said he wasn't feeling too good early last week. But he sees the Tennessee-Martin offer has a second chance. The Skyhawks play in the Ohio Valley Conference and are Division I-AA. "It was kind of a bummer then,'' McClendon said. "But I got another opportunity to play college football and I had to jump on it.''

Harris, a wide receiver, will redshirt when he starts at Stetson because the school does not begin playing a season until 2013. He said Stetson was the only serious offer he considered, and he doesn't mind playing for a brand new program.

"We're going to be the class that sets the tone for this program,'' Harris said. 

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