LAND O’LAKES – Just before they signed their letters of intent, Darius Wells reached over and helped Shaheed Salmon open his school-issued pen case.
“You’re going to play football, but you can’t work your pen?” someone from the crowd ribbed, drawing laughs.
Salmon, Wells, Deionte Strozier and Liam Heaney were four of 13 Gator athletes who participated in the school’s signing day ceremony.
Salmon received a full-ride athletic scholarship from Samford.
Earlier in the day, Pasco athlete Malik Johns, who also signed with Samford on Wednesday, tweeted that he’s excited to have Salmon as a teammate. The two met years ago and have always been opponents.
“He didn’t really like me at first, but now he’s going to have to,” Salmon said with a laugh.
Wells and Strozier will play for Benedict College. Heaney is headed to Black Hills State.
Land O’Lakes coach Brian Wachtel introduced each of his players to the crowd and said he hopes more will be ready to commit within the next two weeks.
“It’s really exciting for them,” Wachtel said. “They’ve worked so hard to get to this point.”