Jeremy Rosado remembers running around the track at Brandon High's McLane Stadium during physical education class as a freshman and sophomore at the school in 2007-2008.
On March 1, the former American Idol contestant will return to that same stadium for Brandon High's 100-year celebration.
"That is going to be a crazy experience," said Rosado, who finished 13th on the 2012 season of Idol. "It just blows my mind."
Rosado also fondly remembers Brandon's music teacher and Aquilla choir director, Marilyn Nicholson, because "she gave me a shot," he said.
Now, the singer announced he has signed a recording deal with AIC Records, a New York Christian record label, and expects to launch his debut album in spring.
Riding the success of his independently released first single, Don't Be Afraid, Rosado said his next single, entitled Hope for Tomorrow, is due in January. He has toured a lot this year including opening for Andrea Bocelli in Germany and singing the national anthem at two Tampa Bay Buccaneers games.
At the Brandon 100-year anniversary celebration, he is scheduled to share the stage with fellow AIC artist Jeannie Ortega in what is slated to be their first performance together.
"I really wanted an artist from the area that the community could really get behind," said Cher Stanbro, chairwoman of the Brandon High School Alumni 100-year Anniversary Committee. "He's got a beautiful voice."
Rosado graduated from Durant High School, after briefly being homeschooled following his days at Brandon High. He still calls Riverview home and remains active in his Valrico church, Life Changing International Ministry, where he leads worship services with his family when he is home.
"My church is doing wonderful, the pastors are amazing," he said. "I have a lot of love for my hometown."
Rosado said he feels blessed ever since his appearance on Idol.
"Thirteenth place is lucky for me," said Rosado, who also confirmed he turned down The Voice after that show invited him to compete recently. "I was sad, down in the dumps when I finished 13th and to think we have come this far — it blows me away."
Other activities for the 100-year celebration on March 1 include a Brandon High School audio-visual presentation the evening before the celebration, a 5K race the morning of the race, a food truck rally, a five-person team competition that will include corn toss, horseshoes, tug of war and more, and the opening of the 1972 time capsule.
Former Hillsborough County schools Superintendent Earl Lennard, a 1960 Brandon alumnus, will give the keynote speech. Brian Kelly of 813 Productions will DJ and John Gianino is slated as the emcee.
Eric Vician can be reached at [email protected]