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Jefferson QB Cade Weldon graduates early, off to Miami

Jefferson quarterback Cade Weldon (11) looks down the field for a receiver during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. The game was tied 23-23 at the half.

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

Jefferson quarterback Cade Weldon (11) looks down the field for a receiver during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. The game was tied 23-23 at the half.

TAMPA — It may only be January, but Jefferson quarterback Cade Weldon said that he is done with high school and will be enrolled at the University of Miami within the next week.

After graduating high school early, Weldon made it official by signing his national college letter of intent Thursday morning.

"I will miss high school football and my teammates, but it's exciting to get started (on college) now," Weldon said. "I'm definitely ready for this."

With the recent departure of Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya to the NFL, Weldon, who completed 169 of 276 passes for 3,135 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, is expected to compete right away for a starting spot.

This week, in fact, Miami football coach Mark Richt, said the race for the Hurricanes' starting quarterback spot is wide open.

Weldon, the 6-foot-2, 209-pound son of former Florida State University quarterback Casey Weldon, said the wide-open race for the starting job makes hie early move more interesting, but it was not why he chose to do it.

"Ever since I moved to Jefferson from Berkeley Prep (as a sophomore) I've planned to graduate early," Weldon said. "I would have done this no matter what the quarterback situation was."

Looking back, Weldon said he loved his experience at Jefferson with the exception of missing his junior year with an injured knee.

"I really thought we had a great team my junior year with a lot of great receivers, so that was disappointing to miss," Weldon said. "But I think I came back stronger than ever. Everything worked out."

Jefferson QB Cade Weldon graduates early, off to Miami 01/05/17 [Last modified: Thursday, January 5, 2017 6:10pm]
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