East Lake had a ceremony befitting one of Pinellas County’s top programs with seven players who signed with colleges.
The school turned it into an event with the band playing and video highlights before each player was introduced in the auditorium. A rap song put together by defensive back Aylwyn Young played before the introductions.
Three of the seven – defensive back Devin Abraham (USF), offensive lineman Mason Cole (Michigan) and receiver Artavis Scott (Clemson) – had already graduated and were enrolled in college. They came home for the ceremony and to attend the team banquet, which was held Tuesday night.
“Signing day is big for me, and I wanted these guys to be a part of it,” East Lake coach Bob Hudson said. “I talked to their college coaches and they agreed to let them come down. But they all have to go back (Wednesday).”
They were joined by offensive lineman Jared Gleason (Stetson), defensive lineman Leo Jeter (Southeastern), defensive lineman Hunter Snyder (Florida Atlantic) and offensive lineman Drew Stryjewski (Southeastern).
The 2014 class was the most successful in the school’s history with three straight region final appearances. This past season was the most successful with school records for wins (13), points scored (603), points allowed (114), most shutouts (five) and first state semifinal berth.
Afterward, the players posed for pictures. Abraham, Cole and Scott even signed some autographs for students.
“It’s good to be back and be here with my teammates,” Scott said. “I always enjoyed everyone here.”
And there could be as many as five more players from this class who could eventually sign.
“This was a special group,” Hudson said.