Gallagher column: 2010 Signing Day will be 'a circus'

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 5, 2009

Some thoughts on Signing Day …
Signing Day 2009 was Wednesday but Signing Day 2010 was a major topic of conversation on the western side of Rowan County.
“Next year, Signing Day at West Rowan should be a circus,” Falcon coach Scott Young said. “We’ll have a half-dozen legit college prospects.”
The junior class at West is impressive, and it starts with running back K.P. Parks.
The 5-foot-8 battering ram enters his senior season with over 7,000 yards rushing and an All-America title to go with it. Parks was named last week to the MaxPreps All-American team.
“There were only four juniors on it,” Young said. “That’s some elite company.”
Parks has been a very busy football player since West Rowan won the 3A state championship in mid-December.
He was invited to an All-American camp in San Antonio in early January. Still nursing a stiff ankle, Parks didn’t participate in all the workouts.
“I didn’t get to do anything,” he said. “I just gave them my film. But I got to meet everybody from across the country and that was a good thing.”
On Tuesday, Parks was offered full rides from Virginia and East Carolina. He said Illinois has also offered.
“I’m just waiting,” Parks said.
Last Saturday, he visited Duke on Junior Day. He’s going to Wake Forest for an unofficial visit on Sunday and to Virginia on an official visit next week.
“I’m just taking my time,” Parks said. “I’m looking for a school that will let me play. I’m not looking for a spread team. I want to run the ball.”
The longer he waits, the more he’ll be bombarded by interested schools. That’s why Young is putting his two cents in.
“I’ve talked to him and his parents and what I’d like to see him do is take the offers he has this spring and commit. They’re all good schools, they all offer a good education and they all have football on a high level. I encouraged him to make a decision and then live with that decision.”
Young is also expecting junior defensive lineman Chris Smith to be swarmed with offers. The 6-2, 235-pounder is getting attention nationally and Young wouldn’t mind him committing by the start of practice in August.
Offensive lineman Timmy Pangburn and versatile offensive threat Jon Crucitti should also receive plenty of offers.
Parks said he is constantly asked what college he’ll attend. His reply is always the same.
“I just tell them it’s a work in progress,” Parks said with a smile. “We’ll see what happens.”

West’s only signee on Wednesday was expected to be defensive lineman Kenderic Dunlap. He is following Rowan County’s long Pipeline to Pembroke.
Several other Falcons are expected to sign later.
Brantley Horton and Marco Gupton are taking a visit to the Naval Academy. Young mentioned linebackers Nate Dulin and Kameron Finchum, offensive lineman Garrett Teeter and defensive back Austin Greenwood as future college players.

Greenwood got more good news this week. He has been selected to play in the East-West All-Star Game in Greensboro this summer.

Two Signing Day parties were postponed Wednesday due to the snow.
Carson offensive lineman D.J. Safrit is getting a full ride to Livingstone, while East Rowan receiver Ben DeCelle will join Dunlap at Pembroke.
Stories on Dunlap, Safrit and DeCelle are upcoming.

Carson coach Mark Woody is expecting linebacker John Mullis to continue playing in college. Mullis, one of the state’s leading tacklers, has scheduled a visit to Randolph-Macon.
Woody said he is still trying to find a spot for talented receiver Daniel Yates.

Besides Frankie Cardelle, Salisbury’s Joe Pinyan sees at least four other Hornets moving on to the college football field.
Lineman Tory Turner, linebacker O’Bryan Graham and running backs A.J. Ford and Dario Hamilton are visiting North Carolina Wesleyan, a Division III school in Rocky Mount.
“They’re looking for offensive linemen so we like Tory’s chances of getting on down there,” Pinyan said.
Pinyan also mentionedLouisburg College as an option for his Hornets.

South Rowan, like West, is loaded with talented juniors so coach Jason Rollins should have plenty to talk about in 2010.
Rollins said there was some interest in senior Reid Shaver, but Shaver has decided to attend Lenoir-Rhyne and not play.