Seniors sign on to full football scholarships

Feb. 2, 2011, 9:19 p.m. | By Mandy Xu | 9 years, 6 months ago

Four Blazers will play with Division I or II teams

Four Blazers signed on to full scholarships to Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Division I or II colleges in a small ceremony in the media center today. Today is the national signing day for high school athletes.

Senior Caleb Furlow received a scholarship from the Virginia Military Institute, which has a Division I football team. Senior Assani Mudimbi signed with The University of Rhode Island's Division I team.

Senior Arthur Tsapdong received a scholarship from Seton Hill University, which has a Division II football team, and senior DaCari Abraham signed with Bowie State University's Division II team.

According to Coach Adrian Kelly, there are usually one to two Blazers who receive a full scholarship. This year is different because Furlow, Muclimbi, Tsapdong and Abraham all have high enough grades to receive substantial scholarships. "It was never about the lack of talent or athletic ability,” Kelly said. "They need above a 2.75 GPA.”

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) cleared the athletes looking for scholarships before they were recruited, according to counselor Charlain Bailey. In late spring of 2010, she helped the four seniors register in the career center. "Colleges want to know what courses they're taking, their GPA and SAT scores,” she said.

Colleges sent recruitment letters to the Blair coaches after observing the candidates' senior fall seasons. "The kids give coaches highlight tapes of the season,” football head coach Bryan Nance said.

At the ceremony, Principal Darryl Williams called Furlow, Mudimbi, Tsapdong and Abraham role models for underclassmen. "Hard work does pay off,” he said. "My freshmen don't always see that but you are a testament.”

In addition, coach Adrian Kelly gave a tearful speech to the Blazers. "They were here when I coached my first year, on JV,” he said. "To see these young men grow up is a big thing.”

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