(WLOS) While hundreds of football players across the country made their college decisions during the Early National Signing Day period on Wednesday, there were several from Western North Carolina joining them. Most players in the area wait until February to make their commitments, but around a dozen felt the time was right.
At Murphy High School, Yousef Mugharbil picked the Florida Gators over offers from Tennessee, UNC, NC State, and many others. The 4-star offensive tackle is rated as high as the 15th best offensive guard in the class of 2021, although he plays tackle for the Bulldogs.
"Mainly the people there," Mugharbil said of what separated Florida from the rest. "I've always said the people are really what make the school. So, just everything that went in with that and me going and visiting campus. I really loved campus."
Kiylan Miller from Chase also inked a National Letter of Intent with a top-10 program. The wide receiver and defensive back for the Trojans signed with Coastal Carolina, a team enjoying a surprising breakout year that has them on the cusp of a New Years Six bowl game.
"It amazes me because they started out so low and they started from the bottom and they came up," smiled Miller from behind a Chanticleers mask. "I'm very happy about that and very proud to be a part of the team now."
Asheville High's Tama McDonough committed to a top-5 school as well; however, his is according to U.S. News and World Report instead of the Associated Press. McDonough committed to Yale, shunning offers from other schools that place a heavier emphasis on athletics. It was exactly that reason that McDonough, whose two older brothers also signed D-1 scholarships, chose the Bulldogs.
"Out of all the options I had, I just figured I better get the best education I can because football's not guaranteed to last forever," McDonough explained. "I thought you've got to get the education taken care of, get my future taken care of."
A quintet of former Christ School Greenies signed scholarships today as well.
Kaedin Robinson, who transferred to Christ School so he could reclassify after tearing his ACL before his senior season at A.C. Reynolds, picked UCF. After his lone year in Arden in 2018, he spent 2019 at a JUCO in New York. However, when it came time to celebrate his next step he chose to hold the ceremony at Reynolds.
"This is my home. This is where it really all started for me," he stated. "I had to go to Christ School because of the leg, and I have love for Christ School. But these people here, this is who I love, where I love."
Joining Robinson at UCF is fellow former Greenie tight end Charlie Browder, who signed his NLI in his hometown of Kingsport, TN.
Teammate Painter Richards-Baker, a wide receiver and defensive back, committed to Dartmouth. Fellow wide receiver and all-around swiss army knife Cade Mintz, who had a breakout senior season with more than 1,000 total yards in just 8 games, signed with the Charlotte 49ers. Offensive lineman Ian Adams committed to The Citadel.