Reed Shindell is no stranger to the hammer.
His father, Howard Shindell, competed in the event at Northeastern while his roommate, Boris Djerassi, was a world recorder holder and was selected for the 1980 Olympics.
"I've been around it," Shindell said.
And yet, the Hilton Head Christian standout never grabbed the opportunity for a chance at his own success until the Eagles restarted their track and field program last season. He found his way to the discus -- where he was an AAU state champion and Junior Olympics competitor with Fast Lane Track Club -- which in turn caught the eye of college programs, particularly Clemson and Marquette.
"A lot of it just had to do with great timing," Shindell said. " ... More so than my numbers, (coaches) saw what I had done in a year and saw that I had potential."
Clemson's program won out in the end. Shindell signed a partial scholarship to throw the hammer for the Tigers on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the first Eagles track and field athlete to compete in college.
He was one of five male athletes on Hilton Head Island who signed to play a sport other than football during Wednesday's National Signing Day. Hilton Head Island High saw three Seahawks sign NCAA Division I letters of intent to run cross country and track and field -- Jack Manesiotis to Florida, Sean McMahon to College of Charleston and Robbie Iulo to Lehigh -- while Chris MacMurray rounded out the list by signing on to play soccer at Georgia Southern.
"It's really cool," Iulo said. "We're all close with each other. We're all going to try and do good this year and set a couple of high school records."
Iulo made the initial trek up to Pennsylvania in late January to check out the Mountain Hawks' program. He waited until late Monday night to pull the trigger on a commitment, however, in order to assess his other options.
"I think it's going up," he said of the Lehigh program. "All the guys are really working hard I saw when I was there. It's a real family atmosphere."
McMahon will join former Hilton Head High teammate Mackenzie Johnston -- a close friend of his -- with the Cougars while Manesiotis will compete in the rugged Southeastern Conference with the Gators.
"They have a solid recruiting class, I'm pretty sure I'm on one of the top in the nation," said Manesiotis, who also considered Florida State and Alabama. "We got about three or four solid guys from Florida as well as a guy from Alabama. Very quick, very talented. It's going to be a good year."
The Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette player of the year will run cross country in the fall, indoor track in the winter and track in the spring. He joins a Gators outdoor track team that captured the NCAA national championship this year and an indoor team that has won three straight titles.
Will Manesiotis conclude his college career with a title of his own?
"Possibly," he said, laughing. "We'll start with an SEC championship, but hopefully we're working toward that goal. They've had some solid Olympians come through."
MacMurray's National Letter of Intent with the Eagles helped close what was a two-year long relationship with Georgia Southern recruiters. The Southern Conference team first reached out to him at a Clemson camp and maintained frequent contact before finally offering last fall during MacMurray's official visit.
His work on the field last spring, where he led the Seahawks to the state championship game while winning Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette player of the year honors, ultimately led coach Kevin Kennedy to offer the senior.
"It's something I've been building up to," MacMurray said. "Last year, we finally started being a winning program. We started to reach the goals we had set as freshmen. I think that got me a lot of recognition, and that did help me."
Cross country/Track and field
NCAA Division I
Robbie Iulo, Hilton Head Island -- Lehigh
Jack Manesiotis, Hilton Head Island -- Florida
Sean McMahon, Hilton Head Island -- College of Charleston
Reed Shindell, Hilton Head Christian -- Clemson
NCAA Division I
Chris MacMurray, M, Hilton Head Island -- Georgia Southern