Update 1:40 p.m.
The following local players have officially signed:
Defensive back, Bluffton
Johnson C. Smith University
6-foot-0, 170 pounds
Of note: Recorded four interceptions and eight pass breakups last season, along with 49 tackles and one forced fumble. ... Named to Region 8-AAAA first team and Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette All-Area team. ... North-South All-Star selection.
Offensive line, Bluffton
6-foot-1, 285 pounds
Of note: Selected to Region 8-AAAA first team and Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette All-Area squad. ... Participant in North-South All-Star game.
Long snapper, Bluffton
Baldwin Wallace University
5-foot-11, 205 pounds
Of note: Three-year specialist at long snapper, which he's been doing since seventh grade. ... Ranked 45th nationally among Class of 2016 long snappers by the Ray Guy Pro Kicker Academy, sixth among South Carolina prospect.
Our original story continues below:
Though today’s National Signing Day is small in Beaufort County this year, as far as numbers go, it’s still one of the biggest days for area athletes making the transition from high school to college.
Two of the area’s highest profile recruits, Whale Branch defensive lineman Nyles Pinckney and Hilton Head Island defensive back Jeremiah Maddox, won’t be signing since they’ve already enrolled in their respective schools, Clemson and Marshall.
Hilton Head Island will still have two FBS signees. In a noon ceremony at the school’s media center, Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette Defensive Player of the Year Jestin Morrow, a cornerback, is expected to sign with Marshall, while IPBG All-Area cornerback John Baty will sign, ceremonially, with the U.S. Military Academy.
“It felt like home,” Morrow said of Marshall upon his commitment last summer.
Hilton Head Island head coach B.J. Payne has called Baty’s commitment to Army a “perfect match” for such a strong student.
Hilton Head will have two softball players — Katelyn Mangum and Hunter Walston — will sign with USC Salkehatchie.
Seahawks quarterback Aidan Hegarty has not committed to a school, but he may choose to attend Boston College as a preferred walk-on, according to Hilton Head Island athletic director Joe Monmonier.
Bluffton High School will have two players sign athletic grant-in-aids to NCAA Division II schools at noon in the school’s athletic wing.
IPBG All-Area offensive lineman Dillon Wilson will sign with Carson-Newman, and IPBG All-Area cornerback Lorenz Taylor will sign with Johnson C. Smith.
In addition, long-snapper Logan Velliquette will play for Baldwin Wallace University, a Division III school in Berea, Ohio.
Thomas Heyward Academy held a ceremony on Tuesday to honor IPBG All-Area offensive lineman Tank Boni, who will attend Newberry.
Beaufort’s Anna Smith will sign with Division II Erskine at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the school’s media center.