Justin Greene spent years playing alongside his teammates.
It only seemed appropriate to spend National Signing Day with them as well.
Despite being Copperas Cove’s lone Division I commitment to participate in National Signing Day, Greene, who signed to play at for the Air Force Academy, had no intentions of hogging the spotlight.
“A lot of people were talking about how they thought I should have signed by myself,” said Greene, a center/long snapper. “The way I looked at it is I went through a lot with them from freshman year and seventh and eighth grade. They are my family, so I might as well sign with them because we have been through so much.”
So, with six teammates on either side of him, the players committed to their respective schools together in a joint ceremony at Bulldawg Gymnasium on Wednesday morning.
Like Greene, Copperas Cove head football coach and athletic director Jack Welch was pleased to see all his players take part in the event together.
“I love seeing young people get the opportunity to further their education because that is what this is all about,” Welch said. “We had a great group today, and we had several who could have signed today, but are holding off for one reason or another.”
For seven football players and one baseball player, however, their minds were already made up.
Quarterback Robbie Seybold decided to stay close to home, committing to play for the Division III powerhouse University of Mary Hardin-Baylor after leading the Bulldawgs to the playoffs in his first season as a starter, and defensive back Kincey English signed to play for Division II San Angelo State University.
“It feels great,” Seybold said after putting pen to paper. “It’s a big decision, and I’m glad that I made the right choice. It just feels like I’m stress free now.”
“Last night was nerve-wracking,” the senior said. “I did not sleep at all, but now I’m feeling just fine.”
Northwestern Oklahoma State will receive a pair of Copperas Cove products following tight end Girod Fluelen’s and linebacker Matt Farmer’s commitments to play for the Rangers.
For Fluelen, the decision was simply once he visited the Alva, Okla., campus.
“I spent a lot of time with the players, and it felt like a family,” Fluelen said. “The football program is kind of building a little bit, but it seems like it is going to be real good in the future, which is interesting to me, and I want to be part of something like that.”
The Rangers were 4-7 overall last season with a 2-3 showing in Great American Conference play.
“It is everybody’s dream to make it to play college football,” Farmer said. “It was definitely my dream, and now I’m here. I couldn’t be more happy.”
Defensive lineman Darian Childers committed to play for Blinn College, while offensive lineman Nick McGee will continue his career at Cisco College.
“I feel like I can just take a deep breath,” McGee said. “It feels real good.”
“It’s amazing,” Childers said. “This is a blessing.”
Copperas Cove second baseman Dustin Cooper rounded out the group, signing to play for Central Christian College, and despite being the only nonfootball player to participate in the National Signing Day ceremony, he, like Greene, was happy to share the stage with people he considered close friends.
“It felt good,” Cooper said, “because I’ve known most of them since I was really little.”
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org