Freddie Johnson doesn’t really want to end up at Blinn College. The Temple offensive lineman signed his National Letter of Intent to attend the junior college Wednesday at Wildcat Gym.
But, his heart is really set on attending Southern Methodist. He just has to do a bit more brain work to get it taken care of. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound tackle is awaiting a qualifying score on the SAT, and if he gets it he’ll follow through on his original plan of signing with SMU to play for coach June Jones and the Mustangs.
“I love the coaches there,” said Johnson. “They’re sticking by me.”
But, even if he doesn’t Johnson said Blinn could be a good fit.
“I just thought it was a good fit and the best (junior college) for the next 1½ years,” Johnson said.
Johnson was one of seven Temple athletes to go on to the college ranks Wednesday, including six football players and girls thrower Tyra Jordan.
Devonte McClennon signed with Division II Oklahoma Panhandle State, runnng back Gaylon Sanders joined Johnson in signing with Blinn and cornerback Kenny Green and defensive tackle Troy Healy will play at Mary Hardin-Baylor and Hardin-Simmons respectively. Kicker Brandon Pritchard plans to serve a two-year church mission after his first year at UMHB.
Jordan will continue to compete in the shot put and learn how to compete in the hammer throw at Abilene Christian. Those seven join quarterback Zach Allen, who is already attending Texas Christian.
“I cannot tell you how proud we are of all of them,” Temple football coach Mike Spradlin said. “It’s a good day for us.”
Belton had eight sign or committ Wednesday. In addition to Division I athletes Wolf Mahler (Texas-track), Durham Smythe (Notre Dame-football) and Kyle Battle (Navy-football), four other football players also made commitments.
Offensive lineman Austin Farr signed with Midwestern State, linebacker Ryan Stinson committed to Mary Hardin-Baylor, safety Ben Munoz committed to Southwestern and receiver Derick Bates signed with Trinity Valley Community College.
Also participating in the ceremony was quarterback Peter Shelburne, who plans to walk on at Rice,
Known for intensity on the field and comic relief off of it, Farr said Midwestern State — in Wichita Falls — also was a good personality fit for him.
“I feel like I had months of knowledge in just one hour up there,” Farr said. “We were already telling jokes, too. It feels a lot like home.”
Munoz might face the most difficult challenge of all the 2013 Belton football recruits, at least in the short term. He will move to Georgetown to join Southwestern, which is reviving its program after a 63-year layoff.
“I like the way he built things up and I think we’ll be good too soon,” Munoz said. “I like the academics, too.”
Meanwhile, Bates said he talked with Texas Christian and is hopeful he could transfer after one season at Trinity Valley, where former Belton standout receiver Adrian Henderson played the last two seasons before he signed with Memphis last month.
“Trinity Valley has a great program with a great athletic complex and a nice campus,” Bates said. “I know there will be pressure in the next year, but I’m just taking things in day-by-day.”
Rick Kretzschmar contributed to this story.