By Tony Altobelli and Mark W. Miller
Killeen Daily Herald
Good athletes are pretty hard to miss on the football field and despite seeing limited action, Killeen quarterback Rashad Aubrey was spotted and requested by several colleges.
In the end, the 6-1, 165-pound Roo senior selected Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., as his college of choice for his athletic and academic career.
"They were the college that showed the most interest and from what I saw, it looks like a great program to be a part of," Aubrey said. "As a quarterback, I feel like I can pass and scramble well and the coaches there told me I have an opportunity to start right away if I do a good enough job, so I'm excited about that."
Aubrey battled for the starting QB spot with Brian Wood and both shared equal time early on before Wood eventually took the position over. While on the field, Aubrey threw for 178 yards and three touchdowns on 17-of-40 passing with no interceptions. He also rushed for a touchdown and gained 55 yards on 18 carries and even caught a pass during his senior year.
Standout offensive lineman Robert Burton also made his plans official, selecting Cisco Junior College as his future academic and athletic home.
A First-Team, All-District 16-4A selection as well as a Stubblefield Award winner, Burton helped anchor an offense that rushed for over 1,700 yards and scored 14 touchdowns and blocked for a passing offense that threw for over 1,500 yards and 19 scores.
"This will be a great transition for me," Burton said. "Eventually, I'd like to play for a Division I university, so I'm really going to work hard at Cisco to be ready, both athletically and academically."
At the signings, KHS coach Sam Jones said of the duo, "It's quite an honor for both. Both are fine athletes that have displayed leadership and character. The sports part of this opportunity is good, but the school part is more important. When you get that piece of paper (college degree), they can never take that away from you.
"At Killeen, we always try an teach the kids to be all they can be and we wish them nothing but the best."
Knights send two to college ranks
HARKER HEIGHTS It was no surprise to see Harker Heights' first team All-District 13-5A offensive lineman Dustin Davis signing a letter of intent with Tarleton State.
After all Jamel Shamsideen's been through, it was a huge surprise to see him sign with Div. II Lincoln University.
Shamsideen saw only limited action after a devastating ankle injury early in his career on the junior varsity.
"It was bad," he recalled. "I had to have like three surgeries."
"I've never seen anything like it," said Heights coach Ross Rogers, who envisioned Shamsideen starting at defensive end or fullback.
By his senior season, the 214-pounder had progressed enough to become a pass-catching threat out of the backfield. He caught four passes for 50 yards.
That wasn't much of a resume, but Shamsideen and his family were able to find an interested school through a college athletic placement service run by Tony Austin.
"If it wasn't for Tony Austin, he would not have gotten a scholarship," said Shamsideen's mother, Yushica Walker. "He actually did the leg work. He did everything for him for a very reasonable price."
"They like his physicalness," Rogers said. "That's what the coaches told me from Lincoln. He's stronger than a bull. I'm glad that he found a team that's interested in him."
The 269-pound Davis didn't need help getting noticed as a two-year starter for the Knights. He was Heights' only returning starter in the line last season.
"Him and (former Heights star Michael) Shumard were a great force when he was a junior," Rogers said.
Davis played the Knights' tackle-over position last season.
"Wherever we needed to move the ball, that's where he was at," said Rogers.
Davis drew interest from several Division II and Division III schools, but said Tarleton "was the best situation."
"The coaches are nice. It felt like home. I like the environment in Stephenville. It's not too big and it's not too small. They're doing good things up there. Hopefully we can win a few championships while I'm there."
Belton duo headed to UMHB
BELTON At least they'll have a pretty fair knowledge of the stadium they'll be playing in.
The Belton High tandem of running back Quincy Daniels and offensive lineman Tim Hardwick announced on Wednesday their intentions to attend the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
"Both players have put in a tremendous amount of work, both on the field and off and it's a great feeling to see these players get the opportunity to play at the collegiate level," Belton coach Jay Warrick said.
Daniels (5-foot-9, 170 pounds) rushed for 1,754 yards and 20 touchdowns for the Tigers, helping fill the void left behind by Ramonce Taylor (University of Texas).
"He's worked extremely hard ever since I've known him," Warrick said. "He's a phenomenal athlete and more important, he's a phenomenal kid."
Hardwick (6-2, 275) was one of the main hole-openers for Daniels and has overcome plenty of obstacles to earn this collegiate opportunity.
"His senior year was his first real season of varsity football because of various injuries, so it was great to see him make the most of it," Warrick said. "Both of these athletes will make UMHB a better program, whether they play a game or not."
Salado's Gobin signs with Tarleton State
SALADO Standout offensive lineman Cody Gobin announced that he will attend Tarleton State University.
"It should be a really good fit for him," SHS coach Jeff Cheatham said of Gobin. "This will be an excellent opportunity to be successful at a high collegiate level. My advice for him is to be patient, work hard, get himself ready mentally and physically for what awaits him and to enjoy his collegiate experience."
The 6-5, 275-pound Gobin racked up 62 knockdown blocks and helped lead the Eagles' offense to a 42-point-per-game average their final four games of the season.