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Northwestern duo highlight district’s haul of 50 athletes "inking" letters of intent on National Signing Day

Earnest Brown spent his entire playing career at Ryan High School terrorizing opposing quarterbacks from his spot on the defensive line. As Guyer High School’s last line of defense, safety Bryce Jackson never hesitated to lay an opponent on his back in the open field.

 

The two defensive standouts excelled on the field enough to garner scholarship offers from multiple universities across the country. Despite neither knowing each other very well until their official visit, they decided on the same one – Northwestern University – to tackle next.

 

“We’re ready to rep Texas as a whole because when you hear about Texas high school football, you know it’s got some of the top players and there’s a legacy to uphold,” said Jackson.

 

A total of 50 Denton ISD student-athletes began their plans for the future by signing their names to play their respective sports at numerous colleges and universities on Feb. 1, National Signing Day. Since 2015, the district has had 120 student-athletes sign letters of intent to play collegiate athletics.

 

And while some sports had signing days on earlier dates, many still took part in collective school celebrations to honor their accomplishments with teammates, family and friends.

 

Which brings us back to Earnest and Bryce, two seniors from high schools seven miles apart picking the same Big 10 Conference school almost 1,000 miles from home.

 

Northwestern, which sits just outside of Chicago, is known more for its prestigious academics and famous alumni like comedian Seth Myers, journalist Michael Wilbon and author George R.R. Martin, than its football. Yet the allure of the strong academics, big-city atmosphere and the chance to compete in one of the top athletic conferences in the NCAA was too much to pass up for both students and their families.  

 

“Today means everything; I could never afford for him the type of education he will receive at Northwestern,” said Angela Brown, Earnest’s mom. “He picked Northwestern based on a mix of things - the academics and the environment and the offer was one we just could not refuse, it’s for four years no matter if he’s hurt or injured, and we know he will receive an excellent education.”

 

Bryce echoed Brown’ sentiments pointing out that this decision will have a large impact on his life, not just his football career.

 

“My parents always told me that this isn’t a four-year decision, it’s a 40-year decision and I just felt that for my life after football, [Northwestern] provided me with the best support off the field as well as on the field,” Bryce said. “I’m ready to get up there and I’m ready for the challenge. Nobody said it’s going to be easy, but I’m ready to prove myself to everybody up there.”

 

The district’s 50 student-athlete signees included:

 

Denton High School

Football

Chris Miller – University of Colorado

Antonio Mitchell – Navarro Junior College

Donte Tucker – Navarro Junior College

Lavandis Douglas – Lafayette College (Easton, Pennsylvania)

Grant Polley – University of Colorado

Colt Atkinson – Trinity Valley Junior College

Caleb Osuofa – Southern Nazarene University (Bethany, Oklahoma)

Marcus Miyatake – Southwestern College (Winfield, Kansas)

Drake Foster -  Southwestern College (Winfield, Kansas)


Girls Soccer

Lauren Gay - Texas Women’s University

Karliegh Thomas - Concordia University

 

Boys Soccer

Jarvian Wigfall -  U.S. Naval Academy

Zarin Santos - Walla Walla University (College Place, Washington)

 

Softball

Riki Haase – University of the Ozarks (Clarksville, Arkansas)

 

Baseball

Wyatt Folsom – Fort Scott (Kansas) Community College

Raine Richter – Fort Scott (Kansas) Community College

 

Guyer High School

Football

Brian Polendey – University of Miami (Florida)
Bryce Jackson - Northwestern University 
Thabo Mwaniki - Oklahoma State University 
Jalen Sutton - Illinois State University
Myron Mason - Missouri State University
Dio Williams - Arkansas Tech University
Gio Williams - Arkansas Tech University
Christian Moore - Midwestern State University
Coleton Kubicek - Midwestern State University
Blake Watson - Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Girls Basketball
Lauren Heard -
Texas Christian University

Girls Soccer
Morgan Wessling -
Oklahoma State University

Golf
Launa Wilson -
Southern Utah University

Destany Hall - Texas Southern University
 
Mallory Horn - University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

Emily Hunt – Texas Wesleyan University

Baseball
Trevor Sessions -
Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Boys Track
Javan Reece -
University of Kansas

Boys Soccer
Caleb Strange -
University of Dallas

Greg Petreas - Centenary College (Shreveport, Louisiana)
Nick Au - Wayland Baptist University

Softball
Grace Wills -
Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, Arkansas)
 
Olivia Boisen - Murray (Kentucky) State University
 
Megan O'Boyle - Murray (Kentucky) State University

 

Boys Basketball

Jake Roberts – Pittsburg (Kansas) State

 

Ryan High School

Football

Earnest Brown IV - Northwestern University

Tyreke Davis - University of North Texas

Delano Robinson - Southern Methodist University

Kaelin Murray - University of Central Oklahoma

Jason Gulley - Southern Nazarene University

Jimmy Love - Fullerton (California) College

 

Girls Soccer

Brittany Eccles - Dallas Baptist University

Mia Bryce – University of North Texas

 

Cross-Country

Katelynn Soltero – Crowley Junior College (Arkansas City, Kansas)

 
Check out all of our National Signing Day photos and download your favorite here: Denton ISD Flickr