A crowd of teary eyed relatives, smiling teammates and clapping coaches gathered in the auditorium this morning for Cedar Shoals’ National Signing Day ceremony.
On a stage decorated with balloons, varsity jackets and framed pictures, seated by their family members, seniors Kyrus Browner, Adorian Favors and Juandarion Silas announced their college decisions and signed their letters of intent.
Head football coach Leroy Ryals started off the event by commending the three players.
“It’s a blessing for our school to even have this ceremony, these boys worked hard and today we want to congratulate them,” Ryals said.
Three-year player Juandarion Silas signed with Kennesaw State University early on Dec. 15 but was recognized again at today’s ceremony.
“I’ve visited the college three times so far and I like how the coaches push me. Everybody I met there felt like family. You also get your own room which is definitely a plus,” Silas said.
The future Owl plans on majoring in sports medicine.
“I love sports and I’ve also been interested in therapy so it was a perfect choice,” Silas said.
His mother Shebrika Stwart and grandmother Wanda Stewart joined Silas on stage.
“I’m feeling blessed and excited. Not only for my son but for the other young men that are here today as well. My advice and encouragement to them is to go and be great, keep God first and stay humble. The sky’s the limit,” Shebrika Stewart said.
Despite tearing his ACL and meniscus during a preseason game and being unable to play for the remainder of the season, offensive lineman Adorian Favors signed with the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga.
“It’s an exciting and surreal feeling, being able to be here after a long hard four years of battles, losses and wins. Coming from where I come from this is not something that happens and it just feels unreal,” Favors said.
His mother Kelly Favors and aunt Tamara Favors sat with Adorian onstage and took pictures at the end of the ceremony.
“I’m ecstatic he’s signing today, I’ve been on his butt for four years about his grades and everything. I pray he takes this opportunity seriously and gets the best education he can,” Tamara Favors said.
Favors plans on pursuing a mechanical engineering degree in the fall.
“I want to thank my family, teachers, coaches and teammates and I’m so excited to see what the future holds for me,” Favors said.
Accompanied on stage by his mother Rhashida Browner and sister Kyla Browner, Kyrus Browner signed with Georgia Military College.
“Today is such a special day and I want to thank everyone here for supporting me,” Browner said.
The defensive end player plans on pursuing a career in special education and is majoring in childhood development.
“He wants to work with special needs children and let them know they can do a lot more than what society tells them they can do. He has a humble spirit and kids love him, it’s the perfect field for him,” Kyrus’ mother said.
Browner is no stranger to collegiate football as his cousin Terrance Browner played for Albany State University.
“I was stoked to see my little cousin get signed. He’s overcome so many obstacles and his future is bright,” Terrance Browner said.
Ryals ended the event by encouraging younger teammates and students to follow in the three boys footsteps of hard work and dedication both in the classroom and on the football field.
“These boys are part of the 1.8% of players going to play ball with their education paid for. You don’t do that by playing around, you have to earn it,” Ryals said.