College football teams and fans looked to the future on Wednesday for national signing day. It was the first day high school seniors were able to sign binding national letters of intent that commit them to the school they plan to attend.
Seventeen Cape-Atlantic League and southern Ocean County high school players committed to attend NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) or Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) schools on scholarships.
Here is a look at the local players and where they are going.
Division I FBS
DT, 6-1, 260
Ellis is a dominant defensive player. He had five sacks and led the Spartans to an 11-1 record and the state Non-Public II final.
RB, 5-10, 185
Hood rushed 186 times for 1,431 yards and 17 touchdowns. Finished tied for the CAL scoring lead with 126 points.
DL, 6-3, 290
Randall verbally committed to Temple but didn’t sign Wednesday. He may attend a prep school. He made 47 tackles — nine for losses. Randall had three sacks
DL, 6-2, 280
Already graduated and has enrolled at Penn State, so he can participate in spring practice. He made 70 tackles. He intercepted two passes and returned one for a touchdown.
Division I FCS
DE, 6-4, 240
Anderson had 61 tackles, two sacks, five pass breakups, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
QB/LB, 6-0, 200
Rhode Island recruited Anderson as a defensive player. He rushed for eight touchdowns and more than 450 yards. He also threw six touchdown passes.
DB, 5-8, 170
Dawson is one of the state’s top defensive backs. He intercepted four passes and returned interceptions 30, 48 and 85 yards for touchdowns.
OL, 6-4, 300
Demby is a quick and strong lineman. Maine finished 10-3 and won the Colonial Athletic Association last fall.
OL/DL, 6-4, 235
A three-year starter, Donovan made 56 tackles last season, 10 of them for losses. He has a weighted GPA of 5.07. He was a second-team Press All-Star.
St. Francis (Pa.)
DT, 6-3, 285
Egg Harbor Township
Gray made 121 tackles, 46 of them solo, in 19 varsity games. He also had 1½ sacks.
OL, 6-6, 294
St. Augustine Prep
McGrath led an offensive line that sparked the Hermits to a 16-5 record the past two seasons. St. Augustine averaged 35.4 points the past two years.
WR/DB, 6-2, 190
He intercepted three passes and made 46 tackles. Padovani also caught seven touchdown passes.
LB, 5-11, 215
Shockley is one of the top linebackers in South Jersey. He made 110 tackles and also contributed five sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
OL, 6-1, 257
Stanton was a Cape-Atlantic League National Conference all-star. He started at guard for three years for the Red Raiders. Is being recruited as a center.
LB, 6-3, 215
Has the strength to stop the run and the speed to cover receivers out of the backfield. Steeb led the Spartans with 10 tackles in a 35-16 loss to DePaul in the state Non-Public II title game.
RB/WR/DB, 5-10, 180
Lined up at running back, wide receiver and defensive back. Caught 54 passes for 1,053 yards and 14 touchdowns. Rushed 41 times for 302 yards and two touchdowns. Made 65 tackles.