Two area high school athletes used Father’s Day to announce the future of their football careers.
St. Augustine Prep junior Isaiah Raikes made a verbal commitment on Twitter on Sunday to play football for NCAA Division I Texas A&M University. Shortly after, Millville junior Solomon DeShields tweeted his commitment to play at the University of Pittsburgh.
Raikes posted a minute-long video showing him working out at St. Augustine Prep as well as some game footage. He thanked his parents, teammates and coaches among others in the video before announcing he would join the Aggies for the 2020 season.
Raikes was a first-team Press All-Star last season for the Hermits, who went 7-4.
The 6-foot-1, 285-pound defensive lineman made 43 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for losses. He had eight sacks and rushed 48 times for 226 yards and eight touchdowns.
Raikes received several Division I scholarship offers, including other top candidates Penn State, Northwestern, Duke, Temple and Oregon.
The Aggies, who play in the Southeastern Conference, went 9-4 last season in the first year under head coach Jimbo Fisher. SEC is considered the toughest conference in college football.
Raikes is the first area football player to commit to an SEC school since Barnegat graduate Sam Madden went to Georgia and was on the team from 2015-17. St. Joseph graduate and Pleasantville resident Kaiwan Lewis played from 2012-14 at South Carolina.
DeShields tweeted a photo of him in a Pitt uniform, saying, “I worked very hard and pushed myself to get to this moment and it’s finally here.” He also thanked his family and coaches.
DeShields was a first-team Press All-Star. He helped lead the Thunderbolts to a 6-5 record last season. Michigan State and Rutgers were among other D-I colleges to offer him a scholarship.
The 6-2 wide receiver and defensive back caught 34 passes for 342 yards and five TDs.
Pitt, which plays in the Atlantic Coast Conference, went 7-7 last season. Pat Narduzzi has been the head coach since 2015.