2013 National Signing Day at CJ

Four Chaminade Julienne student athletes signed agreements with colleges, universities and schools across the country Feb. 6 on what is considered National Signing Day for high school seniors.

The first day of the early signing period for football, field hockey, soccer, track and field, and cross country was marked at CJ with an after-school ceremony in the cafeteria (watch ABC 22 / FOX 45 coverage). Seniors Darrien Howard (West Virginia University, football), Ja’mel Sanders (Air Force Academy, football), Brandon Payne (Lindsey Wilson College, football) and Devanae Mitchell (University of Toledo, track) each put pen to paper to solidify their verbal agreements.

“What a wonderful representation of Chaminade Julienne these four students have been, not just on the field of play, but also in our hallways,” said Scott Pierce, athletic director. “This day is the result of the hard work they’ve each put in. All four are not just outstanding athletes, but even better people.”

ROLL CALL

Among the crowd of roughly 100 students, faculty, staff and family members in attendance at the ceremony, Mother Brunner Principal Veronica Murphy and CJ alumnus Zack Kauth ‘08 also joined well-wishers in the cafeteria. Principal Murphy (pictured above with CJ Principal John Marshall) had all four signees as grade schoolers at St. Rita (Mother Brunner Catholic School). And Kauth is the last Eagles’ football player to sign with Air Force Academy. He played wide receiver for the Falcons from 2009 to 2011.

COACH’S SHOUT OUT
While introducing players, head varsity football coach and teacher Marcus Colvin gave a shout out to fellow coach Jerry Puckett, who has had all four Eagles’ signees under his wing -- either as a member of the football coaching staff or as head of the track and field program.

CLASS OF 2013
In total, eight members of the class of 2013 have signed with college athletic programs. Heidi Hess (volleyball, Ohio Dominican), Grace Kauth (volleyball, Cleveland State) and Gretchen Bruggeman (crew, Notre Dame) signed Nov. 14. Krista White (basketball, Kent State) signed Dec. 12.

About the Eagles' Signees

DARRIEN HOWARD
School:  West Virginia University (NCAA Division 1)
Sport/Position:  Football; Linebacker (6’ 2”, 250 lbs)
Likely field(s) of study:  Education or Communications
Scholarships/Grants:  Full athletic grant
High school highlights:
Four-year varsity starter.
As a senior, recorded 75 tackles at LB and totaled five touchdowns and more than 200 all-purpose yards at FB/TE.
Ranked a four-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals.com and Scout.com; considered a top 300 player nationally, and top 10 at his position, by most.
Four-time honoree on First Team All Greater Catholic League (GCL) North division.
Named to the Ohio Division IV First Team All State as a junior and senior.
Selected to the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl East Team.
Fast fact:  According to WVUsports.com, which tracked recruits commitments live on Signing Day, Darrien actually signed his National Letter of Intent at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6.

JA'MEL SANDERS
School:  Air Force Academy (NCAA Division 1)
Sport/Position:  Football; Defensive Back, Running Back (6’ 1”, 200 lbs)
Likely field(s) of study:  Business or Forensic Science
Scholarships/Grants:  Full athletic grant
High school highlights:
Three-year varsity starter.
Amassed two interceptions, 11 touchdowns and 1,135 yards in 29 career games.
Twice named First Team All Greater Catholic League (GCL) North division; named to Second Team as a sophomore.
Earned Ohio Division IV First Team All-Southwest District honors as a senior; named to Second Team as a junior.
Fast fact:  As outlined at www.goairforcefalcons.com, the Air Force Academy does not use the National Letter of Intent, as most civilian schools do. Instead, Ja’mel signed a non-binding agreement known as a Certificate of Intent.

BRANDON PAYNE
School:  Lindsey Wilson College (NAIA)
Sport/Position:  Football; Running Back, Linebacker (5’ 9”, 215 lbs)
Likely field(s) of study:  Business Management or Criminal Justice
Scholarships/Grants:  Partial athletic grant and academic scholarships
High school highlights:
Two-year varsity starter (missed much of his senior season due to injury).
Amassed 14 touchdowns and 1,583 yards in 14 career games.
Named to the First Team All Greater Catholic League (GCL) North division as a junior.
Earned Ohio Division IV First Team All-Southwest District honors as a junior.
Fast fact:  Including Brandon and the teammates signing with him Feb. 6, a total of 10 CJ seniors have signed to play college football in the two seasons since Marcus Colvin took over as head coach in 2011.

DEVANAE MITCHELL
School:  University of Toledo (NCAA Division 1)
Sport:  Track and Field
Likely field(s) of study:  Undecided
Scholarships/Grants:  Full athletic grant
High school highlights:
Four-year varsity track athlete under coach Jerry Puckett.
Finished 4th in long jump and 7th in 100m dash at the 2012 Ohio Divisoin II state tournament as a junior.
Finsihed 7th in the 100m dash and 8th in the 200m dash at the 2011 Ohio Division II state tournament as a sophomore.
Has been named to First or Second Team All Girls’ Greater Cincinnati League (GGCL) Grey North in five different events throughout her three seasons.
Fast fact:  Devanae was a key member of the Eagles’ indoor track teams that earned back-to-back Division II/III Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches (OATCCC) state titles in 2011 and 2012. It was the first (and remains the only) time in school history for a CJ athletic team to win state titles in consecutive seasons.

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