Together they intercepted nine passes and broke up 13 more, numbers that validated Lambert senior defensive backs Jordyn Jean-Felix and Brandon Miller as self-declared members of the Longhorns’ “No Fly Zone” this past season.
Turns out they’ll be flying up north together.
Jean-Felix and Miller signed Wednesday on National Signing Day with Marist College, a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) program in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., that competes in the Pioneer League.
“It feels great,” Miller said. “This has been a great experience.”
“It’s been something I’ve been waiting for since I was a little kid,” Jean-Felix said. “I honestly can’t explain it.”
The two were starters in the Lambert secondary for a defense that propelled the Longhorns to a 6-5 season, including an appearance in the Class AAAAAA playoffs. Miller finished with 22 tackles, seven pass break-ups, four interceptions and a forced fumble. Jean-Felix had 60 tackles, six pass break-ups, five interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
As intertwined as their play on the field was, their paths to Marist couldn’t have been more different.
Marist had recruited Miller since before his junior season. When he finally got a chance to take an official visit to the campus, the 5-foot-9, 180-pound cornerback knew it was the right fit.
“I just knew I wanted to play there when I met the coaches, all the players and saw the atmosphere around the campus,” Miller said. “I just felt it was a great home where I could spend the next four or five years.”
Jean-Felix took an official visit to Marist with Miller as the Red Foxes coaching staff made an 11th-hour push for the 6-foot, 190-pound safety. Jean-Felix had been committed to fellow Pioneer League-member Campbell for months.
But Marist pulled out the red carpet for Jean-Felix. He met with several coaches and toured the campus. When he found out Miller planned to commit to the Red Foxes, Jean-Felix made up his mind and flipped the day before Signing Day.
“I went on my visit. I absolutely loved the campus. It’s a campus right on the Hudson River. It doesn’t get any better than that,” Jean-Felix said. “I loved the coaching staff. And definitely another thing that helped me make up my mind was going to school with one of my teammates for four more years.”
Sitting in Lambert’s media center Wednesday, Jean-Felix and Miller were overshadowed by the sheer volume of Longhorn athletes in all sports who signed.
There were baseball players Dylan Biumi (West Carolina), Thomas Kubiak (Georgia Regents), Harrison Lee (Sewanee) and Trey Logan (Georgia); boys lacrosse players Nick Shumate (Young Harris) and Sean Carruthers (Mercer); girls soccer players Casey Baker (Stetson), Delaney Fechalos (Georgia), Taylor Kemmeling (Lousiana-Lafayette) and boys soccer player Cooper Coughlin (Appalachian State); swimmer Gentry Anderson (George Mason), track runner Elise Espy (Milligan College) and volleyball player Brittyn Moellering (Mercer).
The total came to 15 athletes in seven different sports.