South Forsyth High School had a packed auditorium Wednesday morning, full of parents, faculty, friends and family members. The national signing day event also included many members of the 2015 War Eagles football team, which not only had its best season in school history, but produced some big-time signees.
Kicker Alex Barbir signed with Penn State, which he committed to in January after preferring the relationship with head coach James Franklin over building a new one with Rutgers’ new coach. Barbir was committed to Rutgers since the summer, but had to make a tough decision after the program fell into turmoil.
“An offer (from Penn State) came in mid-January,” Barbir said. “I couldn’t just say no. It was definitely something I had to consider, and with all of the change happening around [Rutgers], it ended up being the right fit.”
Barbir was one of six South athletes to sign with Division I colleges, following trend with an eventful signing day from the fall period.
The girls and boys soccer teams each sent off a D-I signee, respectively, with Alex Melnyk inking with Georgia State and Chris Mikus taking an offer from Memphis.
Emma Maisel, a distance runner, always wanted to go out of state, but changed her mind when the University of Georgia came calling. She signed with the red and black in what she called a “dream moment.”
It was also unexpected.
“I never was planning on this,” Maisel said. “The offer came later on. I always wanted to go somewhere far away, but once I visited the campus I fell in love with it. It’s a big school, which is what I want, and everything was just great.”
Football players Jalen Camp, Cameron Kline and Sam Outlaw joined Barbir in making their final stamp on a historic year. Camp had a similar path to Barbir, unwinding his commitment from Liberty University and taking the opportunity of a lifetime—to play for Paul Johnson on full scholarship, as a receiver, at Georgia Tech.
“This is what I wanted for a while,” Camp said. “A lot of schools like Illinois State, Liberty and Mercer all offered me for defense.”
Outlaw signed to play b-back for Kennesaw State, while Kline will join the Harvard Crimson, the successful Ivy League program. Other signees included softball’s Jordin Englar, who signed with Wallace State Community College, and Kieran Liming, who will play baseball at Macalester College.
South also has more football commits waiting. Toki Adeosun, who was present at the signing day ceremony, has preferred walk-on offers from three schools and is still weighing options, while Grant Umberger, Curtis Roach, Blake Oldfield, Riley Hall, Elijah Smith and Terah George will have decisions to make in the coming weeks.
South’s Ronnie Chambliss was not present at the event, but committed later in the day to play football at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Ga.