MILTON, Ga. – Six of Milton’s 10 football players who signed letters of intent last week to play college football will remain teammates with at least one other former Eagle this fall.
Auburn, Wake Forest and Davidson signed two Eagles each, with a seventh Milton player having an opportunity to join two of his teammates in the SEC.
Milton’s two most heavily recruited athletes – defensive end Carl Lawson and running Peyton Barber – signed with Auburn after some drama regarding both their decisions.
Lawson, rated as one of the country’s top high school defensive players, was the subject of many rumors regarding his early commitment to the Tigers.
But as Milton coach Howie DeCristofaro pointed out, “Carl never de-committed.”
Auburn made sweeping changes to its coaching staff, including the replacement of its head coach, and brought in a defensive coach from Georgia who reportedly was not overly interested in Lawson while still coaching in Athens.
But Lawson stuck with the Eagles and was joined late in the recruiting process by Barber, an early Ole Miss commit. Several other major schools showed interest in Barber, but at Auburn, he should have an opportunity to get early playing time.
“Peyton wanted to take a look at Auburn, and he loved it. And he felt he was better off with someone he knew,” DeCristofaro said.
Milton linebacker Grant Smith will also be a member of the Auburn squad this season as a preferred walk-on.
Offensive linemen Cory Helms and Josh Harris were early commits to Wake Forest and will play for the ACC team. Also signing with a North Carolina school were offensive lineman Connor Harp and defensive end Mitch Williams, who will attend Davidson.
The Eagles had four linemen sign, with Eason Fromayan an early admission to TCU. Milton had seven players sign with Division I schools.
Wide receiver Malik Mitchell signed with Northern Illinois, which went 12-2 this past season and played in the Orange Bowl. Linebacker Noah Allen will play football at Army. He was one of three local players who will attend one of the service academies.
Roswell running back Andrew Kwateng will play at Air Force, and Chattahoochee quarterback Travis Marshall will attend Navy.
Also signing for the Eagles was defensive lineman Marshall McConnell, who will play at Division III Mount Union (Ohio).
DeCristofaro said 97 different schools had representatives visiting Milton, and was extremely relieved to be done with the recruiting process – at least for a few months.
“This is the first day the phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook,” he said the night after signing day. “It’s gotten way out of hand, and next year is going to be worse, because the college coaches will be able to make unlimited texts and calls.”