By Jonathan Deal
Signing day at Athens High School has seen some great football players ink their name with schools across the Southeast, both small and large. On Wednesday, the latest crop of Golden Eagles put pen to paper by signing national letters of intent.
Seniors Jordan Campbell, Ernest Hendrix and Adam Harvey signed scholarship papers in front of friends, family and teammates Wednesday morning at the school. Defensive lineman Hendrix was the first Athens player to sign with Harding University, a private Christian school in Searcy, Ark.
“We’ve had a good run of getting guys to the next level,” said Athens head coach Allen Creasy. “We’ve had a good defense the last couple of years and guys like him (Hendrix) are a big reason why.”
“Erny,” as he is known to teammates, played against some of the best offensive linemen in North Alabama in Class 5A Region 8. He finished with 61 tackles, including six tackles-for-loss, two sacks and three quarterback hurries.
Campbell will play at Jacksonville State for new head coach Bill Clark. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound tight end will play slot receiver for the Gamecocks. Campbell is one of those players who didn’t get his name called often, but was a key factor in Athens’ offense.
“He was a big part of our offense, both blocking and receiving,” said Creasy. “He’s a big physical guy with (good) hands, that can run. In that offense, they do a lot passing to the inside receiver, where he will play.”
Clark will run a spread offense that stresses perimeter blocking, something Campbell can provide from the slot receiver position.
“They told me I would be running a lot of crossing routes,” said Campbell. “I did a lot of that here at Athens, so I should fit right in.”
Harvey will play just down the road at the University of North Alabama. The senior began the season as the team’s starting quarterback, but suffered a concussion during the first game of the season against Decatur.
“He was our starting quarterback and we had planned on him being the starting quarterback for the whole season,” Creasy said. “He never stopped working though. He did everything he could to contribute.”
Harvey was told he would have to sit “three to four weeks” because of the concussion. That turned into six weeks and Harvey was informed he would only be able to kick for the remainder of the season.
“After I got banged up so much, I had to accept I would just have to kick,” said Harvey. “It was hard at first, but I eventually accepted what I had to do.”
The move proved a benefit for Harvey when the senior attracted the attention of UNA’s coaching staff. Harvey will sign with the Lions as a special teams player, capable of punting, kicking or even playing holder at the next level.