Eight Clarksville football players signed with college football programs on Wednesday, Feb. 5. That is the most signees the Wildcats have sent under head coach Isaac Shelby in a single year.
Of the eight players, three signed with Division I universities, two signed on the NAIA level and three signed to Division III programs.
“It is pretty special,” Shelby said. “It’s a lot of really intelligent guys and they’re going to be really good college football players. (I’m) super proud. I’ve known them since they were little kids, and seeing them do this, it’s a big accomplishment for them and our staff.”
The group of seniors led the Wildcats to an 8-5 record in 2019, including a first-round win over Munford in the TSSAA Class 5A playoffs.
Colby Cook, Rhodes College
Cook played both quarterback and safety for the Wildcats and will play defense with the Lynx. He was named second-team all-county by Main Street Preps with 35 tackles, three interceptions and three pass breakups.
“Rhodes first contacted me around February my junior year,” Cook said. “They invited me over to junior day and they were one of the first to be interested in me. Going into the football season, I had some coaches follow me on Twitter, but Rhodes was the one that stuck in my mind the whole time.”
Cook is most looking forward to getting a fresh start in Memphis while being able to represent Clarksville and is excited to make new friends, get an education and experience college.
Jason Eaton, Eastern Michigan University
A three-time All-Region 7-5A selection and Main Street Preps all-county first team choice, Eaton has a massive frame and raw power that was sure to attract attention from coaches across the country. The Eagles, who have made a bowl game in two consecutive seasons under coach Chris Creighton, were the most dedicated to bringing the offensive lineman onboard.
“Eastern Michigan hit me up one day, then two days later they flew down to see me,” Eaton said. “That right there just showed that I’m really wanted by a college if they fly down from Michigan two days after. When I got to Eastern Michigan, it just felt like home. The environment, the players, the coaches. That’s where I feel like I best fit in my next four years of my life.”
He committed to EMU for the early signing period but elected to hold off on holding a ceremony until the rest of his teammates had made their college decisions.
Eaton is excited to create new bonds and hopes to win the school’s first conference title since 1987.
Quantae Hicks, Lindsey Wilson College
As the go-to receiver on the Clarksville offense, Hicks earned himself a first-team all-county selection, hauling in 32 catches for 610 yards and eight touchdowns along with 26 carries for 239 yards and one score. On top of that, he scored two return touchdowns.
“I had to find the right home, the right program,” Hicks said. “And then I decided on Lindsey Wilson. I love the coaches and they got engineering.
“(I’m excited for) the competition. Definitely. They’re a very competition-driven school so I really like that.”
One of two Wildcats heading to LWC, Hicks will room with teammate Seth Phillips.
Blake Hundley, Furman University
Similar to Eaton, the offensive lineman’s decision has been made for some time now, but he decided to wait for his teammates to declare before holding a ceremony.
Hundley was the lone Wildcat to participate in the 2019 East vs West Bowl at Austin Peay’s Fortera Stadium and was also named to the Main Street Preps all-county team.
“My recruiting started probably spring going into junior year. I had some spring tape then coaches started hitting me up on Twitter... I didn’t really know where to go, then I went to Furman on a whim and fell in love with it. I took an official visit and they offered me. That’s where I knew I was going to go as soon as I stepped on campus.”
The Paladins participated in the 2019 FCS Football Playoffs.
Hundley is most looking forward to getting a quality education leading to opportunities after school and meeting new people.
Zach Langford, Western Kentucky University
Having served as the kicker and punter for the Wildcats in 2019, Langford will head to Bowling Green as a preferred walk-on.
His recruiting process was a unique one, as interest did not pick up significantly until a week before signing day where he was left to decide between Western Kentucky, Austin Peay and Louisiana-Monroe.
“I was just trying to make my decision, then I stepped foot on WKU’s campus and I got that feeling of home and I knew that’s where I had to be,” Langford said. “They came in and offered me yesterday morning. I took it on the phone call and committed that night.”
The kicker was named first-team all-county by Main Street Preps, making seven field goals and converting on 39-of-40 extra point attempts.
“I’m most excited about getting up there and learning in the classroom and on the football field and the weight room,” Langford said. “I’m just really excited to get up there and just learn. That’s what college is all about, just learning.”
Zamauri Nichols, Sewanee: The University of the South
Nichols fought an uphill battle during his recruiting process due to his listed 5-foot-6 height, short for any position in football – but especially his outside linebacker role at Clarksville.
Despite that, the team captain was named an all-county honorable mention with 32.5 tackles, 18 solo tackles and an interception.
“When I came to Sewanee, it felt comfortable,” Nichols said. “The atmosphere, you feel comfortable. The players talked me in, I liked the coach, the energy, how he holds his players up. I was like man, this could be my next home.”
Unlike his teammates, he is unsure of which position he’ll play with the Tigers because of his height – but he is excited about learning more about how he’ll fit in.
Seth Phillips, Lindsey Wilson College
Phillips holds a record with the Wildcats which Shelby considers “unbreakable”: he led the team in tackles in his freshman, sophomore, junior and senior seasons, and did so as a senior despite a hand injury which kept him out of several games.
His performance as both a running back – 120 carries for 962 yards and 11 touchdowns – and a linebackers – 55.5 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one interception and one forced fumble – earned him the Main Street Preps Two-Way Player of the Year designation along with a first-team win.
He first visited Lindsey Wilson with his teammates, Hicks and Nichols, when they went in for a scheduled visit.
“When we went up there, the whole coaching staff treated us like we were their own, like we were on the team already, like we were already going to do great thing with them,” Philips said. “That kind of sealed the deal for me.”
Phillips will play linebacker for the Blue Raiders.
Price Warfield, Amherst College
Warfield was unable to interview due to Amherst’s media policy, but the safety is headed to a prestigious academic school with just a 14 percent acceptance rate and is the third-oldest college in Massachusetts.
His senior year highlight came on a fourth quarter interception to seal a Wildcat win over rival Rossview in Week 1.
Warfield’s 62.5 tackles, three pass breakups and three interceptions earned himself a spot on the Main Street Preps all-county first team.