National signing day for high school football players is a little more than three weeks away.
Beginning Feb. 3, the NCAA permits players to sign binding letters of intent to accept scholarships from its member schools. That day often represents the end of an arduous process for players and their families.
Leading up to signing day, The Augusta Chronicle will speak with prospects from four area counties, examining the process from these different viewpoints.
Hephzibah wide receiver Gary Robinson, a Furman recruit, last week discussed his decision to accept a scholarship offer about six months ago from the Football Championship Subdivision South Carolina school.
Q: Many of your peers will be scrambling to make a college decision in the next few weeks. What will you be up to?
A: I've just been working out. I'm going to take an official visit (to Furman) Friday through Sunday. Other than that, I've just been helping people from the team make highlight tapes -- Chris Owens, Antoine Nabors and Martin Epps from Laney. We put (the clips) on YouTube and send them out to different coaches.
Q: Recruits seem to be making verbal commitments earlier and earlier, so you had plenty of company in choosing a school back in July. But why did you decide to accept Furman so early?
A: I just felt comfortable with all the coaches and the school. With the academics, the football and the history, I pretty much knew I wanted to go there. There's nowhere else I wanted to go.
Q: There are literally thousands of high school football players in the Southeast who think they are good enough to play in college. What do you think help set you apart from everyone else?
A: Work ethic. Once you get to the next level, you can't do it on skill anymore. You just have to work harder.
Q: You had a pretty good season, leading Region 3-AAAA in receiving and catching passes from your brother, Terry. That being said, was there any degree of wavering in your early decision?
A: We didn't really open it up. A lot of other schools came by to try and get me to change my mind. We told them we're done.
Q: Who else have you been hearing from then?
A: Elon, Western Carolina, Gardner-Webb, Charleston Southern, Tennessee-Chattanooga ... a bunch of schools from the Southern Conference. They call the school and ask coach (John) Bowen what my status is.
Q: It was a good year for Hephzibah: the school went to the playoffs back-to-back seasons for the first time, and former player James Carpenter won a national title starting at left tackle for Alabama. What should we expect from the Rebels down the road?
A: I actually spoke to (Carpenter) recently, when he came up to the school. He told me a little bit about college. ... (Hephzibah) is going to be tough for the years to come. People are starting to work hard and see they can win.
Report a commitment: (706) 823-3425
AREA COMMITMENTS NATIONAL SIGNING DAY IS FEB. 3.
POSITION, PLAYER SCHOOL HT./WT. COLLEGE
ATH, B.J. Bostic Jefferson Co. 5-11, 170 Georgia Tech*
WR, Gary Robinson Hephzibah 6-0, 180 Furman
DB, Khadi Tshishiku Lakeside 6-0, 190 Harvard
*Plans to enroll in school this semester