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Local standouts make college decisions
Heritage football standouts Jalen Jackson and Chandler Peeples signed their National Letters of Intent Wednesday with Cumberland University. - photo by Matt Smith

Hundreds of prospective collegiate athletes made their future intentions known Wednesday on National Signing Day and Salem, Heritage and Rockdale County High School joined in the national festivities.

The Salem Seminoles had two student athletes sign their National Letters of Intent Wednesday, while the Patriots had five total players  make their pledge known. The Bulldogs led the way with seven football signees, including a pledge from cornerback Robert McCray to Indian University.

Salem trio signs

Leading off the duoof Salem signees, senior soccer standout Bria Mosley made her pledge to Western Kentucky.

Mosley and the Lady Seminoles finished last season with a 3-11-1 record, but Mosley earned Region 8-AAAA honorable mention all-region accolades at forward during the 2011 season.

Mosley also played as a member of the Atlanta Fire Elite Clubs National League from 2010-2012, reaching the Elite Clubs National League U16 finals during the 2011-2012 season. Mosley was also named to the 2014 Girls IMG Academy 150 player pool.

Mosley joins the Hilltoppers who finished 2013 with a 10-6-5 overall record with a 6-2 mark in Sun Belt Conference play. Western Kentucky reached the Sun Belt Conference Tournament finals, falling to South Alabama 1-0 in the title contest.

Rounding out Salem’s duo was softball senior Whitney Lester who made her commitment to Andrew College.

The Seminoles pitcher ended the 2013 season with a 3.03 earned run average while batting .380, earning second team all-region honors.

Heritage places five

Heritage High School also placed five seniors Wednesday morning, as football players Chandler Peeples and Jalen Jackson signed their National Letters of Intent with Cumberland University, softball standout Taylor Moser signed with Thomas University and soccer stars Mady Carter and Ray Brown signed with Kennesaw State and The Citadel, respectively.

Heritage finished the 2013 season with a 6-5 overall record, going 5-3 in Region 8-AAAAA.

Peeples led the Patriots’ offensive line from the center position, grading out at an astounding 92 percent for the season. Peeples and his co-linemen blocked well enough to help the Patriots finish the season with three different 400-yard rushers on their way to six victories.

At defensive end, Jackson tallied 26 total tackles, making 16 solo takedowns. Jackson also had five tackles-for-loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and two blocks in 2013.

Both Peeples and Jackson earned all-region accolades this past season, with Peeples earning second team honors while Jackson was named as an honorable mention recipient.

Moser officially joined the Thinas University softball program Wednesday, capping off a successful 2013 season.

The first baseman finished her 2013 season batting .429 with 36 total hits, including four doubles, three triples 21 RBIs and 21 runs scored.

Moser was named Heritage's Offensive MVP in 2013 and earned Region 8-AAAAA first team honors. Moser was also recognized with all-region second team honors in 2012 and arned the Patriots' Offensive Player of the Year award.

Rounding out the Patriots' were Carter and Brown. Carter, who made her pledge to Kennesaw State, us a three-year letter winner for the Patriots, helping Heritage to a 40-14-4 record and three consecutive playoff appearance during her tenure in goal.

Carter earmed first team all-region honors during her freshman and junior campaigns and was named to the Georgia High School All-Star team last season. Carter currently holds the school record with 322 total saves and has registered 35 shutouts in her 58 games played.

Brown, who signed her National Letter of Intent with The Citadel, is an all-region recipient, earning honorable mention accolades her sophomore year and second team honors last season.

In 49 starts, Brown has shown versatility from her defensive position, scoring 16 goals and seven assists.

Bulldog's seven

Seven Rockdale County football players pledged their football commitments Wednesday, led by Division I signee Robert McCray.

McCray committed to Indiana University over in-state Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-3, 245 pound defensive end/linebacker helped the Bulldogs to a 6-4 overall record in 2013.

McCray split time this season along the defensive line and at linebacker while putting together a standout season for the Bulldogs with 57 total tackles. McCray finished with 32 solo takedowns, including a team-high eight sacks and 16 tackles-for-loss. The senior also forced five fumbles for a Rockdale defensive unit that allowed over 21 points just five times this season.

The senior also earned first team all-Region 2-AAAAAA accolades this past season.

Rockdale senior Julian McKnight made his pledge to North Carolina A&T, joining an Aggies program that went 7-4 last season.

McKnight finished with 39 total tackles this season, including 17 solo tackles, while also record 6.5 tackles-for-loss. McKnight also had 3.5 sacks for the Bulldogs’ defense this season with two forced fumbles.

McKnight was also a first team all-region selection along the defensive line.

Linebacker Kentavius Preston also announced that he will continue his academic career at Southern University, joining a Jaguars’ program that went 8-4 last season.

Preston split time on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball this past season, rushing 18 times for 70 yards while catching four pages for 35 yards and a touchdown.

At linebacker, Preston recorded 64 tackles, including a team-high 17 tackles for loss. Preston also had 1.5 sacks this past season.

Also signing for Rockdale Wednesday were Shakym Peters (Alabama State), Brandon Harris (Alabama State), Anthony Davis (St. Augustine) and Tyler Seabolt (Centre College).

Six other local players were set to sign Wednesday to West Georgia Technical College, but the Golden Knights announced Tuesday that it was withdrawing a proposal to add football as a competative sport.

Rockadle's Malachi Smith, Terrell McLaughlin, Akwesi Mintah, Joe Wright and Zachary Hess, along with Salem quarterback Licash Lackey, had prepare to sign with the Golden Knights.

West Georgia Tech released a statement that said the college is currently in contact with students who planned to play with the Golden Knights next season.