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Alcovy trio make collegiate pledges
Alcovy football players Curtiss Benton, Robert Bullard and Okon Godwin made their collegiate pledges Wednesday on National Signing Day. - photo by Matt Smith

Alcovy football standouts Okon Godwin, Curtiss Benton and Robert Bullard made their collegiate pledges Wednesday afternoon, signing their National Letters of Intent in a ceremony held in front of friends, families and coaches.

Godwin and Benton officially committed to Appalachian State in Boone, N.C., while Bullard signed with the United States Air Force Academy.

With the ink on their signatures dry, the trio made Tigers’ history, giving Alcovy three Division I signees for the first time in its history.

Godwin, Benton and Bullard helped Alcovy to a 7-4 record in 2013 as the Tigers battled for the Region 8-AAAAAA crown until the final weekend of the regular season.

“It’s exciting,” Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said. “I think this program has really come on and it has gotten better faster than I thought it would. You can see that with our three guys signing today. I’m very proud of them and I know they will be able to carry over their success to college.

“I hope that they’ve learned that success is earned through hard work,” he said. “They have done the right things in the classroom and on the field and success has been a work in progress for them. Today, they get to continue that.”

Godwin and Benton will continue their football careers with the Mountaineers after terrorizing opposing offenses this season.

At linebacker, Godwin finished second in total tackles for the Tigers in 2013, recording 80 total tackles.

Godwin tallied 53 solo tackles, while assisting on 27 others. Godwin also recovered a fumble for Alcovy, while grabbing five interceptions against opposing quarterbacks. The senior also finished with a team-high two scores on defense.

Godwin earned first team all-region honors for his efforts this past season.

Along the defensive line, Benton amassed 96 total tackles.

The senior recorded 77 solo tackles, while assisting on 27 others. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end finished 2013 with an outstanding 25 tackles-for-loss, including 15 sacks and three forced fumbles.

Benton also received first team all-region honors and was named The News Defensive Player of the Year.

“Today was great,” Godwin said. “Appalachian State is where I want to play at for the next four years. It’s close to home and has been good to Georgia players in the past. I also get to continue to play with one of my teammates. It will be good to keep that friendship going.”

Benton also said that the possibility to playing with Godwin played heavily in both of their decisions.

“I’m excited to go to App State and fight for playing time,” Benton said. “App State felt like home. Okon and I had planned to play together. We’ve been playing together since we were really little and we wanted to keep that going.”

The Mountaineers went 4-8 overall last season and 4-4 in Southern Conference play in their first year transitioning into Division I football. Appalachian State won three consecutive Football Championship Subdivision titles from 2005-07 and will be eligible for FBS postseason play in 2015.

Bullard also announced his intentions of joining the Falcons of the United States Air Force Academy.

The defensive back finished 2013 with 19 total tackles, including 14 solo takedowns. Bullard grabbed five interceptions this past season, while recording eight knockdowns. Bullard also had a touchdown on defense for the Tigers.

The 2013 first team all-region member said that it was going to be an honor playing for the Falcons.

“It’s a great school and a great honor,” Bullard said. “They really seemed dedicated to my success. I get to play Division I football and earn a degree from a great establishment. It was a great fit for me.”

The Falcons went 2-10 overall last season.