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National Signing Day: Alcovy's trio of football signees spurs program optimism
Quindrelin Hammonds prepares to sign with members of his family looking on. - photo by Gabriel Stovall

COVINGTON, Ga. — If you want to gauge just how big National Signing Day was for Alcovy’s football program, don’t just look at the three Tiger athletes who signed national letters of intent on Wednesday. 
Listen to the chatter that peppered the Alcovy High School auditorium before Wednesday’s festivities began. That’s what Alcovy coach Chris Edgar did anyway. 

“As kids were coming into the auditorium before we got started, I heard some guys saying, ‘That’s gonna be me. That’s gonna be me next year,’” Edgar said. “So I’m excited for that aspect as a program. It gives the guys in the auditorium hope and goals.” 

As for Quindrelin Hammonds, Stephon Jefferson and Kameron Phuong, its mission accomplished, as all three Alcovy seniors inked their scholarship letters before a crowd of coaches, students, teammates and their family members. 

Hammonds signed with Army, while Jefferson and Phuong will head to Highland Community College (Kansas) and Dean College (Massachusetts) respectively. 

The fact that the Alcovy trio will all be continuing their careers outside the state of Georgia adds an extra flair to the festivities. 

“This is actually the first truly national aspect to a signing day that we’ve had in a while,” Edgar said. “One’s going to Massachusetts, one’s going to Kansas and one’s going to Army West Point — that truly makes it a national signing day, and I’m extremely proud of them for going after these opportunities, and not necessarily being content to stay at home, but willing to out on their own as good, strong young men.” 

Edgar cited 2014 as the last time Alcovy’s seen a group of guys go beyond state lines to play collegiately. That’s when linebacker Okon Godwin signed with Appalachian State in North Carolina while Robert Bullard took his talents to Air Force. 

Edgar says there’s a good chance that a handful more players will add their names to the 2018 signing class over the next few weeks. He sees this year’s class as one that’s been a pivotal piece to the program’s ongoing rebuilding project.

“These guys have worked really, really hard, and they’ve helped to stem the tide of this program,” Edgar said. “These three guys are some of the most stoic guys I have. They don’t show pain, don’t show weakness, and I say that as a strength.” 

Speaking of strengths, Edgar is already looking ahead to what he believes will be a strong 2019 class. With players such as Cameron Anderson, Jaylen Banks, Bryson Wilcox, Nick Simmons, James Adams, Gavin Fletcher and Logan Wyatt, Edgar believes that the best for Alcovy football is certainly ahead. 

“That ’19 class is extremely talented,” he said. “Not only are they excellent football players, but they are doing the work in the classroom as well. We’ve already got qualifiers who have taken the ACT and SAT. Some have done it as sophomores. They’re getting attention as guys are coming through. I’d hate so single one guy out and leave one out, but imagine this class is gonna be a good, solid representation. And hopefully we’ll be able to keep making this a yearly thing.”