Four Opelika football players ink collegiate scholarships Wednesday

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Robert Noles/Opelika Observer Opelika senior Jamias Presley signs his scholarship to play with Jacksonville State last Wednesday as Coach Caleb Ross observes. Presley will compete for playing time in the Gamecock secondary this fall.

By Morgan Bryce

Associate Editor

Four Opelika High School seniors inked scholarships during college football’s ‘National Signing Day’ last Wednesday.

Hundreds of people packed into the school’s indoor practice facility to witness the ceremony, which was led by Coach Caleb Ross.

Below is a list of information about the four signees:

Offensive tackle Deandre Butler waited until Signing Day to announce his decision. Butler, right guard and three-year starter for the Bulldogs, signed with Jacksonville State. Originally a University of Alabama at Birmingham commit, Butler flipped, signing with the school because of how the Gamecock coaching staff handled his recruitment. “… just how the coaches recruited me and how much they made me a priority to them,” Butler said. This fall, Butler said he expects to compete for playing time at tackle and center, in addition to his natural position of guard.

Cornerback Justin Lewis announced his intention to sign with the University of Massachusetts in December, and finalized that last Wednesday. After fielding offers from UMass, Kentucky Wesleyan and North Alabama, Lewis said he selected the Minutemen because of the school’s warm atmosphere. “When I went up there, they treated me like family. I felt like it was my home. “When I went up there, they treated me like family. I felt like it was my home,” Lewis said. Lewis will join a secondary that finished 42nd out of 129 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams in 2017, allowing 17 total touchdowns and an average of 207 yards passing per game.

Free safety/cornerback Jamias Presley waited until Wednesday to announce that he would join Butler as a Jacksonville State commit. Presley said he too enjoyed how he was recruited and signed with the school because of its strong tradition and rising prominence on the national college football landscape. “I felt comfortable there. And coming from Opelika, we have a winning program and Jacksonville State has a winning program … I like the challenge,” Presley said. “Being a top-level (program), I can get better as a person and an athlete. I figured that would be the best (place) for me.” Presley added that he has a good chance to contribute to the Gamecocks as a freshman this fall.

– Defensive lineman Callahan Saggus finalized his commitment with the University of West Alabama. Saggus said he signed with the school because of its solid program and academics. “I felt that it was a place where I could get a good education, go for the degree I wanted and come in and be a part of a good team. They have a very good program down there.” The 6-foot-5 Saggus will compete for the noseguard spot on the Tigers’ defensive line this fall. He added that he will major in business management.

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