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Local stars ready to accept football scholarships
NASH COUNTY -- Today is D-day for college-bound high school football players nationwide.

Most of them will call it a day of relief.

The phone calls, the letters and the home visits will all end today as six Nash County high school football players were slated to sign national letters-of-intent with the college of their choice. And all four county schools are represented.

At Southern Nash, defensive end Kwamaine Battle will sign with ACC power Virginia Tech. Battle gave the Hokies his verbal commitment before the start of the 2006 season.

Teammate offensive lineman Nick Williams will play his college ball at Western Carolina. Both Firebird standouts played important parts in helping the Tar Heels win the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas back in December.

Northern Nash defensive lineman Steven Baker, the tallest player in the county at 6-foot-8, will sign with resurgent East Carolina. Also headed to Pirate land is Nash Central defensive standout/tight end Maurice Mercer.

Like Southern Nash, Rocky Mount will see two of its players sign on the dotted line today.

Offensive linemen Nazir Levine and Kendall Noble, who helped the Gryphons set a school record for total offense last season, are taking their talents to the next level. Noble will sign with Norfork State, while Levine was the last of the six to make his decision.

A campus visit last weekend has helped him decide on Winston-Salem State. WSSU, a former member of the Div. II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), is making the move to Division I.

Levine won't be lonesome when he joins the Rams. Waiting to welcome him will be former RMHS standouts Bryant Bayne, Wayne Noble Jr. and Brian Jones - all rising red-shirt sophomores in the program next season.

It's just the first day players can sign with college programs. Many other county players may sign later this spring. Rocky Mount head coach B.W. Holt expects at least five more of his graduating seniors will play college ball.

Holt says that linemen Darrius Dubose and C.J. Ford, back Demetric Marshall, quarterback Jason Tyler and defensive back Hakeem Taylor should all sign sometime in the coming weeks.

Dubose is undecided and Ford seems to be leaning toward St. Augustine's. Marshall is getting major looks from Gardner-Webb. Tyler is may wind up at Norfolk State, while Taylor might be headed to N.C. A &T in Greensboro.

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