HIALEAH, FL – It used to be that the first Wednesday of February was when the dreams of football players around the country came true and fax machines became relevant again.
Now, with the advent of the NCAA Early Signing Period (the third Wednesday of December), those dreams are being realized a bit sooner.
ASA College Miami had five players sign their national letters of intent Wednesday morning in the school’s football offices.
Silver Storm offensive lineman Logan Gunderson headlined the group as the 6-foot-6, 300-pound mauler signed with Florida International University.
Also signing at the school Wednesday was linebacker/safety Ryan Henry, who signed with Old Dominion University; defensive back Darrell Malone signed with Wagner College; offensive lineman Alexzander Feliz signed with Kennesaw State University, and defensive back Tomas Ward signed with Albany State University.
A handful of Silver Storm players elected to have their own ceremonies to announce their signings. ASA offensive lineman Jordan Perri signed with Southwestern Oklahoma State University Wednesday while defensive lineman William Noah Hancock (University of Central Florida) and defensive back Ahmad Lyons (Wagner College) are planning to announce their signings by Wednesday evening.
Gunderson, Feliz, and Perri were a part of an ASA offensive line that paved the way for 1,057 rushing yards, 23 touchdowns on the ground, and 49 rushing first downs this past season.
ASA Miami head coach Chris Boden spoke highly of his former offensive linemen.
"Logan is everything you look for athletically on the offensive line. His ceiling is extremely high and he still has three years to play at FIU,” Boden said. “Alex is a great offensive lineman…very athletic and smart. He can play guard or center and he’s going to be a great fit at KSU. Jordan is also a versatile offensive lineman who can play multiple positions. He’s a hard-worker who has three years to play.”
Henry was one of the most disruptive players on ASA Miami’s defense this year. The Miami Southridge High School product recorded five sacks, an interception, blocked a kick and was credited with 18 quarterback hurries.
“Ryan is a very versatile, athletic, and physical player. He can play linebacker, rover or safety and is going to help [Old Dominion] right away,” Boden said.
Hancock was also one of ASA Miami’s more consistent defensive players this season. His natural size (6-foot-4, 285 pounds) and his explosion off the line made him a target for the Knights, college football’s unofficial national champs.
“[Hancock] is a big-time defensive lineman and will be a great fit at UCF. He can play in the interior or on the edge and he’s physically ready to step in and contribute immediately,” Boden said.
Of the three Silver Storm defensive backs moving on – two will continue to play together with Malone and Lyons both signing with Wagner College.
All three proved themselves to be game-changers. Each one recorded interceptions this year, with Ward notching a team-high four picks.
"Darrell is an exceptional cover defensive back who can play corner or Safety. Ahmad was our leader on defense. He can play anywhere in the defensive backfield. He is a great athlete and a better person. Wagner is getting two great players," Boden said.
"Tomas is a very skilled cover corner and did a great job this year for us. Albany State is getting a great player and a great person.”