National Signing Day: Football Players


The signing ceremony on February eighth consisted of five football players: Stephen Ellis, Deante Roberts, Corey Stewart, Tyrone Caldwell, and Walter Haire. All of these players are signing contracts securing over half a million dollars as a group.

These student athletes have been leaders on their high school football team. Now they are ready to take on a new challenge. They are taking the first step to a college athletic career in signing with their favorite college.

Many of these athletes will compete against each other rather than with each other. Four of the five student athletes are signing to NAIA colleges that consistently compete together every year.

Stephen Ellis signed with Olivet Nazarene University. He signed following his decommit from St. Joseph’s University. St. Joseph’s is shutting down due to debt. Ellis signed with Olivet because they were everything he was looking for. He really likes the coaching staff and recruiting class. He has visited and enjoyed many other college experiences, but Olivet makes him feel close to home.

Ellis has big goals for his college career. He is ready to make his mark on the football program at Olivet. He is excited to bond with the team and make new friends. He is most excited for “winning a championship” in his college career. This is his main goal through his four years at Olivet. Ellis will bring his positive attitude, leadership abilities, and charisma to the program at Olivet.

Deante Roberts also signed with Olivet Nazarene University. He is ready to do great things alongside Ellis. He wants to start and make all conference every year. He is majoring in graphic design. He plans to lead the team at the linebacker position. He enjoyed the college recruiting process, but he is confident Olivet is the school for him. Roberts really enjoys the “atmosphere” that Olivet presents. He also likes how it is close to home.

Roberts plans to become a leader and captain for the Olivet team. The success of his senior season has given him confidence. He believes the switch to college football will be a challenge, but he is prepared to take that challenge on. Roberts brings strength to a defense at linebacker, and he hopes to help the team on special teams with his long snapping abilities. In this way he hopes to help the team in anyway possible.

Corey Stewart signed with Marian University. Marian won a National Championship title two years ago. They have a great winning tradition and coaching staff. Stewart brings an all around athlete to the program. He has experience playing on offense, defense, and special teams. He excels in every position he plays. Stewart has big plans for his college career. Marian was the “perfect fit for him socially, academically, and athletically”.

Stewart is ready for the next level. He is at the top of his game with an amazing offensive season. He was a star with the ball in his hands and could make a big play at anytime. His hard work in the weightroom and athleticism gives him confidence as he is entering a new program. He is ready for a “fresh start on a new team”.  He wants to make a positive lasting impact on the Marian University Knights.

Tyrone Caldwell signed with St. Francis University. The NAIA school won the National Championship this year.  He is excited to step into a winning program and play his role. He was our star wide receiver and main target on passing plays. He is going to major in biology. He is excited for the chance to be a college student athlete. He takes pride in his academics. His college education means a lot to him, but he loves the game of football.

Caldwell found St. Francis to be the perfect fit. It had “great academics, winning tradition, and amazing benefits”, said Caldwell. He wants to be a part of a championship caliber program. At St. Francis Caldwell plans to become the number one receiver and the quarterback’s favorite target. He wants to bring the best pair of hands St. Francis has seen. With this skill he wants to break records. Caldwell has great goals to strive for in his four years at St. Francis.

Walter Haire signed to Bowling Green State University. Haire is the only football player from the senior class to sign with a division one school. In the first game of the season Haire suffered a compound fracture to his ankle. This injury put him out for the entirety of the season.  Those recruiting him at Bowling Green began to question Haire’s ability for his freshman college season.

They mentioned the possibility of grey shirting him. A grey shirt is when an athlete’s enrollment is postponed to the second semester of their freshman year.Haire has worked hard through rehab. Bowling Green is no longer questioning his ability as he is cleared for all activity. He has earned his scholarship by using that drive and passion to play at a division one level.

Bowling Green was Haire’s perfect fit. “The campus just felt like home” said Haire.  He is excited to play the sport again after missing his senior season. He has overcome adversity on many levels throughout the past year. His drive and passion to succeed will launch him into his freshman season.

The combined accomplishments of these gentlemen are remarkable. They have earned over half a million dollars in scholarship, have nearly one hundred high school sports awards, and they are only getting started. They all have great potential in college. This commitment will direct the next four years of their lives and lead them into their adult life.