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It’s Albany State time for Miller; Truett McConnell lands Johnson
Barrett Miller and Dustin Johnson
Garrett Miller (left) and Dustin Johnson pause for a camera during Friday's signing session. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD — A couple more student-athletes have emerged from Effingham County’s college pipeline.

During a Friday morning ceremony in their school’s gym lobby, pitcher Garrett Miller and catcher Dustin Johnson signed national letters of intent to attend Albany State University and Truett McConnell University, respectively.

“We are very excited this morning for Garrett and Dustin,” said Matt Huntley, Effingham County’s athletic director. “They have worked very hard and put in a lot of hard work, sweat and tears to get to this point.”

Less than two months ago, Rebels Merritt Evans and Chrys Hawkins inked with Erskine College and Berry College, respectively. In addition, several of their former teammates earned college scholarships last year.

“... being my second year here, it has been a privilege to be able to spend these two years with these young men as well as the other ones who were part of our program,” Rebels head coach Chris Johnson said. “These guys are great examples of the kind of young me we want to bring out of our baseball program.”

Coach Johnson lauded the work ethic and attentiveness of his latest signees.

“Every single day at school, there are never any issues,” he said. 

The coach said the players’ approach is the same whether they are in the weight room or the classroom.

“They kind of set the standard of expectations for our younger guys each and every day, and we are very thankful for both of them,” Coach Johnson said. “I know they are going to do some great things and represent our school and our community, and our baseball program very, very well as they move on down the road. I’m sure you will hear of even better things for them in the future.”

After the players thanked audience members for their support, Huntley reminded them that they still have some business to tend to at Rebel Field.

“You have a big reputation to keep up with from last year,” he said.