By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
A fab five for Mustangs
Quintet of school's football players ink letters of intent
02.07 sehs five sign
Surrounded by family and coaches, Jeff Hamilton, Jareb Tomberlin, Cody Miller, Frank King and Josh Jackson pose for a ceremonial group signing Wednesday at South Effingham High School. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

Signing day at SEHS

Celebrating national signing day as five players from South Effingham High School.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

It’s the day, maybe short of winning state championships or maybe even next to it, that high school coaches dream about.

South Effingham High football coach Greg Manior stood behind five of his seniors as one by one they signed letters of intent Wednesday to play college football. Three Mustangs seniors — Jeff Hamilton, Josh Jackson and Frank King — will be teammates at Mississippi College. Jareb Tomberlin is headed to Albany State University and Cody Miller is taking flight to Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Air Force Academy.

“This day feels great,” Manior said. “This is one of the best days I’ve had as a coach. You’ve got guys who now believe what you’re telling them. They know they can go to college and play the game they love.

“I’m proud of these five guys.”

Miller, a defensive end who led the Mustangs in 2007 with 89 tackles, is chomping at the bit to play for the Falcons.

“It’s incredible getting to play (Division) I-A football,” he said. “This is where I feel at home.”

Miller and his family visited the Air Force campus three weeks ago and he fell in love with the mountainous surroundings and environment.

“It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen,” he said.

He also liked the facilities Air Force has under coach Troy Calhoun, including an indoor 80-yard practice field and a 27,000 square foot weight room.

“I’ve been to Georgia, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, and their facilities are the best I’ve seen by far,” Miller said.

Playing in the conference such as the Mountain West and getting to face the competition the Falcons will go up against soon — they have Florida State, Oklahoma and Wake Forest on their 2008 schedule — also was a drawing card. The Falcons went 9-4, losing to California 42-36 in the Armed Forces Bowl.

“They’ll give me a good challenge,” Miller said.

So will Air Force’s academics, and Miller noted the school is ranked No. 1 in that category for colleges west of the Mississippi River.

“Why would I not go there?” he said.

Teammates Hamilton, Jackson and King are looking forward to being teammates as members of the Choctaws football team at the Clinton, Miss., school.

“It’s one of the most exciting days of my life,” said King, a defensive lineman at South Effingham will play middle linebacker for Mississippi College.

Said Hamilton: “It’s extremely exciting. I know I’m getting to play at the next level and with some of my teammates.”

Hamilton, the Mustangs’ quarterback, said knowing he had teammates headed to Mississippi College helped make up his mind.

“I was indecisive on going that far,” he said. “But when I found out they were going, it eased my mind.”

Like his two once and future teammates, Jackson, a defensive back, welcomes the familiar company.

“You get to go off and prevent from being homesick,” he said. “It’s pretty good to have them come along.”

Tomberlin will play tight end for the Rams and doesn’t have as far to go as his fellow Mustangs.

“It’s just good to know it’s over with and I know where I’m going,” he said.

Manior said he hopes to have another three or four players sign soon. The group that signed Wednesday not only showed they had the skill on the field but also proved it in the classroom and that made it a lot easier to make their case with recruiters.

“It was a no-brainer,” he said. “I know they won’t regret it.”