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Wells, Wallace college bound
Caleb Williams
Caleb Williams squeezes between friends Khiry Wallace (left) and Tyler Wells (right) as pictures were taken after Wednesday's signing ceremony in the Effingham County gym lobby. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD -- Effingham County's football program picked up a pair of important off-the-field victories Wednesday morning.

Seniors Tyler Wells and Khiry Wallace made their college decisions official, inking national letters of intent to attend Gettysburg College and Savannah State University, respectively.

"We have two unbelievable young men signing today and I am certainly honored to have everybody here with us," Rebels head coach John Ford said at the start of a signing ceremony in the Effingham County gym lobby. "It takes a village. No man is an island.

"This is a highlight day for me."

Ford lauded the effort and dedication Wells and Wallace displayed during their Rebels careers. He voiced appreciation for their supporters, too, including parents and youth league coaches

""Football takes a lot of time, football takes a lot of sacrifice and football takes a lot of commitment, and it takes it from a lot of people," he said. 

Wells, a 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, is set to play for the NCAA Division III Bullets based in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He can bench press 310 pounds and run the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds.

"Tyler had an unbelievable year for us," Ford said while reflecting on his team's 6-4 finish in 2021, which included a playoff berth. "He was (All-Region 2-AAAAAA) as a defensive back and as a punter. He's a multi-sport athlete (baseball).

"He is everything that is good and great about being a high school football coach. As great as tangibles are, his intangibles are of a great quality. He is a fantastic player, a better student, an even more elite young man and we are honored to watch him sign."

Wells expressed supreme appreciation for the chance to keep playing football.

"I would just like to, first, thank God for giving me this amazing opportunity," Wells said, "and I would like to thank my family for being very supportive in everything that I have done. I would like to thank my coaches performing to turn me into the player I am today and I would like to thank my teammates for always having my back ..."

Wallace, 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, starred at wide receiver and defensive back for the Rebels. He earned all-region recognition at both positions.

"I'm so proud of the young man that you are," Ford said while introducing him. "... He's a multi-sport athlete (basketball). He sports a 3.7 GPA."

Before addressing the audience, Wallace smiled brightly while putting on a blue Savannah State cap. The nearby Tigers are a member of NCAA Division II.

"I ain't going lie," he joked as the crowd applauded loudly. "I don't like talking in front of people but ....  I want to thank God for everything. I want to thank my family for supporting me and I want to thank my teammates and my coaches ..."