Local athletes sign to play football at College of Faith

DACUSVILLE — The College of Faith had a good day recently, signing 10 players from the Upstate.

Seven of those players came from the Carolina Wildcats, an independent high school team from Dacusville which has players from home-school, private school and public schools. College of Faith is a Bible-centered college located in Charlotte, N.C.

College of Faith coach LeDell Richardson was on hand to witness the signing and expressed his desire to partner with schools in the Upstate.

“We are a new program going into our third year of existence and are trying to reach out into the Upstate, where there are some great athletes,” Richardson said. “I feel like we picked up some playmakers today and am anxious to get ready for next season.”

The players signing from the Carolina Wildcats were Chad Hayes, Lane Nabors, DeAndre Gamble, JaQwan Martin, JaQuez Butler, Tony Whitley and Reuben Jones. Also signing were Mike Gray (Liberty), Blair Tolbert (Carolina) and Devonta Ellis (Wren).

“Most of these players will be enrolling in January so we can get them in for spring practice,” Richardson said. “With players like DeAndre Gamble and Lane Nabors on the offensive side of the ball and Reuben Jones and JaQuez Butler on the defensive side, these guys can come and contribute right away.

“(Wildcats) coach Mark Knight stresses fundamentals and has a track record over the years of getting guys to the next level and them succeeding. These young men are winners and come from an excellent program in the Wildcats. Coach Knight also helped us grab some other players from the public schools in the area due to his desire to see young men succeed and his contacts. I am excited for our program.

Gamble finished the season with 1,545 all-purpose yards and finished third in the nation in interceptions with 10. Nabors finished with 543 receiving yards and six touchdowns while averaging 21.3 yards per catch. Hayes finished with 31 solo tackles and three sacks. Martin, who runs a sub-4.4 in the 40-yard dash, finished the season with 1,100 all-purpose yards. Jones led the way on defense with 65 solo tackles. Whitley anchored the offensive line with 15 pancake blocks.

“I am proud of these young men and their commitment to an education,” Knight said. “It is a great day not only for the Wildcats but for these young men and their families seeing a piece of their dreams come true. Myself and my staff could not be more proud.”