Kennesaw State’s football program will have a heavy Callaway Cavalier feel to it.
Kennesaw State, a brand-new program that will play its first game in 2015, inked its first full signing class on Wednesday.
Five of those players were seniors on the Callaway High football team that went 12-2 last season and made it to the Class AAA semifinals.
Offensive lineman Brandon Sutton committed to Kennesaw State last summer, and one by one, the other Callaway players decided that’s where they’d like to make their college home as well.
Joining Sutton at Kennesaw State will be Deon Smith, Devon Rosser, J’Lynn Allen and Pedy Leverette.
Also on Wednesday, two other Callaway players announced their decisions.
Dante Lindsey is heading to Point University, and Quantavius “Nooney” Anderson will play for Garden City Community College in Kansas.
KeShun Freeman, who was an early signee at Georgia Tech and is already enrolled in school there, was also a part of Wednesday’s ceremony so he could support his teammates.
Sutton, a three-year starter at Callaway, decided last summer he wanted to go to Kennesaw State, and he never wavered on that commitment.
Now he’ll have a bunch of familiar faces with him when he heads off to college.
“Ever since I committed back in the summer, I feel like more and more guys feel like this is the place to be, this is where they want to go,” Sutton said. “I’ll be able to go to school with guys I know, with friends.”
Allen, part of Callaway’s outstanding defensive line, said “it’s going to be really special” to have a handful of teammates with him at Kennesaw State.
“I’m not going to be by myself. I’ll have some other people with me,” Allen said. “It’s going to be pretty good.”
Leverette, who played defensive back and wide receiver, said he “felt right at home” at Kennesaw State, and he’s thrilled that he’ll be able to keep playing with some of his teammates.
“It’ll be fun to keep playing with them, take a winning tradition to Kennesaw State,” Leverette said. “I’m excited about the chance to play on another level. It’s been a dream of mine.”
Smith, a defensive lineman, said “it’s going to be a great experience” playing at Kennesaw State with some fellow Cavaliers.
“Being with my teammates again, and having the opportunity to play with them, it’s a blessing,” Smith said. “I had other choices. But I went to Kennesaw, and I was very impressed with the facilities and everything. It’s a great coaching staff. The sky’s the limit for them, and that’s why I chose them.”
Rosser, a fullback who was a key part of the Cavaliers’ high-powered offense, said the players are looking forward to testing themselves at the college level.
“We started really since our eighth-grade year,” Rosser said. “And we get to start at another level. It’s a great feeling.”
Lindsey, a defensive back, will join the Point University program which is heading into its third season.
Anderson, a defensive lineman, will head to Kansas to play for a strong Garden City Community College program.
Two other Callaway players, including quarterback Tez Parks, have offers but have yet to make a decision.
So 10 members of an exceptional senior class, the most successful class in school history, will likely end up playing college football.
“It’s a great group of kids. They represent our program so well,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “I’m just proud for each young man, and I’m proud for their families. They’ll go on, and I know they’ll have success.”
During the 2013 season, those seniors helped the Cavaliers come within two victories of a state championship.
In the semifinals, Callaway had a halftime lead before falling to Buford 24-14.
“I’m just proud for the season that these guys have helped us attain, as far as 12-2, and we made it to the semifinals, and another region title,” Wiggins said. “These guys were the leaders of our football team. They’ve worked extremely hard on and off the field, and I’m really proud of them.”