Local players ready to sign
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
A trio of Callaway football players, and one Troup Tiger, will take advantage of the early signing period on Wednesday.
Two years ago, the NCAA created a three-day early-signing period in December, giving high-school players an opportunity to sign a letter of intent with the college of their choice.
Previously, players had to wait until national signing day in February to sign their letter of intent.
Three of the local players signing on Wednesday are heading to Auburn University.
Among those players is Troup’s Kobe Hudson, who committed to Auburn in April of 2018 and has remained steadfast in his commitment since then.
Hudson was a wide receiver his first two seasons at Troup, and he was the quarterback the past two years.
Hudson, who is slated to be a wide receiver at Auburn, has also been a defensive back for the Tigers.
During his commitment ceremony last year, Hudson said the comfort level he had with head coach Gus Malzahn helped convince him that Auburn was the place for him.
“We’ve got a good relationship,” Hudson said. “We go up there, and he treats me like I’m already a part of the program. I feel at home every time I go up there. It’s not just about football, it’s about relationships. They build a relationship with all the players. Everybody’s got a good relationship with all the coaches.”
Hudson’s best season from a statistical standpoint came as a junior when he helped lead Troup to the state semifinals.
Hudson threw for 3,386 yards with 32 touchdowns, and he also ran for 1,410 yards with 18 touchdowns.
Two Callaway players, running back Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby and offensive lineman Tate Johnson, are also going to sign with Auburn.
Bigsby is one of the country’s most highly-rated running backs, and he’s coming off an extraordinary senior season.
Bigsby ran for 1,636 yards on 143 carries, good for 11.4 yards a carry, and he scored 27 touchdowns.
In his final game, a 39-35 loss to Brooks County in the Class AA semifinals, Bigsby had 270 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns.
As a junior, Bigsby ran for 2,221 yards with 22 touchdowns.
Bigsby committed to Auburn in August, and after making his announcement he said “it felt like home. It felt like I was a member of the family.”
A man who has blocked for Bigsby the past two seasons, offensive lineman Tate Johnson, is also going to sign with Auburn.
Johnson made his decision during the summer, and he hasn’t wavered on his commitment.
“Auburn is a huge SEC program, and that’s mixed with the fact that at Auburn, I truly feel a family atmosphere,” Johnson said. “It’s a true brotherhood between teammates. And it’s only 45 minutes from home. It was just the perfect fit for me.”
At Auburn, Bigsby and Johnson will re-unite with a former teammate, Keiondre Jones.
Jones just completed his first season at Auburn, and he’ll be a red-shirt freshman in 2020.
“He’s super-excited,” Johnson said of Jones. “That’s what he’s wanted the whole time, but he backed off and let me make my own decision. It’s great that we’ll get to be teammates for another few years. We’re really close, so it’ll be good to have that bond on the offensive line.”
Another early signee is Callaway’s Jacob Freeman, who committed to Georgia State last weekend.
Freeman was a big-play for the Cavaliers, and he had 11 touchdown receptions as a senior.
OF NOTE: For full signing-day coverage, check out Thursday’s sports section.