It was a busy National Signing Day at Aberdeen High School last Wednesday as four Bulldogs signed their national letters of intent to play at the next level.
Wide receiver Jerrick Orr signed with Northwest, quarterback Tramonte Prather with Northeast and Tay Carothers and B.J. Williams both with ICC.
“I'm very proud of all of them,” Aberdeen coach Eric Spann said. “They each weighed their decisions and for the most part, they all made their own decisions. They asked questions from various people, but I'm most proud of them for making their own decisions. Any of them could have went anywhere, and we're going to support them all we can.”
Orr, one of the state's leading wide receivers, was a Daily Journal All-Area selection as a senior. He originally committed to Memphis, but said he sees Northwest as a place where he can grow as a player.
“It was the best visit I went on. When I left there, right away I felt like it was home, and that was where I wanted to be,” Orr said. “I want to help them repeat again. These two years, I want to work on my game and on getting an education so I can go where I need to go to.”
Orr had 73 catches for 1,223 yards and 16 touchdowns. He accounted for 21 total touchdowns, playing on both sides of the ball. As a defensive back, he came up with four interceptions.
“Jerrick chose Northwest, and I think the quarterback there led to a big part of his decision,” Spann said. “Their success there also helped out.”
Prather, a dual-threat quarterback for the Bulldogs, will be listed as an athlete at Northeast and could see himself in a variety of roles.
“I love the coaching staff at Northeast, especially Coach (Kareem) Moore, and I felt like I was at home when I first went there,” Prather said. “I love the group of guys that is down there, and I feel like I can do anything when I get there. I want them to work on me while I'm there, become a better player and get to the next level. I think a lot of people doubted me going into this year that I couldn't be like our last quarterback and that we weren't good enough. I showed them then, and I hope I can do the same at Northeast.”
Prather passed for 2,392 yards and 27 touchdowns and also rushed for another 683 yards and 12 scores. On defense, he had 70 total tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
“Tramonte is a great leader for us, a one-year quarterback but as good as we've had in several years,” Spann said. “I'm proud of him because he's going to get a shot on playing both sides of the ball up there.”
The duo of Williams and Carothers should both become key pieces for ICC on defense, with Williams at safety and Carothers at linebacker.
“B.J. and Tay both should be factors early at ICC,” Spann said. “Tay is going to be a strong fit for them on defense, and I think B.J. is going to be good for them on that side of the ball as well at safety.”
On defense, Williams tied for the team lead with four interceptions, one of those a pick-six. He had 30 total tackles. On offense, he hauled in 42 catches for 596 yards and four touchdowns.
“The facilities are great at ICC, and they showed us around and really made us feel like we were at home,” Williams said. “I feel more comfortable going with a teammate because I know I'll have someone who has my back. I'd like to get better next year at safety, at playing defense.”
Carothers was one of the main leaders on defense in a bruising linebacking corps, ranking second with 136 total tackles, a whopping 40 of those for loss. He ranked first with 15 sacks, two fumble recoveries and four caused.
“The coach came to the school and kept in great touch with us, talked to my parents and really made me know that's where I wanted to be,” Carothers said. “To go there, with B.J. means a lot because he's my best friend. I want to become a better defender while I'm there, work on tackling drills and feetwork, and just be a better player in general.”