Wednesday must have been special.
Antonio Doyle ditched his Crocs.
A senior linebacker for the Lutheran North football team, Doyle passed on his rubber shoes for a pair of fresh, crispy white Nike Air Force 1s to compliment his outfit.
“I've only worn them two or three times,” Doyle said with a grin.
Wednesday was national signing day, the first day senior high school football players could sign binding national letters of intent with an NCAA Division I program. The early signing period runs through Friday.
It's a life-changing day across the country but has a little extra oomph at Lutheran North. It's a measuring stick for the success of the program coach Carl Reed has billed as “Scholarship High.”
Three Crusaders made it official. Doyle signed with Texas A&M. Linebacker Itayvion “Tank” Brown stayed true to his commitment to Minnesota. Defensive back Cameron Griffin signed with Western Michigan. Six more seniors are expected to sign in February during the next signing period. When it's all said and done Reed expects every senior on his team to be headed to the next level to play football in some shape or form.
“It's what we really do it for. This is more important. This is what winning really is. This is winning a championship,” Reed said. “I know people like wins and they want to talk about who wins state championships and all that. I've said it from the beginning, that's not what we care about. This is what we care about.”
Reed makes a simple promise. If you put in the work in the classroom, the weight room and on the field you will have a place to play at the next level. Not all them are going to go Division I, but they'll all have a chance to continue playing the game they love and get a college degree.