BY COLLIN BROOKS
EDITORS NOTE: Family pictures will be featured in the Feb. 8 edition of the News & Neighbor.
Five local football players make their decisions about their college football careers official today. David Crockett’s Ievan Martin, Daniel Boone’s Christian Bowman and Science Hill’s Nakiya Smith, Bryson Tolley and Jake Blankenship.
Ievan Martin signed with UVA-Wise on Wednesday afternoon. The 6-foot-2, 275-pound David Crockett offensive lineman said that he fell in love with the campus right away and the family atmosphere was a big draw. He said he plans on playing offensive line. Martin spent four year with the Pioneers, paving the way for the schools all-time leading rusher.
CHRISTIAN BOWMAN — DANIEL BOONE — SIGNED WITH AUSTIN PEAY
Daniel Boone offensive lineman Christian Bowman made it official with Austin Peay on signing day. He said that being able to pursue football at the Division I level is a dream come true for him and his family. Bowman cleared the way for three 500-yard rushers — including a 1,000 yard rusher — as a center during his senior season.
NAKIYA SMITH — SCIENCE HILL — SIGNED WITH EASTERN KENTUCKY
Nakiya Smith was a 3-year starter for Science Hill at both defensive end and tight end. He said that the EKU staff likes him at defensive endfor the next level. During his time at Science Hill, Smith accounted for 10 career catching touchdowns and two career rushing touchdowns. On defensive, he accounted for 12 sacks and 23 tackles for loss.
BRYSON TOLLEY — SCIENCE HILL — SIGNED WITH TENNESSEE TECH
Bryson Tolley started at linebacker for three seasons at Science Hill and was selected all-state for both his junior and senior seasons. Duringhis career, he accounted for 327 tackles, including 42 tackles for loss. He also had 11 sacks, two interceptions, a blocked punt and a defensive touchdown.
JAKE BLANKENSHIP — SCIENCE HILL — SIGNED WITH EMORY AND HENRY
Jake Blankenship played quarterback and tight end for the Toppers. He accounted forfive touchdown passes and 415 yards during his senior season. Blankenship’s most notable performance was last year when he came into a tight contest against Elizabethton and helped the Toppers claim a victory on the road.