TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The early signing period kicked off November 11th for all sports but football, and several area stand-outs took advantage of it.
At Florida A&M DRS, girls basketball player Jazmine Jones signed her letter of intent with Louisville. The guard, who led the Baby Rattlers to the Class 2A State Championship last season, turned down offers from the likes of Baylor, Miami, and Florida State to become a Cardinal.
Jones said the decision to turn down the Seminoles was tough, as head coach Sue Semrau had recruited her since the 8th grade. Jones said she was happy with her decision, and excited to become a Cardinal.
"There's no words for it. It's so surreal," she said. "In 8th grade, when I first figured out okay, I'm going to be a big time recruit, everybody is going to come at me. I finally made my decision now, finally got pen to the paper, and it's just amazing. I feel really humbled, blessed, and it's just amazing."
Basketball players weren't the only athletes to take advantage of the early signing period. Area baseball players also put pen to paper, and two Leon County athletes chose to stay local and attend Florida A&M.
Leon High's Russell Rauh and Godby Cougar Will Brooks both signed the dotted line on Thursday. Rauh, a catcher and first baseman who said he'll primarily be behind the plate, and Brooks, an outfielder, both said they're excited about playing close to home and donning orange and green.
"It was the overall atmosphere," said Brooks of his decision to become a Rattler. "I love the vibe and the coach, he was so nice. He appreciated what I could bring to the table and he understood me as a player, understood my game and that really made me feel good and welcome at the school."
"They're really on the come up right now," agreed Rauh. "They won their division last year, had another great recruiting class this year, and mine was pretty good as well. Only good things from here, so I'm excited about it."
Another area baseball player signed a Division I scholarship on Thursday, but to wear garnet and gold. North Florida Christian ace Cole Ragans inked with Florida State, something he said has always been his dream.
Ragans, a left handed pitcher, led the Eagles to a 3A State Runner-up finish last season, racking up 94 strikeouts in 62.2 innings of work with a .89 ERA.