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National Signing Day: CMSD student-athletes announce college choices

CMSD celebrated the athletic accomplishments of 14 high school seniors Wednesday but reveled even more in the fact that they are headed for college.
Fourteen student-athletes (see list below) announced their selections of colleges and universities as part of National Letter of Intent Signing Day. A dozen sat before media and beaming parents as they signed their commitments in unison and donned ballcaps bearing the logos of their chosen schools.
District Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon told the crowd the event was significant enough that he moved a weekly meeting of senior leadership to the same building -- CMSD's Bratenahl training center -- so the administrators could witness the occasion.
"It's great to see this table get longer every year," he said, referring to the table where the athletes were seated. "This is what the Senate Athletic League is for."
Two of the students attend John Hay Campus, while the others have competed for Glenville High School. Both schools made the state football playoffs this past season, with Glenville finishing as Division II runner-up.
One of the students has received a track scholarship; the rest got theirs for football. OSU football recruit Marcelys Jones is already enrolled at the university.
Speakers thanked parents for guiding their children through school. District Athletics Commissioner Leonard Jackson told the student-athletes to set their priorities and not let others define who they are.
Glenville running back Devine Redding, who also celebrated a birthday Wednesday, is headed for the University of Inidana.
Devine, who stands 5-foot-11, weighs 210 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds, hopes to see time on the football field as a freshman. In the classroom, he will study entrepreneurship and plans to eventually start a small business.
Playing for Indiana would pit him against three Glenville classmates -- Marshon Lattimore, Erick Smith and Jones -- who have committed to play for Big 10 power Ohio State. He smiled at the thought of being on opposing teams.
"You got to do what you got to do," he said in an interview. "We're all going to be friends, but we're going to compete."
Glenville defensive back Erik Simpson will join the Kent State football team as a safety but hopes to play cornerback so he can "use my athleticism." He credited his success to support from his parents, Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr. and "all my loved ones."
Off the field, he said: "I'm planning to study engineering or aeronautics, but I'm going in undecided and will debate between the two."
Ginn estimated that in 17 years of coaching, he has sent more than 300 athletes on to college. He said more than 40 have played for Ohio State and other Big 10 schools, making Glenville the largest source of talent for the conference in the country.
Ginn, a father figure to his players, said the student-athletes must remember that they are only "one slip-up" away from losing all they have worked for and that they have to stay focused.
"Our children, there is so much noise out there," he said after the ceremony. "You've got to fight."
 Similar news conferences were scheduled around Northeast Ohio (though threatened by the heavy snow), where more than 50 football players were expected to commit to Division I colleges. See coverage on

Here's the list of Senate scholar-athletes who announced their signings Wednesday.

John Hay
Vincent Ellis          Football       Notre Dame College
Dale Rodick           Football       Lake Erie College


Davon Anderson        Track          Ohio State University
Aaron Ivory                 Football     University of Findlay
Tyree Farrier              Football      Hiram College
Marshon Lattimore   Football     Ohio State University
Marcelys Jones          Football     Ohio State University
Erick Smith                 Football     Ohio State University
Darius Lewis              Football       Notre Dame College
Devine Redding         Football       University of Indiana
Quan Robinson          Football       Kent State University
Erik Simpson              Football       Kent State University
 Kris Brown                Football       College of Mt. St. Joseph (Cincinnati)
Lorenzo Burgess        Football       Northeastern A&M (Miami, Okla.)