(Left to Right) Kilgore, Walker, Smith and Harris sign their commitments to play college football. (Erin Gaul)
(Left to Right) Kilgore, Walker, Smith and Harris sign their commitments to play college football.

Erin Gaul

Decatur athletes commit to college level

March 6, 2019

On March 6, 2019, four Decatur senior athletes committed to playing football at the university level with a traditional signing of commitment.

Senior football-players Martize Smith, RJ Walker, Hunter Harris and Antonio Kilgore were surrounded by their friends, family, teachers and coaches as they took the next step before playing football for the next four years.

Senior Martize Smith, who has played football at Decatur since he was a freshman will be attending the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky next year. Smith is excited about what the next four years entails, but he still holds some reservations about it.

Martize Smith places a Cumberland hat on his head, a tradition at college signings.

“I am very nervous to be signing because I’m giving the next four years of my life to somewhere that I am not used to being at all,” he said.

Smith will be joined at Cumberlands by Kilgore who signed at the same time and Marcus Hood, Andre Carter and Chris Stephens, who all signed a month earlier on February 6.

Smith and Kilgore were indecisive about Cumberland until learning about Hood, Carter and Stephen’s commitment to the university. The group had formed quite the family over their time on the varsity team together, Kilgore said.

RJ Walker, who had recently moved to Decatur found it difficult to adapt to the team especially with a string of injuries last year. However, Walker committed to Presbyterian College and his excitement for his next step was doubtless.

RJ Walker placing the hat on his head, to his right is Antonio Kilgore who broke his ankle during his final football season at Decatur.

“It’s a long time coming, I’ve put a lot of work into it, a lot of people supported me so I am excited about that,” he said.

Instead of the usual signings of Coach Cory talking about his players, the boys opted to speak for themselves about their time at Decatur.

Harris, who signed to Georgia Prep Academy thanked his mother for her support over the years.

“She always has been there for me and tells me what the best thing to do is, even if I don’t always do it,” he said.

Hunter Harris played basketball for Decatur before tearing his ACL last year, now he is committed to play football at Georgia Prep Sports Academy.

After each of their speeches, the boys put on their individual college’s hats. Except for Harris.

“As I said, God has plans for all of us and unfortunately I ordered my hat too late and He said 4-5 business days,” Harris said.

The crowd of friends and family laughed and applauded as the boys signed their papers, committing to play college football next year.

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