INSIDE THE NUMBERS: National Signing Day Sends 55 Brevard County Athletes To Next Level

By  //  February 5, 2016

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ABOVE VIDEO: Former Palm Bay Pirates RB Brian Lankford Johnson talks with Alan Zlotorzynski about committing to Purdue and his future. (Alan Zlotorzynski Video)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – After months and months of letters, phone calls and campus visits, it’s now over. In the blink of an eye, National Signing Day 2016 has come and gone.

In Brevard County, 55 athletes signed on to play at the next level, as the class of 2016 will be fondly remembered in Brevard County sports lure for their success on and off the playing fields.

The best case one could make for that statement is not even one day after dealing with the pressures of having to sign on the dotted line as the Viera girls’ soccer team, the defending Class 4A State Champion, knocked off the No.1 team in the USA Today Super 25, St. Thomas Aquinas, in the state semifinal, 1-0 and will now defend their title on Friday at Eastern Florida State’s soccer complex.

Jordan Walsh, who committed to play women’s soccer for the Knights at UCF, assisted on the lone goal that help propel the Hawks back to the state finals Friday night.

The sheer amount of time that one parent, player or coach puts into finalizing signing day is amazing.

Of the 55 student athletes that signed on Wednesday, 23 of them will stay in Florida to play their respective sport.

Viera Hawk wide receiver Tre Nixon, who committed to play his college football at Ole Miss last Monday, began last spring with offers from more than 50 schools.

It is important to note that the numbers represented here are only for this day. There are still quite a few Brevard County student athletes that have not committed for one reason or another.

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Here is a unique look at National Signing Day 2016, inside the numbers

55 – Number of Brevard County Students that put pen to paper on Wednesday to play college athletics starting in the fall of 2016.

42  Number of colleges represented for the 55 student athletes.

 Brevard County is a model of consistency in producing top notch student athletes. In 2015, 56 players committed to play college sports, one more than this year.

23  Of the 55 student athletes that signed on Wednesday, 23 of them will stay in Florida to play their respective sport.

28  Football had a successful 2015 season, and as a result, 29 Space Coast players will play college football next year.

25  More than two dozen different colleges will be the new home for Brevard County football players.

 Three schools, Eastern Kentucky University, the Florida Tech Panthers and the Florida Gators have multiple Brevard County players.

 Nine of the 29 players will stay right here in the Sunshine state.

 While you may have to take a car ride of at least two hours to see six of the nine in state players play home games in 2016, three of them, Chase Harris (Palm Bay), Jared Morris (Palm Bay) and Letwan Sutton (Rockledge) are 15 minutes away. These players signed to play for coach Steve Englehart and the Florida Tech Panthers. Harris and Morris will play their home games on the same field they did in high school as the Pirates of Palm Bay and FIT share a stadium.

ABOVE VIDEO: Former Viera Hawks QB Hayden Kingston talks with Alan Zlotorzynski about his decision to select Wake Forrest University. (Alan Zlotorzynski Video)

Of the 29 players moving onto play college football, five players will do so for a Power Five conference in 2016. Palm Bay running back Brian Lankford-Johnson will step into the Big 10 for the Purdue Boilermakers. Viera QB Hayden Kingston will be a preferred walk-on for the Wake Forrest Demon Deacons of the ACC.

Three of Brevard County’s finest will step onto the playing field in what many consider to be the best conference in college football – the Southeastern Conference. Viera WR Tre Nixon and Cocoa’s Chauncey Gardner (DB) and Jawaan Taylor (OL) will line up for the Ole Miss Rebels and Florida Gators respectively.

ABOVE VIDEO: New EKU Colonel Jay Boyd talks with Alan Zlotorzynski at Viera Hawks signing day. (Alan Zlotorzynski Video)

11 – Two schools, the Merritt Island Mustangs and Viera Hawks, tied for the most amount of signees on Wednesday with 11 apiece.

12 – Aside from football, the sport represented the most was girls’ soccer. A dozen Brevard County lady soccer players will take to college fields next season. Three of them, Kiana Zangeneh (MCC), Brittany Etrick (West Shore) and Alexandria Ramsaran (Palm Bay) will play for Florida Tech.

ABOVE VIDEO: Viera Hawks wide receiver Alex Csbrera committed to play at Eastern Kentucky University. (Alan Zlotorzynski Video)

18 – We all know it takes 18 holes to complete a round off golf, hence the number, but Brevard County had two golfers – both from Viera High – sign to swing the sticks in college. Kyle DeCenzo and Ryan Rozic will continue their pursuit of the white dimpled ball locally at Eastern Florida State University.

1 – One swimmer and one tennis player emerged on Wednesday. Connor Smoak of the Eau Gallie Commodores will swim for the Florida Atlantic University Owls and Albert Go will swing his racquet next year on the courts of the very prestigious Massachusetts Institute of technology. Fittingly, MIT’s name is the Engineers.

8 – From golf to football, nearly every sport on numerous Brevard County auditorium stages on Wednesday was represented, eight of them to be exact: Swimming (1), Tennis (1), Volleyball (2) Golf (2), Men’s Soccer (3), Baseball / softball (5), Women’s soccer (12) and football (28).


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