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Student athletes sign letters of intent

Calling+him+a+%E2%80%9Conce+in+a+lifetime+player%2C%E2%80%9D+head+coach+Robert+Weiner+introduces+senior+offensive+lineman+William+Putnam+Dec.+20+in+the+field+house.+Putnam+announced+he+had+signed+with+Clemson+University+by+pulling+out+a+Clemson+hat+and+placing+it+on+his+head.+
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Student athletes sign letters of intent

Calling him a “once in a lifetime player,” head coach Robert Weiner introduces senior offensive lineman William Putnam Dec. 20 in the field house. Putnam announced he had signed with Clemson University by pulling out a Clemson hat and placing it on his head.

Calling him a “once in a lifetime player,” head coach Robert Weiner introduces senior offensive lineman William Putnam Dec. 20 in the field house. Putnam announced he had signed with Clemson University by pulling out a Clemson hat and placing it on his head.

Kate Caranante

Calling him a “once in a lifetime player,” head coach Robert Weiner introduces senior offensive lineman William Putnam Dec. 20 in the field house. Putnam announced he had signed with Clemson University by pulling out a Clemson hat and placing it on his head.

Kate Caranante

Kate Caranante

Calling him a “once in a lifetime player,” head coach Robert Weiner introduces senior offensive lineman William Putnam Dec. 20 in the field house. Putnam announced he had signed with Clemson University by pulling out a Clemson hat and placing it on his head.

Kate Caranante, Staff Writer

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Four senior varsity football players and one junior college transfer announced which colleges they will be continuing their academic and athletic careers Dec. 20 inside the field house surrounded by their friends and family.  

After viewing the players’ highlight tapes, head coach Robert Weiner gave a speech about each student individually. Following that, the players were able to thank their loved ones.  

“You may not even realize how rare this is,” Weiner said. “Statistically speaking one football player in every 32 schools in the country gets a college football scholarship … and we have five sitting in front of you today.” 

First to announce was cornerback Kelvin Clemmons, who never attended Plant High School, but is the brother of fellow signee Walter Wilbon III. Clemmons spent two years at Hutchinson Community College and will now be moving on to the University of Minnesota.  

Second to officially announce where he will be going was running back Walter Wilbon III, a three-star prospect who rushed for 1,551 yards his senior season. Wilbon III will be moving to Athens, Ohio, where he will attend Ohio University.  

“Walter has become not only a different football player, but Walter has become a different human being,” Weiner said. “He has become one of the most unselfish guys that we have. He sparked our team in so many ways.”  

Three-star safety Leonard Parker will be staying in state, as he signed with the University of South Florida. Parker played on both sides of the ball his senior year, contributing as a defensive back and wide receiver.  

“When Leonard puts it all together and really figures it out, there is no one like him,” Weiner said. “There is no one like him as a person, there is no one like him as a player. He can soar above all the rest. I see the amazing, amazing moments that are to come from him.” 

While on the path to serve his country, offensive guard Everett Smalley will be playing football at the Air Force Academy.   

“It’s been a journey that we have been on for a long time, never knowing that this is where we would end up,” said Marcelle Smalley, his mother. “But of all the opportunities he had and was offered, the Air Force Academy was the one that made the most sense, the best of the best and the one that we feel he can be the most successful at.” 

The final announcement was from the Army All-American and the No. 4 offensive guard in the nation Will Putnam.  

“I have never seen anybody like this guy,” Weiner said. “I have never seen anybody utterly destroy people on the field the way he does. I have never seen at any position, a finisher like this guy. His play speaks for itself, he is a once in a lifetime football player.” 

Putnam chose Clemson University over Florida State University, University of Georgia, Auburn University and University of Florida by pulling out an orange and purple hat from beneath the table and placing it on his head as the room erupted in cheers.  

“It’s just a really stable program right now,” Putnam said. “They’re at the pinnacle of college football and I could really see myself in that uniform at Clemson making an impact there.” 

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Student athletes sign letters of intent