It was the largest number of students ever to sign in a single day in the county. It bested the 2010 Signing Day record of 120.
Sixty-six colleges from as far away as California, Ohio and Delaware nabbed the 132 players from 15 DeKalb high schools. South DeKalb high schools accounted for 112 of the signees.
Wednesday’s total was just one shy of the 133 players who signed in all of 2010, which was the best year for signings for DeKalb Schools.
Over the next couple of days, at least five more players are expected to sign letters of intent to attend college and play football.
The 2012 total is the third consecutive year that more than 100 ballplayers have signed from DeKalb County. In all, 31 players signed with Football Bowl Championship Schools, formerly Division 1-A schools, including 15 players going to eight colleges in the Southeastern Conference and six players going to four colleges in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Stephenson High in Stone Mountain had 25 players, the highest number for a single school, signing letters of intent. Eleven signed with Football Bowl Championship Schools.
Running back Mike Davis, the top running back in the state and ESPNU No. 6-ranked player in the state, signed with the University of South Carolina.
Martin Luther King Jr. High School came in second with a record 22 signees. Seven of the players signed with Football Bowl Championship Schools. MLK head coach Michael Carson said National Signing Day is the best day for a high school football coach.
“This is what you do this for as a coach,” he said. “We want to give guys a chance to go on to the next level and have an opportunity to, number one, get their education paid for free of cost.”
One of MLK’s top wide receivers, Blake Tibbs, signed with the University of Georgia. Tibbs, who is best known for an 82-yard kickoff return, helped give MLK a 50-49 victory over Stephenson for the Region 2 title. After inking the deal, he said he chose the Bulldogs over his eight other offers because the school felt like home.
“My whole family is from Georgia and it’s just the right school for me,” he said. “I went down there for a couple of visits and it just felt like home.”
Tibbs led all DeKalb wide receivers in yards (1,086) and touchdowns (15).
Tibbs’ teammate, Kenderius Whitehead, one of the state’s top defensive ends, signed with North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He chose N.C. State over 36 other offers.
“[N.C. State] was in my heart,” Whitehead said. “Even though I had big major offers, I went there and it just felt right.”
Columbia High School came in third on National Signing Day with 17 signees. Four are headed to Football Bowl Championship Schools. Cedar Grove had 13 players to sign, including offensive tackle Brandon Greene. The ESPNU No. 2-ranked player in the state committed to the University of Alabama.
Class AAAA state champion Tucker was next with nine, two Football Bowl Championship Schools, followed by Miller Grove and Dunwoody with eight each.
The eight signees at Miller Grove formed the largest signing class since the school opened in 2005. Head coach Damien Wimes said the kids signing full college scholarships are the foundation for success of the football program.
“This will encourage the younger kids to continue to work hard and each of our classes will get bigger as they go,” he said.