Wednesday, Feb. 7 was a big day for five Notasulga High School student athletes as three signed college football scholarships and two others signed to attend a prep school.
Signing before the entire student body were: Keywun Rowles with Jacksonville (Ala.) State; Tray Ezell, Faulkner (Montgomery); Walter Tatum, Faulkner; Fred Stinson, Goode Elite Prep School (Tuscaloosa); and Mark Battle, Goode Elite Prep School.
“It means a lot to Notasulga,” said Blue Devil head football coach Anthony “Tank” Jones. “We are losing a lot, but it was a blessing to have these guys. They have set a lot of goals for the next group of juniors and seniors.”
Following is information on each signee:
•Keywun Rowles: 6-1, 185 pounds, wide receiver, 4.7 40-yard dash.
Rowles caught 21 passes for 326 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine games. He also averaged 41 yards a punt and was second team Class 1A all-state as selected by the Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA).
As a defensive back, Rowles recorded 45 tackles, scored a touchdown on a forced fumble and had an interception.
“He is an explosive wide receiver who can high-point the ball and that’s why he caught so many touchdown passes,” Jones said. “He’s an excellent possession receiver.”
•TraDarius Ezell: 6-0, 200, quarterback. As a senior, connected on 96-of-125 pass attempts for 1,658 yards and 21 touchdowns with six interceptions. Rushed for 225 yards and two touchdowns.
“Even though he had a high completion, many were short passes,” Jones pointed out. “He has a cannon for an arm, but will have to work on his accuracy. He has a very high football IQ. He’ll probably be a redshirt candidate.”
•Walter Tatum: 6-0, 195 pounds, athlete who has played wide receiver, running back, defensive back and punt/kickoff returner. Runs a 4.53 40-yard dash. Leading scorer on basketball team and competes in track. Second team all-state as a kick/punt returner.
Rushed 17 times for 342 yards and four touchdowns. Pulled in 40 passes for 632 yards and six TDs. Returned 15 kickoffs for 665 yards and three touchdowns, and seven punts for 220 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“Walter is a great athlete who is very explosive. He can play a number of positions for Coach Shayne Wasden at Faulkner,” Jones said.
•Fred Stinson: 6-0, 165, cornerback. Recorded 74 tackles with two interceptions and two sacks. Broke up 13 passes.
“He’s a shut-down cornerback with 4.56 speed. Has a great football IQ and is always around the ball. Always covered the opponent’s top receiver,” Jones commented.
•Mark Butler: 5-9, 160, receiver, running back, kickoff returner. Caught 15 passes for 265 yards and four touchdowns. Rushed 23 times for 230 yards and three TDs. Had 15 kickoff returns for 460 yards. Recorded 15 tackles as a defensive back/linebacker and returned an interception for a touchdown.
“Mark will probably line up as a slot receiver. He can play a lot of positions and will be working at prep school, along with Fred (Stinson) to develop into a college prospect.”