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Saturday, January 29, 2022

5 Hewitt-Trussville players sign Division I scholarships

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Hewitt Trusville had five players signed for Division I grants on Wednesday during a ceremony at Hewitt Trusville High School, with three of them signing letters of intent to play for FBS institutions.

Omari Kelly and Justice Finkley signed Power 5 scholarship offers from Auburn and Texas, respectively, and Ryan Gunter signed with local C-USA power UAB.

It’s an amazing day, an exciting day, and one of my favorite days of the year,” said Josh Floyd, coach of Hewitt Trussville. “It is all about achieving their goals and making their dreams come true. To be able to get a paid education, these are things that will change the lives of these kids. But it is also a bit bittersweet because we know they are leaving us.”

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Related: Ja’Kobi Albert of Fairfield moves from Auburn to Kentucky

Related: Live updates on Auburn Early Signature Day for the 2022 Recruit Class

Hewitt-Trussville has produced 46 scholarship athletes since 2016, and the five players signed Wednesday received a total of 92 scholarship offers, totaling more than $20,540,000.

“This group, they really love each other, and they enjoy hanging out with each other,” Floyd said. “They really liked each other as teammates, so training this group was so much fun. It was a team heavyweight group.”

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Kelly, the owner of a 4-star prospect according to 247Sports Composite, committed to Auburn last August and stayed true to his decision. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound receiver finished his Husky career with 151 receptions for 2,347 yards and 25 total touchdowns. He also played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.

“I had to say the atmosphere[was the main factor],” Kelly said. “Quarterback situation happens in college football. Every day, a new person enters the transfer gate. There is nothing I can do about it, but I hope to enter and start as a new student.”

Finkley was one of Alabama’s scariest runners during his prep career, racking up 257 tackles (32 for a loss), 16 sacks, five forced catches and three recoveries in a three-year start, and was named Under Armor All-American. The 4-star prospect and 11th in the country built a close relationship with Texas coach Steve Sarkissian throughout his tenure, and was impressed by the opportunity to attend medical school in Texas.

“He’s really built a relationship with me, I can call him anytime if I have any questions or concerns,” Finkley said. “I aspire to become a neurosurgeon and they have a great medical school on campus. I thought it was very convenient, especially with them being a very good football program.”

Gunther, who for two years began interfering with Hewitt Trussville, had a commitment away from Liberty but flipped over over the weekend after a visit to the UAB. The prospect cited the 6-foot-5, 300-pound 3-star rating of the site and the new Protection Stadium as factors in his decision.

“I wanted to stay home, close to my family, not nine hours away,” Gunter said. “The new stadium is really cool and the move to AAC. They could be a real competitor.”

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Along with notable Hewitt-Trussville signing, receiver Jordan McCants signed with Jacksonville State in the first recruiting class for Rich Rodriguez and tight end Matt Miller signed with UNA to play football and baseball.

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