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11 more Packers sign; 17 total will continue football careers

Feb. 7—MOULTRIE — Eleven more seniors from the 12-1 Colquitt County football team signed national Letters of Intent on Wednesday, bringing to 17 the number of Packers who will have the opportunity to continue their educational and football careers.

Those who signed on Wednesday in front of family, friends and classmates on the William Bryant Court are:

—Jerron Blakely, Jay'Den Williams and Turk Daniels, with Carson-Newman.

—Johnny Clay, St. Andrews University.

—Ja'Nas Daniels, Xavier Nickerson, Ky'von Rivers and Markese Wilson, Reinhardt University.

—Ty Lamar and Zay Williams, Iowa Western Community College.

—Kenyon Solomon, University of the Cumberlands.

They join six other Packers who signed in December. The early-signees are Ny Carr, with Miami; Neko Fann, Mercer; Jaden Fowler, Wofford; Nick Pace, Jacksonville State; Tyshon Reed, Duke; and Landen Thomas, Florida State.

The schools that have signed the Packers represent eight states.

During their four-year careers at Colquitt County, those Packers went a combined 42-6, including 13-1 in Region 1-7A games.

Packers head coach Sean Calhoun said the Packers who signed all had numerous offers.

"These are not decisions they made overnight," he said. "These guys will really be missed."

Carson-Newman University, an NCAA Division II school located in Jefferson City, Tenn., is getting two outstanding offensive linemen and an aggressive, versatile linebacker.

The Eagles play football in the South Atlantic Conference.

Blakely was a second-team all-region selection in 2023 and finished his career with 110 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack, four quarterback "hurries," one blocked kick and, Calhoun said, two "awesome" interceptions.

Blakely has a 3.054 grade point average.

Jay'Den Williams, the Packers center, won the Bud Willis Character Award at the recent football banquet and is noted for his quiet, reserved manner and being, in Calhoun's words, "most respectful."

He also was a first-team all-region selection in 2023, graded at 85 percent and had 72 knockdown blocks.

As a junior, he graded at 84 percent and had 67 knockdown blocks.

"He has been a very consistent player for us," Calhoun said.

He also has been excellent in the classroom with a 3.379 grade point average.

Turk Daniels has started all 48 games the last four seasons and has been on the field for virtually every meaningful snap for the Packers.

Over his outstanding career, he has graded out at 85 percent with 227 knockdown blocks.

He has a 3.196 grade points average.

Turk Daniels also is an outstanding wrestler and was the Class 7A state runner-up last season.

He will help lead the Packers wrestling team into the South Sectional on Friday at Valdosta with an eye on winning the state championship in Macon later this month.

Clay was an undersized defensive lineman for the Packers who quietly made some significant contributions to the team's success last season.

The Rocky Jones Strong Man Award recipient was a second-team all-region selection last year and finished his career with 119 tackles, including 14 for losses, four sacks and two fumble recoveries.

St. Andrews, located in Laurinburg, N.C., is a NAIA football program. The Knights play in the American Athletic Conference.

Reinhardt is getting a quartet of outstanding Packers.

Ja'Nas Daniels, an offensive guard, played at a "very, very high level" last season, Calhoun said, often dominating larger, stronger and faster opponents.

He was a second-team all-region pick after both his junior and senior seasons.

For his career, he graded at 86 percent and had 128 knockdown blocks.

Nickerson, the Packers' starting offensive right tackle as a senior in 2023, missed virtually all of his junior season with a knee injury.

But the Bobby Cobb True Grit Award winner "practiced like a three-year starter," Calhoun said.

He, too, has been solid in the classroom and has a 3.29 grade point average.

Joining Ja'Nas Daniels and Nickerson in heading to Waleska, Ga., to play for Reinhardt's Eagles are Markese Wilson and Ky-von Rivers.

An athletic football player, Wilson displays that attribute on the Packers basketball team as well.

He was a second-team all-region selection as a receiver this year in football and finished his career with 22 pass receptions for 270 yards and two touchdowns.

Rivers played in a few games as a junior, but made some mental and physical changes that led him to earn the Lavasky King Packer Pride Most Improved Award this past season.

"He completely changed the path of his life," Calhoun said of the big defensive tackle, who was credited with 35 tackles, include five for losses in 2023.

Reinhardt has an NAIA football program.

Lamar and Zay Williams are taking their extraordinary game-changing abilities to Council Bluff, Iowa, to play for an Iowa Central Community College team that has won back-to-back National Junior College Athletic Association Division I championships.

Lamar played just one season of varsity football for the Packers, but his athleticism was on full display both on special teams and in the secondary.

He returned 10 kickoffs for 288 yards and a touchdown and had 42 tackles, one fumble recovery, four pass break-ups and two interceptions while playing cornerback.

Zay Williams won the Charles Pippin Unsung Hero Award for he 2023 season, but he was hardly "unsung" to the Packers offensive coaches.

He caught 47 passes for 805 and nine touchdowns last fall, when he was named to the all-region first team.

For his career, he caught 92 passes for 1,273 yards and 17 touchdowns.

He also starts on the Packers basketball team and has a 3.086 grade point average.

Calhoun said he believes the receiver's best football is ahead of him as he prepares to play for the Reivers with an eye to competing for a Division I school.

Solomon improved each season to become a key cog at linebacker for the Packers defense last fall.

As a senior, he made 59 tackles, including eight for losses and three sacks.

His improved production is because of his "hard work both on and off the field," Calhoun said.

The University of the Cumberlands that Solomon will play for is an NAIA program located in Williamsburg, Ky.

Several former Packers have played there, including current ninth-grade coach JaKobe Shealey.