National Signing Day recap: Bay Area recruits finalize their college commitments

By Spectrum Sports Staff,
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 07, 2018, 10:13 PM EST

On the first Wednesday of February every year, the spotlight shines on prep athletes around the country. It's National Signing Day, a day that has become one of the most important college football events of the year.

Despite losing a little luster in 2018 because of the first-ever early signing period in December, there was drama and excitement surrounding many of the seniors in the Tampa Bay area.

Berkeley Prep senior Nicholas Petit-Frere was ranked the No. 1 offensive tackle in the nation and entering the day had narrowed his choices to Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State. In what could be considered a mild surprise, the 6-foot-6, 272-pound recruit committed to Ohio State, where he will join former Bucs head coach Greg Schiano.

Petit-Frere wasn't the only big-name offensive tackle in the Bay Area who finalized his commitment on National Signing Day. Childhood friend and Cambridge Christian offensive tackle Richard Gouraige was actually in attendance at Petit-Frere's announcement. Later in the day, the nation's No. 7 offensive tackle recruit held true on his commitment to Florida, signing with Dan Mullen and the Gators.

State runner-up Armwood had three major recruits who did not sign in the early signing day period: wide receiver Warren Thompson, defensive end Malcolm Lamar and linebacker James Miller. After originally committing to Oregon when Willie Taggart was the head coach there, Thompson and Lamar stayed committed to the former Manatee star quarterback and signed with Taggart and the Seminoles. Miller will continue the Bay Area pipeline to Indiana, signing with Tom Allen's Hoosier program.

Hillsborough cornerback Ken Montgomery, Jr. will also head to the Big Ten. The nation's 33rd-best cornerback signed with Maryland.

Here's a complete list of Division-I Bay Area signees (including from the early signing period in December):

ADMIRAL FARRAGUT
Samuel Baker, 3-star G - Toledo
Zion Roland, 3-star WR - USF
Khalan Tolson, 3-star OLB - Illinois
John Waller, 3-star DT - USF

ARMWOOD
Devin Black, 3-star QB - Bethune-Cookman
Markeis Colvin, 3-star ATH - Marshall
Jerome Ford, 4-star APB - Alabama
Malcolm Lamar, 4-star DE - Florida State
James Miller, 3-star ILB - Indiana
Brian Snead, 4-star RB - Ohio State
Caleb Sutherland, 3-star S - Toledo
Warren Thompson, 4-star WR - Florida State

AUBURNDALE
Tony Pierce, Jr., 2-star DE - North Dakota State

BERKELEY PREP
Mayan Ahanotu, 3-star DE - Minnesota
Zach Mathis, 2-star WR - North Dakota State
Nicholas Petit-Frere, 5-star OT - Ohio State

BLAKE
Patrick Keenan, 3-star DE - Marshall

BRADEN RIVER
Tyrone Collins, 3-star CB - Missouri
Deshaun Fenwick, 3-star APB - South Carolina
Taylor Upshaw, 3-star DE - Michigan

CALVARY CHRISTIAN
Amari Burney, 4-star S - Florida
D'Andre Ferguson - South Dakota

CAMBRIDGE CHRISTIAN
Andrew Cunningham, 3-star RB - Georgia Southern
Richard Gouraige, 4-star OT - Florida

CENTRAL
Lyndell Hudson, 2-star OT - FIU

CLEARWATER ACADEMY INTERNATIONAL
Habakkuk Baldonado, 3-star DE - Pittsburgh

CLEARWATER CENTRAL CATHOLIC
Deandre Fitz-Henley, 3-star ILB - Bowling Green
Jordan Presley - Morgan State

EAST LAKE
Joe Allaster - Jacksonville
Josh Bowers - The Citadel

GAITHER
Donovan Jennings, 3-star OT - USF
Matthew Wood - Holy Cross

GEORGE JENKINS
Jordan Domineck, 3-star DE - Georgia Tech

HERNANDO
Ygenio Booker, 3-star ATH - Tulane

HILLSBOROUGH
Quinlan Gatlin - Florida A&M
Ken Montgomery, Jr., 4-star CB - Maryland
Tyrese Spain - Bethune-Cookman

JEFFERSON
DeAndre Hollins, 3-star CB - North Carolina
Justin McGriff, 3-star WR - Nebraska

JESUIT
Braden Gilby - Furman 
Anthony Nelson, 2-star DE - Harvard
Nick Terrana - Southern Illinois
Kendrick Torain, 3-star CB - Duke

KATHLEEN
Reggie Brown, 2-star WR - James Madison
Jaaron Jackson, 3-star DE - Alcorn State

LAKELAND
Ja'Qurius Smith, 3-star LB - Purdue
Kevaris Thomas, 3-star QB - Western Kentucky
Dacoda Weaver, 2-star OT - FAU
Antonio Whitehead - Campbell

LAKELAND CHRISTIAN
Tate Whatley, 3-star QB - Southern Miss

LAKEWOOD
Armani Adams, 3-star S - FAU

LARGO
D.J. Bullard, 2-star DE - Mercer
Logan Doublin, 2-star OLB - Appalachian State
Calvin Lockett, 3-star WR - Iowa
Cameron Tisdale - South Dakota

MANATEE
Josh Betts - Dartmouth
Brett Gerber - Yale

NEWSOME
Patrick Jolly, 3-star ATH - UCLA

PINELLAS PARK
Rodney Sivils - South Dakota

PLANT
Brandon Brooks - Navy
Judge Culpepper, 3-star DT - Penn State
Bryce Love - Indiana State
Jordan McCloud, 3-star QB - USF
Micah McFadden, 3-star OLB - Indiana
Ty Thompson, 3-star RB - Toledo

PLANT CITY
Austin Eldridge - Central Arkansas

ST. PETERSBURG
Anthony Johnson, Jr., 3-star CB - Iowa State
Jalynn Williams, 3-star WR - Toledo

ST. STEPHEN’S
Chase Brown, 3-star RB - Western Michigan
Sydney Brown, 3-star S - Illinois

SICKLES
Jontrey Hunter, 2-star S - Georgia State
Timarcus Simpson, 3-star CB - Eastern Michigan

SOUTHEAST
J.T. Galloway - Savannah State

TAMPA BAY TECH
Jonathan King, 3-star DE - Indiana
Michael Penix, Jr., 3-star QB - Indiana

TAMPA CATHOLIC
Dorien Gooch - Samford
Messiah Turner, 2-star CB - Connecticut

WESLEY CHAPEL
Isaiah Bolden, 4-star CB - Florida State
Chaz Neal, 3-star DE - Florida State

WHARTON
Lavel Dumont, 3-star OT - Toledo
A.J. Hampton, 3-star CB - Northwestern

WINTER HAVEN
Willie Lane, 3-star OT - Purdue
JaVeon Marlow, 3-star RB - Vanderbilt

WIREGRASS RANCH
Jordan Miner, 4-star CB - Penn State