NATIONAL SIGNING DAY: Mainland QB Creecy picks Army, Harrell headed to Alabama State
DAYTONA BEACH — Record-setting stars for Mainland High's explosive offense, and major contributors to the program's return to the FHSAA championships after a 19-year absence, quarterback Damarcus Creecy and wide receiver-turned-running back Ajai Harrell shared one last moment together.
In front of a packed multi-purpose room, the duo revealed their college intentions Wednesday afternoon — football's traditional National Signing Day. Both will wear black and gold at the next level, but on opposite ends of the country.
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"It means a lot. That's my quarterback, that's my main man," Harrell said.
Creecy committed to Army, while Harrell selected Alabama State over a handful of fellow Division I Football Championship Subdivision schools — including SWAC rival Florida A&M and Western Carolina.
Named Class 3S Player of the Year and a finalist for Mr. Football by the Florida Dairy Farmers, Creecy figures to bring a vertical passing threat to the traditionally option-based Black Knights. The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder completed 69.2% of his passes for 3,420 yards with 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He added 550 yards and another pair of scores on the ground.
"When you think about a quarterback's demeanor, DC is the epitome of that — never too high, never too low, always even-keeled," Mainland head coach Travis Roland said. "He's always able to get the guys to believe in him."
West Point's culture, history and career opportunities attracted Creecy despite a late push from Delaware.
"I'm set for life. I ain't got no problem with that," he said.
Harrell's stock skyrocketed in December after five consecutive dominant performances in the FHSAA's playoffs. In addition to his aforementioned finalists, the versatile 6-foot-1, 180-pounder fielded offers from Duquesne, Missouri State and Tennessee State.
"It's experiencing new things and getting out of Florida," Harrell said. "They have a good marketing program, and that's the thing I want to major in. I looked into it, and they have a high graduation rate."
Harrell surpassed 2,000 all-purpose yards and scored 14 of his 31 touchdowns during the Buccaneers' postseason run. He saved his best performance for last, logging 24 carries for 195 yards, catching nine passes for 159 yards and finding the end zone three times in a 32-30 loss to Lake Wales in Fort Lauderdale.
"You're talking about, in Ajai, the kind of kid who put the program on his back," "He's coming in as a ready-made leader. He's a freshman, but he's a grizzled veteran in a sense. … (Alabama State) is getting an alpha. He thinks there's nobody better on the face of the earth than him at anything."
Volusia-Flagler-St. Johns high school football signees
Shane Armstrong, DL, Highland C.C. (JUCO)
Davis Houk, LB, Keiser (NAIA)
Marcos Ramos, OL, River City Prep (Post-Grad)
Arion Stith, DL, Pittsburg State (D-II)
Ian Mooney, LB, Gannon (D-II)
Steven Mosley, OL, Bethune-Cookman (D-I FCS)
Gabe Snyder, OL, Stetson (D-I FCS)
Carson Nichols, DL, Morehead State (D-I FCS)
Isaiah Robinson, QB, Wayne State (D-II)
Flagler Palm Coast
Ashton Bracewell, LB, Florida State** (D-I FBS)
Drew Droste, OL, St. Thomas (NAIA)
Benjamin Laurore, DB, Emporia State (D-II)
Landin Simmons, LB, St. Thomas (NAIA)
DZ Steward, DB, St. Thomas (NAIA)
Damarcus Creecy, QB, Army West Point (D-I FBS)
Ajai Harrell, WR, Alabama State (D-I FCS)
Marcus Stokes, QB, West Florida (D-II)
New Smyrna Beach
Bryant Siravo, WR, Valdosta State (D-II)
Braden Sullivan, LB, Highland C.C. (JUCO)
Xavier Agatep, OL/LS, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (D-III)
Billy Boss, TE, Utica (D-III)
Wyatt Rogers, WR, Stetson (D-I FCS)
Layne Swafford, DL, Florida** (D-I FBS)
Eli Campbell, DB, Wofford (D-I FCS)
Tayshawn Galery, ATH, Gordon State (JUCO)
James Lyons, LS, Johnson C. Smith (D-II)
Jarique Cooper, DB, Wayne State (D-II)
** Denotes preferred walk-on
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: National Signing Day: Mainland's Creecy, Harrell pick Army, Alabama State