With approximately 70 family members and friends in attendance at the Roy M. Speer Student Center, five Admiral Farragut Academy football players signed their letters of intent to play in college, including Dalton Collins, Cole Fagan, Jestin Green, Thomas Silver and Aaron Rodriguez. BlueJackets coach Ryan Hearn presided over the ceremony in which he expressed his enthusiasm for the five student-athletes who will get an opportunity to compete in college.
“It’s a testament to what we are trying to do here as a program and an academy,” said Hearn, who led the BlueJackets to a 4-5 record in his second season at Farragut. “These are the type of guys we want to send to college and into society. It gives credence to the program and to the school because they’re quality individuals and they will represent Farragut well.”
Dalton and Cole officially signed with the Air Force Academy after making a verbal commitment two weeks ago. The two will play for the Prep School in their first year of college before joining the Division I program.
“It’s a great honor to have the opportunity to attend such an esteemed institution like the Air Force Academy,” said Dalton, who had his parents and his sister, Ally, next to him when he signed his letter of intent. “I’m excited about what the next few years will bring.”
Since his sophomore year after transferring from Tarpon Springs High, Dalton has participated in football, lacrosse, and track and field – and will play baseball this spring. He was the starting quarterback on offense and the inside middle linebacker on defense for the football team. In addition, he has served on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, acting as vice president of the committee this academic year.
Cole, who had his parents flanking him when he signed his letter of intent, started as the fullback on offense and middle linebacker on defense for the BlueJackets during the 2014 campaign. He was an integral part in helping the BlueJackets win three out of their past four contests during a 4-5 season.
“I’m excited about the opportunity and I look forward to this next step in my life,” said Cole, who began attending Farragut for his senior year after spending three years at Dunnellon High School near Ocala, Fla. “It validates all the hard work I put in throughout the years. It’s amazing to think about everything that has happened.”
Jestin Green, who had verbally committed to Florida International University in the fall, made it official on Wednesday to play for the Division I program in Miami. Jestin started as a wide receiver and defensive back for three years at Farragut.
“Farragut gave me an amazing opportunity to grow as a person and as a football player,” said Jestin, who transferred to Farragut after going to Lakewood High for his freshman year. “I became a better person on and off the field. Farragut allowed me to become a better student and mature as a person which will only help me when I go to college.”
Dalton and Jestin were both honorable mention selections for the Tampa Tribune’s 2014 All-Pinellas County football team. Jestin also was selected to play in the Pinellas Senior All-star game.
The BlueJackets also had Aaron Rodriguez commit to New Mexico Military Institute and Thomas Silver commit to Jacksonville University.
A native of the country of Panama, Aaron was a two-year starter for the BlueJackets on both the offensive and defensive line. He also has played baseball and he will compete for the lacrosse team as well as the track and field squad this spring.
“Farragut has given me a great opportunity, something I never would have received if I had stayed in Panama,” said Aaron, who begin attending Farragut his junior year. “I am excited about what the future holds.”
Thomas, who began attending Farragut last school year after transferring from Alonso High in Tampa, played tight end and defensive end. The coaching staff at Jacksonville expect him to compete for a starting position at defensive end.
“Farragut has allowed me to find my potential as a person, a student and an athlete,” said Thomas, who had his parents, grandparents and many family friends in attendance Wednesday. “It has been a special place for me in the short time I have been here. I appreciate all the people who helped me get to this point and I’m excited about what the future has in store for me.”