By ANDREA HUETE
The nationally renowned and state title holding St. Thomas Aquinas High School impressed the community once again with their incredibly versatile group of 2017 signees.
There is no wonder why the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders are the most represented high school among current NFL players.
St. Thomas Aquinas always brings a news media storm surrounding athletics. So naturally, on the most important day of the year for high school senior athletes, their National Signing Day ceremony was live streamed. They are known for top recruits and making national headlines, such as going into triple overtime earlier in the year against the nation’s No.1 ranked high school, Bishop Gorman.
Their gymnasium was jam-packed with people on every level of the bleachers reaching over each other to take photos. Families of the signees were seated in floor seats all dressed in their son or daughters school colors, or clothes containing their signing school’s logo.
In total, St. Thomas had 63 student athletes sign to their respective colleges on Wednesday, 21 of those being football players.
This year, there was little left to the imagination in the 2017 signee class. Almost all of the 21 football players that signed from St. Thomas had been committed to their respective college or university for quite some time.
Linebacker Tyler Dunning de-committed from Miami in 2016 and pledged his commitment to his future school, Mississippi State. Quarterback Jake Allen announced earlier in the 2016 season that he would become a Florida Gator. Defensive tackle Kivon Bennet shocked Alabama fans everywhere earlier in the season by not committing to his father’s national championship winning alma mater, he signed with Tennessee.
Both Notre Dame and Miami got day-of commitments from members of the Raiders football team. Notre Dame received three-star inside linebacker Andrew White. Miami received four-star wide receiver and Army All American Michael Harley. With the Notre Dame-Miami rivalry heating up again this 2017 season, it will be interesting to watch these two former teammates on the field again.
The Raiders wish their senior athletes the best of luck in their future endeavors. The focus will now shift to getting their next batch of top-notch recruits ready for spring football and hopefully, another state championship.