Lincoln’s Steven White, Javion Surles and Cam Reynolds all signed college scholarships to continue their football careers beyond high school.
All three signed on National Signing Day, Wednesday.
White signed with West Alabama. Surles signed with the University of Virginia-Wise as a defensive back, while Reynolds signed an academic scholarship and committed to play football at Huntingdon College in Montgomery.
Lincoln head coach Matt Zedaker said he was proud of all three for working hard and accomplishing their dreams of playing on the next level.
“What a wonderful day to be a Lincoln Golden Bear and (for) this community to celebrate three fantastic football players that have been a part of our program for a lot of years,” Zedaker said. “We started this last year, going to camps and really getting their names out.
“We really worked on getting them seen and, obviously, the way they played on the field was the topper for colleges coming in. All of them had several offers.
“I have no doubt in my mind that all three will be very successful on the next level. Talking to their college coaches, I think all three of them have the opportunity to go in there and get playing time if not start as a freshman.”
White was selected first-team all-state as a defensive lineman. He had a stellar senior campaign, recording 71 total tackles, 28 tackles for a loss, 10 quarterback hurries, eight sacks, two forced fumbles, two blocked field goals and an interception.
White had offers from Jacksonville State, Shorter and UVA-Wise, but he felt West Alabama was the best fit for him.
“It was a hard decision, but I ended up praying about it and asked God to guide me through the path,” White said. “Before West Alabama popped up, I only had three options: JSU, Shorter, and UVA-Wise. At first, I didn’t know what to do because I wanted to be somewhere far, but not too far. UVA-Wise was too far. They (West Alabama) had what I want to major in (sports medicine), so it is a good opportunity.”
Surles will spend the next four years at UVA-Wise as a defensive back. The senior saw limited snaps on defense the last few seasons at Lincoln because he was the quarterback..
The 6-foot-2 athlete has not played defensive back full time since his freshman season in high school. Surles, however, did showcase his talent at the position during camps last summer.
Surles was selected the Talladega County Class 4A-5A Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight season in 2019. The Golden Bears signal-caller threw for 1,746 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also rushed for 860 yards and nine scores.
“It is an amazing opportunity, I would like to thank God, my mom and my coaches,” Surles said. “Now, it is time to grind to get what I want to get. I want to go to the pros (NFL). To do that I know that I am going to have to work every day. “
Reynolds, who made the all-state team as a junior, also had to make a tough decision on where he was going to spend the next four seasons. Reynolds had to choose between Shorter College, Huntingdon and Birmingham-Southern.
“(Huntingdon) felt like home,” Reynolds said. “ (Huntingdon head coach) Mike Turk was a legend at Troy, where he won two championships. They have a winning tradition down there. I had a lot of options, but I felt like Huntingdon was the place for me.
“I want to thank all the coaches that recruited me. Huntingdon provided me with the right amount of money for tuition, and it felt like home. Coach Turk called me every week.”
Wednesday’s trio of signees played a major role in the Golden Bears’ success over the last two seasons. Lincoln won back-to-back 4A, Region 4 titles. Last fall, the Golden Bears finished 9-3 and reached the second round of the state playoffs.
Zedaker said his trio not only made a difference on the field, but they also made an impact off it as well.
“What these guys mean to me is heart, leadership and high character,” Zedaker said. “When you have those three characters, you are going to win a lot of ballgames. I can talk about all their accolades, but the way they presented themselves and carried themselves not only on the football field, in the locker room or athletic program, but also in the school and the community, families, this is why you get into coaching. I am very proud to be part of these three men’s lives and I am glad they are part of my life. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them in the next step of their athletic venture. I am more excited that they are going to get their education paid for through athletics.”