There’s one part of the recruiting process — the prolonged twisting and turning — that Teurlings Catholic quarterback Cole Kelley never really enjoyed.
That’s why, when Kelley committed to Arkansas in April following an unofficial visit, the 6-foot-7, 235-pounder considered his recruitment over.
“I realize I made an early decision, but I’m not one of those kind of people that dramatizes a decision, and I didn’t want to make that entertainment for people,” Kelley said. “I felt I made a good decision, and there was no reason for me to go back on that.”
Kelley confirmed his 10-month pledge with his signature on a letter of intent with Arkansas during a brief ceremony at his school Wednesday, national signing day.
“This was a dream come true for me,” Kelley said. “I’ve worked my whole life for this. I’m so happy and blessed for this dream to come true.”
Kelley highlighted a busy day of signees in the area that included such standouts as Patterson’s duo of receiver Mykel Jones selecting Oklahoma and linebacker Nehemiah August choosing Memphis.
During his two years as a starter, Kelley complete 59 percent of his passes (377 of 634) for 5,635 yards with 55 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He was a Class 4A honorable-mention selection this season, leading the Rebels to the Division II select semifinals.
“I have enough confidence to know I can go in there and play,” Kelley said. “I’m going to let (the coaches) do their job, and I’m going to go to work every day.”
While Kelley was fortunate to find a home at an early juncture, Acadiana’s Jayrin Wilson wasn’t so fortunate.
Wilson, a three-year starter at cornerback, said his process was hampered by academic difficulty which resulted in a lone offer from Alcorn State.
His recruiting world dramatically changed several weeks ago when Wilson said his grade-point average improved, including a successful ACT score, which opened the door for scholarship offers from Louisiana-Monroe and Kansas State and interest from Louisiana Tech, Tulane and Southeastern Louisiana.
Because time was ticking away, Wilson took one official visit to UL-Monroe, where the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder issued a commitment. Wilson signed with the Warhawks on Wednesday, as did teammates Kevin Moore (Texas Tech), Javonis Isaac (Arkansas State) and Malik George (Stephen F. Austin).
“Everything’s been a blur,” Wilson said. “Coaches were coming in at the last minute, and I had to decide which school I thought was best for me. It was kind of nerve-racking, but I felt I picked the school that was best for me.”
Wilson, the team’s leading rusher in 2015, said his official visit let him experience how much the staff at UL-Monroe truly cared about him.
“They showed me a lot of love,” he said. “I knew it was the place for me.”
Defensive back Hayden Bourgeois of Division III select state champion Notre Dame went down to the wire before deciding on Northwestern State over Nicholls State.
Bourgeois signed with the Demons at school with teammate Ethan Smith, a tight end.
“It was just the people and the coaches,” Bourgeois said. “It was just a good fit for me. I liked the campus. I feel like it was the right decision.”
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Bourgeois was named Class 2A Defensive MVP and Outstanding Defensive Player on The Advocate’s Small School All-Acadiana team for his play at safety. His playing options at Northwestern State could include receiver, safety or kick returner.
“It really doesn’t matter,” he said. “I could do both, and I like either one the same. Whatever one they need, I’ll be ready.”