National Signing Day a Big One for Brentwood Academy

Brentwood Academy honored 19 athletes in a National Signing Day ceremony on Tuesday.

Few schools across the country likely had better days than Brentwood Academy had on the NCAA’s February National Signing Day.

BA honored 19 students who signed scholarship papers across 10 sports in a Tuesday ceremony. Several of those athletes signed weeks ago, but where honored on Tuesday, anyway.

Here’s a look at the bigger storylines, as well as who’s signing where.

Knox, Garlington make it official

The most recent BA-related football news came when linebacker Luke Knox signed with Ole Miss. Knox made that decision less than 24 hours before the ceremony.

The senior had a banner 2017 season, and ranked No. 6 in our postseason Defensive Player of the Year rankings for our coverage area.

Knox had considered Navy, UTC and Princeton, but took an unofficial visit to Ole Miss over the weekend, where he picked up a scholarship offer.

However, Knox didn’t know if that would be a gray shirt offer. News came Monday night that the scholarship offer was immediate, and Knox pulled the trigger right then.

“I think the thing that made me choose Ole Miss was the family aspect, really,” he said. “Everyone down there are family, and the coaches preach that we all want to be family with each other.”

Knox’s brother, Dawson, is a walk-on tight end for the Rebels.

Defensive back Kenyon Garlington, the No. 9 player in our defensive rankings, inked with Tennessee State. Garlington had huge moments late in BA’s state title game victory over MBA. 

The quarterback-wide receiver duo of Vanderbilt-bound Gavin Schoenwald and Camron Johnson were honored on Tuesday. Both signed with Vanderbilt in December.

Schoenwald will play tight end for the Commodores. He was our fifth-ranked player in our offensive rankings, while we rated Johnson one spot ahead.

BA also honored linebacker Jackson Sirmon, our Defensive Player of the Year who signed with Washington in December, and cornerback Daniel Taylor (Navy).

Allie Raab signs swimming scholarship with Stanford

Brentwood Academy swimming coach Jim Chapman noted on Thursday that the Eagles don’t have their own pool.

But he did note that he’s blessed with one of the country’s top swimmers, Allie Raab, who is signing with one of America’s top swimming programs in Stanford. The Cardinal are the defending national champions.

She was a member of the USA National Pan Pacific team, and is a high school as well as academic All-American.

Raab is the ninth-ranked swimming recruit in the 2018 class, according to Swim Swam Magazine.

Tyner, Jestings ink Division I soccer scholarships

Seniors Kathryn Tyner (High Point) and Jennifer Jestings (Samford) both signed with Division I soccer programs on Tuesday. BA went undefeated in district play in 2017.

Tyner scored 81 career goals and was an all-state pick. It’s the same school where her coach, Laura Eldridge, played. Eldridge noted that Tyner had a “near-perfect” GPA also.

Jestings pitched 11 shutouts as the Eagles’ goalie last season and carries a 4.4 GPA. She started every game of her four-year career and was also an all-state pick.

Garland highlights list of other honorees

BA honored a number of other athletes who’d already signed in November.

Chief among them was McDonald’s All-American basketball player Darius Garland, who was recently named one of 10 Naismith semifinalists for National Player of the Year.

Meredith Helton will attend Wake Forest on a cross country scholarship. She won the Tennessee Division II-AA state meet. 

Greg Brown became emotional when speaking about one of his players, Jessie Brown, who happens to be his daughter. She’ll head to the University of North Alabama to play softball.

“As you close this chapter and begin to open another, we know that you’ll continue to strive to be the very best you can be,” her tearful father said. “Your faith and your determination will help you be successful in whatever you do.”

Alex Cobb (UT-Chattanooga) and Coleman Jones (Belmont) earned Division I golf scholarships. Cobb was the Division II Middle Region individual champion. Jones was the 2017 Tennessee Sneds Tour Player of the Year.

Pitcher Graham Tulloch, who posted a 2.90 ERA for BA’s state title-winning baseball team, will play baseball at MTSU.

Kailey Searcy (Western Kentucky) and Makaila Wilson (Radford) will play Division I basketball.