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COURTESY PHOTO

Liberty celebrated its five senior football signees recently. From left are coach Travis Buzzo, quarterback Dylan Bailey (Emory and Henry), cornerback A.J. Johnson (West Virginia Wesleyan), receiver Wyatt Hicks (West Virginia Wesleyan), defensive end Jordan Woodson (Monmouth) and tight end Jordan Hicks (West Virginia Wesleyan). 

Five Liberty High football seniors signed with colleges earlier this month.

Liberty’s lone D-1 signee was defensive end Jordan Woodson to Monmouth (N.J.) University. Quarterback Dylan Bailey signed with NCAA D-2 Emory and Henry. Twins Jordan and Wyatt Hicks, as well as cornerback A.J. Johnson, will play together at D-2 West Virginia Wesleyan

“I’m beyond ecstatic to be signing five kids, especially in the pandemic. I feel comfortable all five are good fits for them,” Liberty coach Travis Buzzo said.

The strong-armed Bailey, who threw for 2,377 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior, also considered Concord (W.Va.) and Averett (Va.), before choosing Emory and Henry, which is leaving the D-3 Old Dominion Athletic Conference to move to D-2 South Atlantic Conference The selection is interesting because former Liberty quarterback Raymond Morton is also at Emory and Henry. The school recruited one other QB, King George High’s Charles Mutter. 

Nevertheless, Buzzo expects Bailey, who has grown to 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, to excel. “I expect him to compete right away. He’s got extreme arm talent. It’s college football. Wherever he goes, he’ll have to work for it,” Buzzo said.

The Hicks’ brothers both picked the same school after not planning to. Jordan committed to West Virginia Wesleyan in the beginning of January, with Wyatt following suit in late January.

“They were OK going separate places. That’s what they told everybody, but in the long run they’re better off together,” Buzzo said.

The bulkier of the two, Jordan Hicks is a 6-0, 210-pound tight end, who can also play fullback and catch passes, while Wyatt is a 6-2, 175-pound receiver. “Wyatt is faster than Jordan, but Jordan is stronger on the line,” said Buzzo.

Also going to West Virginia Wesleyan is Johnson, a long-time Eagle starter who was recruited as a cornerback after shining at defensive back, running back and receiver. “He has done everything for us since his sophomore year,” praised Buzzo. “He’s one of the better defensive backs in the state of Virginia and had a couple other choices. I think he knew as soon as they offered he wanted to go.”

Johnson led the Eagles in rushing as a sophomore and will likely break the school record for pass breakups as a senior. He’s not tall at 5-8, but packs a wallop in his 165-pound frame. “He’s a physical kid, one of the strongest on the team. He’s a stout athlete and fast. If he was 5-10 he’d have his pick of wherever he wanted to go,” Buzzo said.

 

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