For months now, the area's best athletes have been practicing their John Hancocks, anxiously awaiting the day their signature would be put to good use. National Signing Day featured several area athletes making their future plans official on Wednesday.
The decision came easy for Howland linebacker Tyler Scott. For one, he's always wanted to play in the Big Ten conference. Secondly, his 3.72 GPA displays just how important academics are to him. That's why playing for the Northwestern Wildcats was a simple decision.
"I went out there for the Ohio State game," said Scott of his visit to Evanston, Ill. "That was a tough loss for them, but the trip went well. They offered me (a scholarship) and it was just a no-brainer.
"Northwestern is a prestigious school, it's in the Big Ten and that's always been a dream of mine."
The 6-4, 220-pound Scott said the Wildcats plan to move him to defensive end because of his size and speed. He used that to his advantage this past season with Howland, leading the team in tackles and also grabbing three interceptions to earn first-team All-Ohio honors.
Teammate Craig Stan was another big reason the Tigers made the playoffs for a second straight season. The 6-5, 235-pound offensive tackle and linebacker was a force in the trenches, earning him the right to play for the Air Force Academy.
"It's going to be different because it's not like most universities," he said. "When I go up there, it's going to be six weeks of boot camp. That's no contact, no cell phone, no nothing. So they throw you into the fire right from the beginning."
Stan admitted he needs to add some weight if he expects to play at offensive tackle, which is the position the Falcons recruited him for, but he's open to the challenge.
"The transition is going to be difficult, but it's doable," he said. "This isn't like Big Ten football. Their linemen are more like 260 to 280 pounds. So I need to (put on some weight), but I know they have a plan and I'll do whatever I need to do."
Howland girls soccer player Megan Long signed her letter-of-intent with Iowa State on Friday.