Tigers’ Townes, & McElrath Ink Major College Scholarships
CLARKSDALE — Coahoma Community College offensive lineman Sylvester Townes and defensive tackle Keeland McElrath both signed paperwork this week to continue their college football careers at major universities.
The 6-foot-7, 295-pound Townes made it official that he will become a West Virginia Mountaineer on Dec. 18 signing to play in the Big 12 conference for WVU head coach Dana Holgerson. The offensive tackle from Germantown, TN, was CCC’s only player in 2013 selected to both the All-Region and All-State first teams and will head to Morgantown to begin the next step in his career next semester.
“(Townes) is a really great athlete and has really good feet for a player his size,” said CCC Athletic Director and 2013 coach Freeman Horton. “He’s a prototype offensive tackle with a great work ethic and with his fame he could easily add another 10-20 pounds of muscle and get even stronger.”
West Virginia began their courtship of Townes early and he made a verbal commitment to come to WVU in September. But with another Southeastern Conference’s University of Kentucky and a visit to Lexington in November, the final decision was a little up in the air.
“I think the deciding factor was that West Virginia cam after him early on in the process and made it known they were really interested,” said Horton. “They stuck with him the entire time and never let up and I believe that’s why he chose to go and play there.”
Townes also had scholarship offers from Texas Tech, Southern Mississippi, South Alabama, Florida International and Middle Tennessee.
Coahoma’s Keeland McElrath, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound defensive lineman, will also continue his career on the major college football stage signing this week to play for head coach Kliff Kingsbury, also in the Big 12 Conference, for the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
McElrath earned second team honors after a 2013 campaign in which he racked-up 53 tackles, two quarterback sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Hailing from Ripley, TN, McElrath verbally committed to TTU earlier this season and made it official in the first day of the mid-year transfer signing period (Dec. 18) last week. He also had offers from Western Kentucky, Kansas, West Virginia and Western Kentucky.
“(McElrath) can move really well for a player his size, he has really good speed and that’s what I think impressed Texas Tech,” said Horton. “It was another situation where Texas Tech was the first team to show interest in (McElrath) and they stuck with him throughout the recruiting process. He has a great work ethic, and I know he will do well.”
Both of CCC’s newest Division I signees also performed in the classroom earning their associate’s degrees and the opportunities to transfer and move forward with their new universities this spring. These major college signings show the program can give plenty of exposure and facilitate the opportunity to play major college football.
“It shows that from a recruiting standpoint, Coahoma can offer the same opportunities as any other program in the state,” said Horton. “Hopefully our local talented athletes will see these things and want to be a part of what we can offer here at CCC.”
After the 2012 football season, Coahoma had 16 of its players sign to play at four-year colleges and universities. More signees from this year’s team are expected in the coming weeks.