Tillery, Graham among RHS players expected to sign
Mike Self, FCT Sports Editor
National signing day for college football is next Wednesday, and a handful of Russellville players are expected to sign letters of intent.
Golden Tiger coach Perry Swindall said Thursday that offensive lineman Taz Tillery will sign with Tennessee-Martin and defensive back Rashad Graham will sign with Southern Illinois.
Tight end Marc Dunn is also expected to sign, but Swindall said that Dunn has not made a final decision yet as to where he will play his college football.
Also, defensive linemen Seth Fergerson and Brett Young and linebacker Shawn Vandiver have visited Birmingham Southern and may sign letters of intent. Running back Kirby Nelson and lineman Jonathon Duke have visited Stillman College.
The 6-foot-2, 275-pound Tillery anchored Russellville's offensive line and was named All-State in Class 5A as a senior. UT-Martin is an Ohio Valley Conference university located near the Kentucky border that qualified for the Division I-AA playoffs last season and finished with a 9-3 record.
"Taz is a self-made man," Swindall said. "He has really used the weight room to his advantage. He has worked hard and made himself into somebody who is going to be a great college football player. I have no doubt that he'll make a major impact at the next level."
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Graham was the leader of Russellville's secondary and finished with 62 tackles, including 54 solo stops. He also intercepted two passes, returning one of them for a touchdown.
"Rashad is a great defensive back," Swindall said. "He was kind of under the radar until his senior year, but then he was really highly-recruited. He's a good kid and a good student, too. He makes good grades, and I know he'll be successful at the next level."
Southern Illinois is a Gateway Conference team that finished 9-4 in 2006 and also qualified for the Division I-AA playoffs.
Dunn didn't join the Golden Tigers until Week 6 after transferring from Westminster Christian Academy. He still finished third on the team with 23 catches for 290 yards and five touchdowns.
"Marc is a great player," Swindall said. "We only had him for a few games, but he definitely has what it takes to succeed at the next level."