Across the country Wednesday morning, high school senior football players signed their letters-of-intent on National Signing Day, pledging where they will be heading in the fall to play their college ball.
A unique opportunity was presented to local New Orleans prep stars, as the Saints opened up their facility to host 18 players as they officially committed to their football futures.
The event was hosted both by the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Institute of Sports and Entertainment. Prior to making their announcements before a group of television cameras, the student-athletes were addressed by Saints' college scouting coordinator Jason Mitchell, who implored the young men to take full advantage of their opportunity to not only continue their football careers, but to also gain an invaluable college education.
Joel Ross, a standout defensive tackle from Vanderbilt Catholic High School who signed with the University of Southern Mississippi, summed up the excitement of the day.
"It feels good," Ross said of the chance to sign his letter at the Saints complex alongside other New Orleans players. "I've played against a lot of these guys and it's really a special day. I'm excited to commit to Southern Miss and continue my education and football career."
The following is a list of the 18 players who signed their letters Wednesday morning, along with their high school and the college they will be attending in the fall.