By David Knox
Pinson Valley High star football players Jay Woods and Trey Minnifield signed to continue their educations and football careers on Wednesday’s National Signing Day.
Woods, rated by Scout.com as the fourth-best defensive back in the state, signed to play at the University of South Alabama.
Minnifield, a safety, signed to play at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla.
At the signing celebration in the school’s auditorium, PVHS Principal Michael Turner told a large, excited gathering of the players’ family members, friends and students how highly impressed he was the with the character and quality of the two players and recognized the efforts of the families in impacting their lives. He said if his own two young children “turned out half as good, as solid of character as these two young men, my wife and I will have done our job.
“That being said, ‘Fear the Spear,’ and make us proud.”
Coach Matt Glover said it was always a great day when his players got the chance to continue with their passion of playing football and get the opportunity to further their education.
Glover said, “Remember this: When you leave her, not only do you represent yourself and your family, but also your fellow students and teammates. I expect great things out of y’all.”
Jacque Woods Jr., Jay’s father, said his son had 31 offers to sift through, including ones from Cincinnati, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Marshall, Army and Southern Miss.
Woods said he verbally committed to South Alabama after attending a camp there in June and never waver3ed in his decision, even though the offers kept rolling in. “I liked the coaches, head coach Joey Jones, the campus and everything about it. I just felt at home. The coaches were great to me, I felt like they wanted me more than the other schools. And they have my major, hospitality management.”
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Woods is rated a three-star player by Scout.com, the No. 4 cornerback in the state and in the top 150 in the country. He said he could play either corner or safety in the Jaguars’ nickel defense.
Minnifield, a 6-3, 180 safety, said he visited Southern Nazarene and liked everything he saw. “I know I’m going to be a little homesick at first, but said “It’s a blessing and a great opportunity.
“I liked the campus and the coaches, and they really seemed like they wanted me there.”
Southern Nazarene is a NCAA Division II school. The Crimson Storm just hired a new coach In Andy Lambert, and he’s trying to upgrade the talent. It’s a Christian-based school that emphasizes that aspect as well as academics.
Minnifield’s mother, Ronda Henderson, said her son had many options because of his academic standing. He had been accepted to schools such as Alabama for his academics. But he really wanted the chance to continue to play football as well. She said he’s interested in majoring in engineering right now.
Glover said two or three other players might end up signing after the first wave of signees shakes out, perhaps with Division III schools.