FLINT TWP. – Six Carman- Ainsworth football players signed to play at the next level in a ceremony Feb. 4 at the high school.
Four of them – Amir Jackson, Mike Hayes, Josh Ellison and Ziare Thomas — are headed for Ridgewater College, a community and technical college in Willmar and Hutchison, Minn.
Nate Williams Jr. signed with Olivet Nazarene, and Tyler Minor is headed for Ferris State University.
Minor is coming off a strong season at quarterback but can play wide receiver, running back, free safety and special teams. He also considered Grand Valley State and Northern Michigan.
“I picked Ferris State because of the way the coaches and I connected,” he said. “They have an amazing staff. Ferris State is a small school, so I can focus more on my schoolwork.”
Minor has not picked a major but is interested in business administration.
Williams looked at the University of Findlay (Ohio), Saginaw Valley State and Alma College before picking Olivet Nazarene, a nationally recognized Christian university south of Chicago.
“It’s a great environment, focusing on faith, family and football, with a great football team and staff,” he said.
Williams, who also runs track and works with disabled kids for basketball and Special Olympics, will major in exercise science and athletic training.
Jackson considered Davenport University, Siena Heights, Nassau, Hudson Valley and Concordia before choosing Ridgewater.
“I like the program and the interest they showed in me,” he said. “I’m looking forward to starting a new life and getting out of this city to make my family happy.”
Jackson will major in sports therapy and athletic training.
Ellison also considered Ferris State, Saginaw Valley, Grand Valley, Findlay and Minnesota. He will play football and baseball at Ridgewater.
“They have a great health and science program,” he said of his reason for picking the Minnesota juco.
Hayes also looked at Vermillion, Missouri Valley College and Graceland University in Iowa.
“I had a great connection with the (Ridgewater) coach and have a great opportunity,” he said.
Hayes will major in business and sales.