BELLE GLADE — Three student athletes from the Glades area signed letters of intent at the national college signing day celebration held at Everglades Preparatory Academy Charter School (EPA) on Dec. 18.
Pahokee’s Frankie Burgess and Latarie Kinsler and Glades Central’s Ja’Vontae Williams signed letters of intent to play football at the college level. The event also recognized the students’ families, coaches, athletic directors, principals and the EPA family for their support.
Frankie Burgess signed a letter of intent with the University of Maryland. Burgess, who played outside linebacker for the Blue Devils, led the state in sacks this year and placed eighth nationally.
Burgess had previously verbally committed to the University of South Florida (USF). But when USF fired their head coach, Charlie Strong, after a disappointing season, Burgess opened up his recruitment once again.
“Frankie Burgess is a drill sergeant,” said Blue Devils coach D.J. Boldin earlier this year as Pahokee prepared to go on a playoff run. “He will not let anybody outwork him. He’s going to take coaching and do what he’s coached to do. Frankie puts team first, always. He demands his fellow teammates perform at an expectational level, whether it’s in a stretch line or a defensive play call.”
Also signing from Pahokee was defensive end Latarie Kinsler. Kinsler had offers from Illinois, Indiana and Florida Atlantic, but ultimately chose to sign a letter of intent for Syracuse University. In 2017, Kinsler led Class 1A in sacks with 12.
Glades Central wide receiver Ja’Vontae Williams will be joining Kinsler as he also signed a letter of intent for Syracuse. Williams had offers from the University of Miami, Oregon, University of South Florida and Illinois.
National Signing Day is when a high school senior may make their athletic scholarships official by signing their national letter of intent for a collegiate sport with a school that is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Traditionally, college football’s national signing day is the first Wednesday of February. A rule change in 2017 allowed recruits to sign with their college team in advance of the official signing day. This year that early signing period began on Dec. 18.