Sign me up! Area student-athletes pick colleges

Posted at 9:30 AM, Feb 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 18:34:01-05

CINCINNATI — Colerain football coach Tom Bolden didn’t need the microphone. His message was loud and clear.

Bolden was the tenth and final coach to speak at the Greater Miami Conference’s National Signing Day ceremony Wednesday afternoon at Beacon Orthopaedics in Sharonville.

He also spoke directly about what Wednesday signified to players, coaches, families and friends gathered in the large meeting area at Beacon's Summit Woods location.

“Not a good day, but a great day,” Bolden said. “Bottom line.”

That pretty much summed up the theme across the area. No drama, but plenty of reward and recognition.

Wednesday was the first day NCAA student-athletes could sign National Letters of Intent in football, soccer and men’s water polo.

More than 100 football players have made college commitments in the Cincinnati area.

College programs and high schools alike announced signingsat a furious pace on social media before 8 a.m.

Ohio State officially announced the signings of two additional U.S Army All-Americans – La Salle punter Drue Chrisman and Moeller tight end Jake Hausmann.

Northwestern announced that standout La Salle running back Jeremy Larkin signed with the Wildcats. He was a key part of the Lancers' consecutive Division II state titles.

See photos from Wednesday's signing ceremonies at area schools

At Elder’s Schaeper Center, the Panthers recognized nine student-athletes including U.S. Army All-American offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer (Notre Dame), quarterback Peyton Ramsey (Indiana) and standout soccer player Joey Sabato (Northern Kentucky University).

Elder coach Doug Ramsey, the father of Peyton, said his son was up early Wednesday morning and there was plenty of anticipation.

“This is a huge day for them in their lives,” Elder coach Doug Ramsey said. “And as a parent I am extremely proud. It’s just a special day.”

Kraemer, the Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year, signed at 7 a.m., an hour after he woke up, his parents Mike and Kate Kraemer said.

“He couldn’t sleep,” Kate said.

Elder offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer signs with Notre Dame during Wednesday's signing day as his parents Mike and Kate look on.

While Kraemer had been verbally committed to Notre Dame for quite some time, two area football standouts were uncommitted publicly entering early Wednesday morning.

Shortly before 10 a.m., the Auburn football program tweeted the signing of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy senior lineman Prince Sammons.

Sammons, one of the nation’s top strong-side defensive ends, verbally committed to the Tigers on Tuesday night but initially planned to announce in a school ceremony Wednesday afternoon at CHCA. He also considered Duke, Oregon and Michigan State.

Sammons said the recruiting process was stressful at times, but he thoroughly enjoyed everything about Auburn.

"He had a great visit," CHCA coach Eric Taylor told “He had it down to some of the best schools in the country. It was splitting hairs trying to decide between them."

Taylor said the 6-foot-8, 275-pound Sammons enjoyed the Auburn campus and made solid connections with the players.

Auburn offered Sammons in July 2014. He still has improvements to make having played football for a relatively short amount of time, but his potential on the field is very good.

“The sky is the limit for that kid,” director Mark Porter told “God gave him so much.”

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy star Prince Sammons will play college football at Auburn University.

Later Wednesday morning, Mount Healthy quarterback/athlete David Montgomery announced his signing with Iowa State in front of family, friends, teammates and classmates at the high school auditorium.

Montgomery, the Associated Press Division III state offensive player of the year in 2015, rushed for 2,707 yards and 41 touchdowns and threw for 726 yards and seven touchdowns. He owns 11 school records.

He is projected to be a running back at Iowa State.

“If he stays healthy, I could say he is probably the best running back I’ve coached,” Mount Healthy coach Arvie Crouch said. “…He is a great kid. He has the potential to have a great career.”

Montgomery will join longtime friend and Colerain standout quarterback Deshaunte Jones at Iowa State. Jones was in attendance for Montgomery’s announcement.

The Greater Miami Conference was well represented with standouts at the conference ceremony.

Mason linebacker Ty Sponseller was all smiles with his University of Cincinnati hat. He was the second player to sign with the Bearcats on Wednesday morning.

He played free safety in high school and has added about 20 pounds to be at 210 right now. He is eager to get started with the Bearcats.

“You have to take a step back and realize now it’s time to work even harder because this isn’t it,” Sponseller said. “You have to reach bigger goals. It’s exciting.”