By RENALDO DORSETT
SUMMER months mean a huge transition from high school to collegiate football for one Bahamian student athlete looking to make an immediate impact.
Jamaal Symonette signed a letter of intent to attend North Carolina Central University on a full four-year athletic scholarship for football in the Fall 2012 semester.
The season begins September 1 against Fayetteville State University.
In the third game of the season, Symonette and the Eagles will square off against fellow Bahamian August Campbell and the Duke Blue Devils on September 15.
An estimated crowd of more than 1,000 fans came out to O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium to witness the 2012 edition of the North Carolina Central University "Maroon vs. Gray" spring football game.
The 6'3 285-pound offensive and defensive lineman is a former St John's College multi-sport standout, now anchoring the offensive line at Champagnat Catholic High School in Miami, Florida.
In his brief stint at Champagnat, Symonette's play has garnered numerous accolades, including All Dade County-Second Team, he was named to the "Private versus Public game" and was generally regarded as one of the top lineman in the Division 2A football conference.
Symonette was one of 27 student athletes to join the Eagles football programme, which is now in its second-year under head coach Henry Frazier III.
"We're extremely excited," Frazier said of the 2012 class on the NCCU Athletics website. "We think this is a very, very good signing class. It will definitely build on the class we had last year. This year's class is really off the charts. Our coaching staff did an outstanding job of bringing in quality young players that we can develop, and some we can play right away."
Frazier said the 2012 recruiting class addressed some needs on defense and the offensive line.
Symonette is one of nine offensive linemen signed with an average size of 6-3, 283 pounds. The defense signed six linebackers, five defensive backs and two defensive linemen.