Andre Amaker has always wanted to play college football, but up until a few weeks ago it didn't look as though that might be in the offing for the Sumter High School linebacker, at least at a 4-year school.
Then Newberry College came calling, and …
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Melvin Lundy DB Newberry
Andre Amaker LB Newberry
Antonio Roach LB Newberry
Keshawn Croskey WR Pike
Abraham Temoney DB Erskine
Zyricq Rufus OL Catawba
Terrance McClain OL South Carolina State
Anthony Bradley QB Allen
Sean Swaringer Newberry
A’Monte Brown Newberry
Treyshawn Moore Shepherd
NATIONAL SIGNING DAY
Eric Watts DE Connecticut
Zion Nelson OL Miami
Tayvian Gass OL Wofford
Joshua Simon WR Western Kentucky
Malik Richardson QB Western Carolina
Then Newberry College came calling, and now Amaker can call himself a Wolf.
Amaker, along with SHS teammates Antonio Roach and Melvin Lundy, signed with Newberry on Wednesday in a ceremony at the Sumter High mini-gymnasium.
Other Gamecocks signing on Wednesday were wide receiver Keshawn Croskey with Pike University and defensive back Abraham Temoney with Erskine College.
"I'd just like to thank God, my parents and all who've helped me along the way," Amaker said. "I thank God for blessing me with the ability and for giving me the chance and the opportunity."
Amaker had Furman and The Citadel among others showing interest in him, but none of them would pull the trigger with an offer. That's when Newberry stepped in.
The coaching staff began talking to him, and he and Lundy went on a visit Jan. 12-13. Amaker got an offer, and he decided Newberry was the place for him.
"When I went on the visit, the coaches told me how much they liked me and how much they wanted me," Amaker said. "It's just great to get a full ride to go and play and get an education."
Amaker finished with 56 tackles and six tackles for loss on an outstanding Sumter defense. He started two of his three seasons on the varsity and was an all-region performer.
Gamecock head coach Mark Barnes thinks Newberry is getting an outstanding player.
"I think what they like so much about Andre is he is very versatile," said Barnes, who led SHS to a 10-1 record this past season. "He's not a large linebacker (5-feet-10-inches, 190 pounds), but he's a great tackler in space, and more and more schools are looking for someone who can tackle in space.
"He can also cover. He's a great cover guy as a linebacker on the varsity level. I can see him playing outside linebacker and doing a great job."
Newberry is a member of the South Atlantic Conference. The Wolves had a 5-6 overall record this past season and went 3-4 in the SAC.
Amaker is happy he is going to get to share the college football experience with Roach and Lundy.
"We all wanted to play together," he said.
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