Nine Middle Creek senior football student-athletes sign NLIs
Posted February 2
Apex, N.C. — Thirteen Middle Creek senior student-athletes put pen to paper Thursday afternoon in front of fellow students and family, signing National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers on the college level.
Nine of the 13 senior athletes were members of the Mustangs’ football team: John Singleton, Dominique Shoffner, Daniel Jackson, Michael Russell, Dareke Young, Shammond Hicks, Jaden King, Josh Drake and Zayvon Powell.
Middle Creek football head coach Randy Ragland said he’d like to coach the senior class for the rest of his life, but is thrilled for their opportunity at the next level.
“I’m extremely proud, it’s a special group of young men,” Ragland said. “This senior class lost three football games in their entire career, two of those were in the eastern finals.”
Ragland introduced each of his players Thursday afternoon, but was moved to tears when speaking about wide receiver Dareke Young.
The Lenoir-Rhyne-bound receiver broke his leg during a camp last summer, and there was a period with much uncertainty about the future of his football career with the Mustangs.
“I’ll never forget where I was on July 14, 2016. We were at a camp at Campbell and he had been having a great camp,” Ragland said. “Taking him to the hospital and not knowing that night of what was going to happen, or if they were going to tell him that his season was over.
“I had seen all the work that Dareke had put in through offseason, and just to think that he wasn’t going to have the opportunity to play his senior year … thankfully it was only a four-to-six week deal.”
Here is an inside look at Middle Creek’s 2017 football signing class:
Dominique Shoffner (QB, Army)
Shoffner, a duel-threat quarterback, completed 203 passes for 2,952 yards, 38 touchdowns and six interceptions. The West Point-bound Shoffner posted a quarterback rating of 128.1 and averaged 196.8 yards through the air per contest.
He also garnered 133 carries for 448 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground as a senior.
Shoffner totaled 3,4000 all-purpose yards last season, posting an average of 226.7 total yards per contest.
Daniel “DJ” Jackson (DB, Army)
Jackson will join fellow teammate and longtime friend Shoffner at West Point.
The standout safety led the Mustangs last season with 97 tackles – averaging 6.5 per game – and posted a team-high 10 interceptions, with one being returned for touchdown.
He also tallied two forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one blocked field goal.
John Singleton (LB/DE, Gardner Webb)
Singleton ranked first on the Mustangs’ defense with 8.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss, and finished third on the team with 74 total tackles.
The senior also recorded held a team-high three blocked punts, tallied two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles and one safety.
Michael Russell (LB/DE, Lenoir-Rhyne)
Russell finished his senior campaign with 59 tackles – seven for loss – and ranked second on the team with six sacks.
He also tallied three forced fumbles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Russell returned one fumble and interception apiece back for touchdowns last season.
Dareke Young (WR, Lenoir-Rhyne)
Young hauled in 31 catches for 386 receiving yards and five touchdowns in only nine games last season. He averaged 12.5 yards per catch and 42.9 receiving yards per contest.
Shammond Hicks (WR, UNC Pembroke)
The Mustangs’ speedster on the outside, Hicks led Middle Creek with 712 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns last year.
Hicks also factored into special teams, averaging 21.2 yards per kickoff return on five attempts.
Jaden King (DB, St. Andrews)
King garnered 37 tackles, three interceptions, three passes defensed and three forced fumbles as a senior for Middle Creek.
Josh Drake (DL, St. Andrews)
Drake totaled 19 tackles – one for loss – two sacks in 11 games as a senior last season. He averaged 1.7 tackles per game and totaled 10 yards for loss.
Zayvon Powell (NG, St. Andrews)
Powell finished his senior campaign with 30 tackles, with three coming behind the line of scrimmage. He also tallied 1.5 sacks, one interception an one fumble recovery last year.
For the latest Triangle-area high school football recruiting updates, follow Jon Stout on Twitter.