Roxanne Wilbon beamed as her son, Gerald, donned a University of Texas hat and made official his collegiate destination.
“Words can’t even describe what I’m feeling,” said the single mother. “It’s been a long way and a lot of work. But I think he’s headed to a really good place.”
Wilbon was one of a group of nine senior athletes who put pen to paper at Wednesday morning’s National Signing Day ceremony at Luling’s Professional Learning Center. The dominating 340 pound defensive tackle of the Wildcats football squad was joined in front of a host of supporters by four of his teammates (Glen Logan, John Williams, Tyler Addison and Kendell Anderson), while three Hahnville football players (Eric Gilmore, Chris Marshall and Drew Melancon) and one HHS swimmer (Warren Massimini) signed as well.
Wilbon said there wasn’t much anxiety about his decision, but was nonetheless glad to put it behind him.
“I feel good about whole situation,” he said. “I knew since my first trip this was where I wanted to be and I have no doubts about this decision. This has been a great ceremony. I’m looking forward to my future and I’m ready to roll into college.”
The day’s greatest intrigue centered around the decision of Logan, who officially chose LSU as his destination Wednesday. The Wildcats’ defensive end had long committed to LSU, but there had been speculation he would jump to the University of Miami — Logan’s choice, in fact, was listed as “TBD” on the official signing day program handed out that morning.
But when it came time to sign, Logan decided to stay close to home — and make plenty of local fans happy.
“I’m just happy to be a Tiger,” Logan said. “It’s like a weight off my shoulders.”
Logan acknowledged the Miami rumors and didn’t deny joining the Hurricanes was a consideration, but said he’s going where he wants to be.
“I’ve always wanted to play for that big college, big school,” Logan said. “I took a few weeks to think about it, but I stuck with LSU.”
A pair of Hahnville defensive backs, Eric Gilmore and Chris Marshall, are headed as a tandem to Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.
The two are excited to hit the next level together.
“It’s a blessing and a dream come true,” Gilmore said. “When I took my official visit, I fell in love with that place. I wanted to stay with my best friend, too. I was nervous today, but it’s very exciting.”
Marshall admitted major nerves before the signing day ceremony as well.
“I’m not used to this,” Marshall said with a broad smile. “I was scared, but I knew I had to push through it … I took my visit and knew it was the place for me.”
Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio said both players “came a long way” and said Coffeyville represents a chance for the two to still reach the Division I level once their two-year community college tenures are through.
“They both had opportunities to go other places, but both felt like they wanted to try one more time to get to a bigger university,” Saltaformaggio said. “They chose the junior college route to allow themselves the chance to try and get re-recruited. And I couldn’t disagree with them because I feel both of them will have a great opportunity in the very near future.
Massimini signed with Loyola-New Orleans.
“I love New Orleans,” Massimini said. “I get to stay here and fulfill my dream of swimming in college.
After transferring to Hahnville in his junior year, he said the support he and his swimming teammates received was memorable.
“I’ll always remember that support,” he said. “Where I was in the past, swimming wasn’t a big deal. People come out and cheer here, and it’s really exciting.”
Hahnville offensive tackle Melancon signed with Louisiana Tech. Destrehan wide receiver Williams inked with Memphis, while teammates Addison (wide receiver, Dartmouth) and Anderson (Southwest Mississippi Community College) joined him in the signing festivities.