Three seniors signed national letters of intent Dec. 16
Jaylen Collins, David Stubbs and Malakai Grant are the latest Bulldogs to put pen to paper and sign their National Letters of Intent on Dec. 16. All three of the signees are committing to playing football at the collegiate level.
Stubbs and Collins are choosing to stay together, as the pair will be taking their talents to Stetson University. Grant, however, is choosing the intermountain region of the United States, opting to play for Colorado State University. All of them will be receiving full scholarships.
"They're the kind you'd want to point out to young guys to be like," head coach Travis Roland said. "They're just great."
Despite signing together, each of them have had different path that led them to be sitting at the same table. Grant, a three-year starter and the 2019 News-Journal Defensive Player of the Year, has always been a frontrunner for the Bulldogs. Over the course of his prep career, the linebacker has made a total of 370 tackles — 101 of those coming from his senior season alone.
"I'd like to thank my family and my coaches for today," Grant said during the signing. "Honestly, without them, I wouldn't be here — none of this would be possible."
Collins, like Grant, started his career at FPC playing JV. However, his sophomore campaign was cut short after he broke his arm during the season. Unsure if he would continue playing, Collins pushed forward. With the help of his coaches and family, the cornerback and wide receiver got healthy enough to return to the field the next season, became one of the driving forces for the Bulldogs and now is accepting a full scholarship to further his academic and athletic careers. During his senior season, Collins notably broke up six passes along with a single interception and had an 85-yard kickoff return that was good for a touchdown on Oct. 2 against University.
"This is really our scholarship," Collins said in reference to his mother. "But I thank the coaches for taking a scrawny 15-year-old with a broken arm and turning me into who I am now."
Stubbs, who initially joined the team as a freshman, shared the same sentiments.
"It really means a lot," Stubbs said. "I thank God first, but I thank the team for the opportunity to come out here."
After his freshman season, Stubbs chose to focus more on school, eventually dual-enrolling at Daytona State while attending his classes at FPC. Deciding to give it one more try, Stubbs returned to the field as a senior playing as a wide receiver, coming into the program "brand new, but at the same time having enough swag to get a starting spot and become a respected member," as Rowland put it. This chance resulted in Stubbs catching 22 passes for 288 yards in one season alone.
"It's amazing being able to watch these kids go to college," Roland said. "This day is more gratifying to me than anything else."