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Football Signees


Most coaches would take notice of 24 wins over 2 seasons. Upstate SC college football coaches certainly did as three of them offered scholarships to five Clinton High varsity football players.

The Red Devils - 13-1 in 2022 with a region championship and 11-2 in 2021 - impressed the coaches at up and coming Anderson University, and long-time football schools North Greenville University and Newberry College enough to make the offers on National Signing Day. All 5 players are All-Laurens County Team members and 2 - Bryson James and Hezekiah Kinard - played in the Touchstone Energy Bowl in Myrtle Beach; James was the winning North teams’ leading rusher.  Dre’ Aiken was a standout on an offensive line that blocked for more than 5,000 yards rushing. Jishun Copeland and Justin Copeland are speedsters capable of playing in all 3 phases - offense, defense and special teams.

James, Kinard and Aiken signed witn Anderson University.

Anderson’s inaugural football season will be in 2024, and the program will have its first Football Jamboree, a fund-raising dinner, Feb. 16.

Justin Copeland signed with North Greenville University.

NGU was 4-7 last season and plays in Conference Carolinas.

Jishun Copeland signed with Newberry College.

The Wolves were 9-2 last season and defeated Mars Hill for the South Atlantic Conference Championship. 

All 3 destinations are within easy driving distance of Clinton for home games.

Red Devil Football Head Coach Corey Fountain, whose teams have lost just three times in the past two seasons, said, “According to the NCAA website 7.3% of students who graduate high school will play in college and just 4.8% will play at Division I, that’s out of over 1 Million student-athletes in the country. The young men we have today are a special group of young men. They have embodied our core values since they began their careers at the high school - love, integrity, toughness, effort, pride - they have represented their family and school with pride in everything they do since they’ve been here. On behalf of all the coaches, it’s been a blessing watching them grow not only as football players but as young men … go out and be great so people will realize what great young people we have here in Clinton, South Carolina.” 

The 5 signees indicated that small college programs in the Upstate area were looking at them, with some interest coming from Coffeyville, Kansas. Each had their own unique reasons for making their pick.

Dre’ Aiken said 5-6 schools were interested but Anderson “stood out and caught my attention; the coaches show love, the campus is beautiful.” He expects to play on the offensive line, and said this past senior year was his most memorable experience - “You want it more.”

He expects to major in business marketing and management and become an entrepreneur.  

Justin Copeland said North Greenville’s football facilities and campus stood out to him. “If I get hurt, I could fall back on school; that’s the No. 1 thing.” He is recruited as an athlete and expects to play safety. His game against Woodruff this past season is his most memorable moment. He expects to major in business entrepreneurship and wants to develop his own clothing brand. 

Bryson James said he chose Anderson because “I want to put God in my life more.” He expects to be a running back for the Trojans and said he wouldn’t mind playing a little defense from time to time. His most memorable moment was “all of it since we started in our freshmen year.” 

Hezekiah Kinard said Anderson “felt like a home; once you’re on the Anderson campus, you feel like that’s home.” He expects to play on the defensive line, and like James said, “all of it, how we all came together” is his most memorable moment. He expects to major in physical education - with an eye to teaching and coaching.

Jishun Copeland said he visited Newberry last Wednesday and found its facilities, football program, and academics “fit me best.” He expects to play at slot receiver and running back. His most memorable moment is “just being here with these boys; it was a great experience.” He expects to major in business management.

See WLBG’s Mike Hughes Sports Report interview with the 5 Clinton High signees on the radio station’s website under Sports and on YouTube.

Anderson University has announced 56 signees from last Wednesday’s National Signing Day.

Newberry College has posted a signees roster of 48 student-athletes.

North Greenville University is posting its signees on Twitter.


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