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James, Isaac to ink offers Wednesday

Two Demopolis High School seniors will officially commit to continuing their football careers Wednesday when they sign letters of intent.

Defensive back Wiley Isaac will sign with Stillman College after receiving an offer from the NCAA Division II school over the weekend.

“I had gotten called by (NCAA Division III) Huntingdon College,” Isaac said of his recruiting experiences. “I went up Saturday to visit Stillman. They took me around the campus. I committed to them up there. The coaches want me to do my (academic) work first and football to come second. I really liked that.”

“We’re extremely proud of him,” Demopolis head football coach Tom Causey said of Isaac. “Really the last year and a half he has worked as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen. It’s great to see a kid like that get rewarded.”

Isaac started at cornerback and on special teams during his time with the Tigers, also getting in snaps on the offensive side of the ball.

Causey said Stillman appreciates Isaac’s athleticism and will likely give him an opportunity to contribute in a number of ways.

“He’s really grown up over the last four years,” Causey said. “You see Wiley becoming a young man and no longer being a kid. He was one of our leaders on our football team this year without a doubt.”

For Isaac, the opportunity means he will get an education without presenting a financial burden to his parents.

“A lot of pressure came off my mom and dad,” Isaac said. “That was my main thing.”

Isaac will be signing his letter of intent alongside teammate DaMarcus James.

A two-time all-state player, the 2009 Class 5A Back of the Year, 2009 Mr. Football runner-up and 2009 Super Six Class 5A MVP, James rushed for 6,946 yards in his high school career. After flirtations from a number of schools, James is expected to sign with Jacksonville State University.

“It’s a nice community. It ain’t too big, it ain’t too small,” James said of Jacksonville. “Everybody seemed really excited about me coming up there.”

“It’s a place that he’s going to be well taken care of,” Causey said. “He’s going to have a chance to play for a conference championship. If he wins that, he’ll have a chance to play for a national championship.”

At Jacksonville State, James joins a roster that includes 2009 Mr. Football Coty Blanchard.

“Two of the top players in the state last year in on the same team, something good has got to come out of that,” James said.

“I think it’s huge for Jax State to have Coty Blanchard in there and have DaMarcus James coming in,” Causey said of the Gamecock coup.

During his time at Jacksonville State, James would annually encounter some of the stiffest competition in the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision as well as facing a top-tier BCS team each year.

In 2010, the Gamecocks grabbed national headlines by knocking off Ole Miss. Over the next four seasons, they are scheduled to face Kentucky, Florida, Auburn and Michigan State.

“He’s going to have the chance to play against big time D-I competition each year,” Causey said.

“That just gives me a chance to show a bigger school what I can do,” James said of the Gamecocks’ penchant for challenging larger schools.

The leading rusher for his home state in the 2010 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic, James figures to fill a need for the Gamecocks, whose top runner accounted for only 534 yards during the team’s most recent campaign.

Demopolis High will hold its Signing Day ceremony at 8:15 a.m. in the school library.