Darius Eubanks, a three-sport letterman at Thomson High School, has accepted a scholarship offer from Georgia Southern University to play college football in Statesboro next season.
The 17-year-old Eubanks, son of Stephanie and Shawn Walker, who live in McDuffie County near Harlem, signed a letter of intent to play for the Eagles during special ceremonies held last Wednesday. The day was recognized as National Signing Day for prep standout football players across the country.
"It feels real good to know that I'll be playing college football next year, because there's a lot of players that won't get that opportunity," said Eubanks during an interview with The McDuffie Mirror.
Eubanks decided on the GSU Eagles over the University of Kentucky Wildcats, who had strongly recruited him, too.
The football, basketball and track star said he chose the Eagles over the Wildcats based on a number of reasons. The number one reason is that the Eagles offered him a chance to become a starter his freshman year. Kentucky, a Division I member of the Southeastern Conference, wanted to gray-shirt him and not offer him a full scholarship until January 2010.
"I'm pleased with the decision I made," said Eubanks. "It was the better one for me, because I want to school in the fall."
He's also been told that he might even get a chance to start as a freshman.
"I was the only defensive safety they signed at Georgia Southern," said Eubanks, who stands 6-2 and weighs 190 lbs. Eubanks, one of several area football players to be named to the 2008 Augusta Chronicle's Dream Team, also said he has been told he may see some action as a receiver.
"He's got great hands," said legendary Thomson Head Coach Luther Welsh. "He'll make Georgia Southern a fine football player."
At one point, Georgia Southern also expressed an interest in Eubanks playing basketball. But the senior has rejected that possibility, saying he'd rather play just one sport in college - football.
Another reason for choosing Georgia Southern University over Kentucky is the rich tradition found in playing football for the Eagles, said Eubanks.
"I like the traditions there that were started by Coach (Erk) Russell," added Eubanks, referring to the players riding the old yellow school buses and the taking of water from Eagle Creek near Paulson Stadium to away games to sprinkle on the field of their opponents.
"I think I have a real chance of playing next season, if work hard," said Eubanks. "I'm going to learn as fast as I can. I feel like there's a lot of opportunities in Statesboro for me."