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West Hall's Tyquan Statham 'finally at peace' ahead of college decision on National Signing Day
Senior Spartan to choose between Vanderbilt, Wake Forest or Cincinnati
West Hall's Tyquan Statham cuts to the edge in a Sept. 6, 2014 game against Chestatee. Statham is expected to sign a letter of intent to play football at either Vanderbilt, Wake Forest or Cincinnati on National Signing Day. - photo by Jared Putnam

West Hall senior Tyquan Statham said he was “finally at peace” after having made up his mind on whether he will sign to play for Vanderbilt, Wake Forest or Cincinnati on National Signing Day. 

Statham, who split time between outside linebacker and running back for the Spartans in his senior year, will make his pick and sign a letter of intent at 8:30 a.m. today at West Hall High, with many of his family, friends and coaches alongside him.

“It’s been a very, very long process,” said Statham. “Back when recruitment started, early sophomore year, going back and forth from favorite schools and not-so-favorite schools, and now I can make my choice on Wednesday.”

Statham earned a spot on the 2015 All-State Class AAA football First Team and was named on The Times’ First-Team All-Area for the past two seasons. He completed his senior year with 70 tackles, including six for a loss, with a fumble recovery, a defensive touchdown and a blocked field goal to help West Hall reach the state playoffs.

Statham was also a key cog in the offense during the 2014 season when West Hall earned its first region title in school history. The senior praised his coach Tony Lotti for helping him navigate the tricky road of recruiting, summer camps and official visits.

“With Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, it’s the academic prestige, the tradition of both of them, and with Cincinnati, it’s the relationship I have with the coaches and the players,” said Statham. “I’ve made my choice, I’m just holding out until Wednesday.”

“I’m finally at peace,” he said. “The last couple weeks were nerve-wracking, but I’m comfortable now.”

Following his signing, Statham will join a host of local area athletes Wednesday at a National Signing Day event hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the Longstreet Café in Gainesville. The event will begin at 2 p.m. and includes nearly 30 athletes from several schools from Hall County and Banks County.


While many have already signed their letters of intent, some like Statham have yet to officially announce their decision.

Flowery Branch’s Sterling Sykes, Gainesville’s Messiah Dorsey, and Gainesville’s Tae Turner are listed to appear at Longstreet Café, but have not yet released their commitment.

All three were named to The Times’ 2015 All-Area Football Team.

Sykes, Flowery Branch’s highest-graded offensive lineman, took an official visit to Reinhardt University over the weekend.

Dorsey led Gainesville to the second round of the state playoffs as quarterback, after featuring as a wide receiver for his previous three years. He was responsible for 13 touchdowns and 1,362 passing yards with 10 rushing scores.

Turner, a former Lakeview Academy standout, was a force to be reckoned with on kick/punt returns and accrued 254 yards on 18 catches in the season.


Buford running back Martin Mangram verbally committed on Saturday to play at the University of Massachusetts, where his older brother Brandon also plays for the Minutemen.

Banks County’s Trevae Cain verbally committed on Tuesday to play football for Reinhardt University.


Most of the athletes in attendance at Longstreet Café today have already signed their letters of intent, Some, like Statham, will officially sign today.

Flowery Branch girls basketball players Breanna Locke (Lenoir-Rhyne) and Maddie Hetzel (University of North Georgia) made their commitment in the early signing period and said they were anticipating making the jump to the next level following their high school careers.

“I’m super excited,” said Hetzel. “One of the reasons I signed early was because I wanted to relax in my senior year and be ready for that. But I’m excited to get to know the campus and the team.”

Locke said her college coach can expect her to compete at shooting guard, small forward and power forward. Following the end of the regular season, she’ll get one week off before starting offseason workouts.

As of last week, these are the athletes expected to attend the Longstreet Café event.

LAKEVIEW ACADEMY: Thaddeus Webb (Alcorn State, football) and Alexis Gopfert (Biola University, golf)

GAINESVILLE: Spencer Ralston (University of Georgia, golf); Jonathan Gettys (LSU, baseball); Chris Byrd (Kennesaw State, football); Chris Lyles (Hutchins Junior College, football); Messiah Dorsey (uncommitted for football); Cole Handte (Mars Hill, football); Dylan Blanchard (Mars Hill, football); Jase Lint (Reinhardt University, football); Demichael Borders (Dean Junior College, football) and Tae Turner (uncommitted for football)

NORTH HALL: Ashley Goines (University of Pikeville, softball); Michael Carew (Shorter University, wrestling); Alexis Flanagan (Reinhardt University, soccer)

EAST HALL: Will Davidson (Campbell University, wrestling) and Ashlyn Ellison (Armstrong State University, basketball)

CHESTATEE: Samantha Addington (Truett-McConnell, soccer)

WEST HALL: Anthony Lotti (Wisconsin, football); Kwon Williams (Georgia State, football) and Tyquan Statham (uncommitted for football)

FLOWERY BRANCH: Cortez Davis (University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, football); Sterling Sykes (uncommitted for football); Breanna Locke (Lenoir-Rhyne University, basketball); Maddie Hetzel (University of North Georgia, basketball); Bailey Sims (Belmont University, softball) and Johana Earnhart (George Mason, softball)

BANKS COUNTY: Morgan Rylee (Southern Wesleyan University, golf) and Cody Parker (Toccoa Falls College, baseball)

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