Though he is known for his intensity as a defensive tackle for Northside High School, Jalen Durham said he has always been a bit of a mama's boy.
That is going to change soon as he moves across the country.
Durham, a senior, has signed a letter-of-intent to play football for the University of San Diego.
"I think it will help bring me out of my shell," he said.
That's not the only reason he chose to go to the west coast. "As a city, San Diego is hard to pass up," he said.
Two of his teammates decided to stay closer to home. Johnny Garner and Donte Donahue shared the spotlight at a signing ceremony Thursday afternoon in the Northside auditorium.
Garner signed a letter-of-intent to play football for Alabama State University and Donahue signed a letter-of-intent to play football for Fort Valley State University.
Garner was an outside linebacker for Northside but figures he will play strong safety for Alabama State.
"It won't be much of an adjustment," he said.
Garner said he wanted to stay close to home and when he visited the Alabama State campus, he fell in love with the place.
Donahue figures he will play middle linebacker for Fort Valley.
"There is a great family environment there," he said. Donahue is hoping for some early playing time.
A fourth Northside player, wide receiver Sammy Baucham, signed with Concordia College in Minnesota but did not take part in the ceremony.
"We've had eight players sign," Northside coach Paul Cates said. "That's very good for this program."
Cates said that the players signing have "worked real hard" to reach this point.
"These young men were good teammates on and off the field," Cates said.