No team stuck with Callaway receiver Quantiavius Leslie through the season the way West Virginia did as he considered other offers closer to home, so he made sure to show the same loyalty to the Mountaineers on national signing day.
“Through it all, (West Virginia) still recruited me the hardest no matter what,” said Leslie, a 2009 Ledger-Enquirer Dandy Dozen preseason selection.
He was one of five Callaway players who signed during a morning ceremony at the school. Defensive tackle Jamal Bruce signed with Duke; D.J. Rutledge signed with Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College; and twin brothers Chaz and Chase Bowles signed with Shorter, an NAIA school in Rome, Ga.
Bruce, who committed to Duke in December, said he was excited at the prospect of playing at for the Blue Devils because of the level of competition and the school’s academic history.
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“It’s the best of both worlds,” Bruce said. “I get to play ACC football and get a great education.”
Callaway won its second straight Region 5-AA title last season and reached the third round of the state playoffs for the first time with a 10-3 overall and 8-0 region record.
The signees also were part of the most successful class in Callaway football history, going 33-14 through the previous four seasons and 28-8 since their sophomore seasons.
“It feels great to know I was part of the class of 2010, and it just pumps me up to know that we had a winning record and were the winningest class in Callaway history,” Bruce said. “I’m just proud to be part of that.”
Rutledge said he was looking forward to developing at Coffeyville, a school with a reputation for sending its players on to larger, four-year schools.
“They send a lot of people to good Division I schools,” Rutledge said. “I’m just hoping to go there and prove myself and go on to the next level.”
The recruiting process was a bit different for the Bowles brothers as their first priority was finding a place to continue playing together. Shorter gave them the chance, and the two said they like the school for its location and coaches.
“It’s a really homey environment,” Chaz Bowles said. “It’s really close to home. Rome is a great city. It’s not too far away, and they have a great coaching staff.”