The destination was never a question.
Once Lance and Lawrence Austin and Qua Searcy committed to Georgia Tech in June, the trio of Lamar County standouts didn’t waver on the decision.
That didn’t make Wednesday’s National Signing Day ceremony at Lamar County any less exciting. A cafeteria full of students and family — the school even bused in middle school football players — watched the Austin twins, Searcy and Tyler Scandrett sign national letters-of-intent just before 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Scandrett, a place-kicker who made game-winning field goals to beat Benedictine in the playoffs the past two seasons, signed with South Carolina State.
“I think we tried to set an example for the guys coming after us,” Lance Austin said. “It’s up to them to finish it off.”
This core group of seniors led Lamar County to the GHSA Class AA championship game in December. The Trojans lost 14-7 to Lovett at the Georgia Dome. They led the Trojans to three consecutive region championships and an appearance in the state semifinals and the state championship game.
“They leave here as the measuring stick,” Lamar County head coach Franklin Stephens said. “They’re the measuring stick from the perspective of how to go in every day and prepare to play the game and, not just to play the game, but academically.”
Both Austin twins and Searcy are projected to play defensive back at Georgia Tech. Searcy said he wanted to form the best secondary in the nation.
All three received all-state honors during their time at Lamar County, where they starred on both sides of the football. Lance Austin also played quarterback, while Lawrence Austin played running back and Searcy played receiver.
The trio played together since middle school and formed a tight bond. All three had offers from Marshall and South Carolina. Searcy is probably the most heavily recruited of the three, earning offers from Clemson, Louisville, Michigan State, N.C. State, North Carolina, Mississippi, South Florida, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.
But the Austin twins committed to Georgia Tech on June 17, and Searcy followed two days later.
“It’s even better signing with these guys,” Lawrence Austin said. “You know you won’t be going in alone.”
Lawrence Austin joked Scandrett might have left the biggest mark on the program through his two game-winning field goals. The first, a 47-yarder, sent the Trojans to the state semifinals in 2012, and the second sent them to the state championship game. Both came as time expired to beat Benedictine.
“I think he may have the biggest legacy of us all,” he said. “He made some game-changing kicks that changed the whole school history.”