Becky Taylor / The Tifton Gazette
The Valdosta Daily Times
A.J. Wooten did not make any speeches Wednesday morning, but his smile said enough for him. After signing with the University of Central Florida, the now former Berrien Rebel picked up a cap with the school's logo and broke into a big grin.
Wooten, a defensive lineman, was recruited by Tifton native Tyson Summers to play for the Knights. ESPN listed him as a 3-star recruit and the No. 100 national prospect at defensive end. While Berrien did not make the playoffs during any of his seasons, he picked up recognition on both the gridiron and basketball court. He was named to the Georgia North-South All-Star game in December and was second team all-region in basketball last year and is currently averaging 11 points and 8 rebounds per game for the Rebels.
Ed Pilcher, who took over as football coach last year, said he was thrilled that one of his players was getting this opportunity, not just to play football, but also for an education.
In a media release Wednesday, Summers said: “First of all, A.J. is an outstanding young man, and a high-character guy. He has a lot of tools, potential and God-given ability. He’s 6-5, 240-plus pound kid who has played offensive and defensive line.
“We think he’s going to be a guy that can play six-technique for us, which is a difficult position to play. But he’s got the frame and body size to wind up being the guy to play defensive tackle for us down the road. That’s what we are always looking for — guys who have height and can run, and he has that ability.”