Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

April 17, 2011

Lowndes kicker Jed Solomon signs with Huntingdon College

VALDOSTA — When the Lowndes senior football players celebrated Signing Day back in February, kicker Jed Solomon watched as teammates like Tyler Hunter, Geraldo Orta and Troy Braswell signed their letters of intent.

Solomon knew he would be kicking for some college in 2011, but he needed a little longer past national Signing Day to find the right school.

He recently made that decision and settled with Division III Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., a four-year school entering its ninth season of football.

“It’s not a Division I school, but I’ve visited D-I schools and the campus is pretty much the same,” Solomon said. “That made a big impact. That’s a big reason why I made my decision.”

Back in February, Solomon had Huntingdon on his list of possible schools, along with Samford, Troy and Florida State. He could have walked on at Florida State and waited a couple years for a scholarship and the opportunity to kick.

“This one wasn’t the best offer I had, but I had offers from other schools in Kentucky and Tennessee,” Solomon said. “I decided I didn’t want to be that far from home, but then again, I didn’t want to be too close. Montgomery is three to three-and-a-half hours away, which is good.”

Another reason Solomon chose Huntingdon is because he will get to play right away and handle all of the Hawks’ kicking duties. As a freshman in the fall, Solomon will be the team’s place kicker, punter and kickoff man. It’s a job he had with the Vikings as a senior in 2010.

“That’s pretty big,” Solomon said. “This way, I get four years of college starting experience.”

Solomon won’t be on a football scholarship, because Division III doesn’t have athletic scholarships. Instead, Solomon will be on an academic scholarship that will pay his way. He said he plans to study the law side of criminal justice, maybe forensic science.

Huntingdon completed its eighth season of football in 2010. The Hawks went 6-4 last year under head coach Mike Turk, with a three-game winning streak to begin the season and a three-game winning streak to end the season, with all four losses in between.

In 2009, Turk directed the team to its first playoff appearance.

The Hawks open their 2011 season at Maryville (Tenn.) on Sept. 3.

Solomon is already preparing for the season. He’s been in the weight room and on the football field practicing kicks with Top Recruit Kicking in Valdosta.

“You stay sore, but it’s worth it,” Solomon said.

Solomon leaves Lowndes with fond memories, especially his game-winning kick against Ware County in 2010. Solomon booted a 46-yarder in the fourth quarter that bounced off the crossbar and over to give the Vikings a 3-0 lead. He was knocked down on the play, and didn’t even see the ball go through the uprights.

Vikings head coach Randy McPherson declined the roughing the kicker penalty that would have given the Vikings a first down, and opted to keep the points on the board.

Good decision. The 3-0 lead stood for the rest of the game.

“I’ll always remember going out there and practicing every day in the hot sun just for one game on Friday,” Solomon said. “And of course, the Winnersville Classics.”

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