Three players who helped Miami High School reach the second round of the Class 5A football playoffs have signed letters of intent with Northeastern A&M.
Wideout/safety James Pickens, offensive guard/defensive lineman Caleb Thyer and tailback/cornerback Grant Longcrier signed with the Norsemen Wednesday afternoon — the first day of the college football signing period.
They were among 55 players to sign with Oklahoma’s only junior college football program.
“There is a lot of tradition there,” Pickens said. “There are several players in the NFL. One of the players on the Arizona Cardinals played here (Antonio Smith) and there’s Jeremy Shockey (who went on to the University of Miami and now is with the New Orleans Saints). I am looking forward to being a part of that tradition.”
“We’re excited about them,” NEO head coach Donnie Bigby said.
Pickens (5-8, 150) caught a school-record 46 passes for 580 yards and six touchdowns. He also owns the MHS record for most receptions in a game, snagging 11 against Pryor this past season.
“Pickens was a late pickup but we felt he could run well,” Bigby said. “He impressed me in the basketball games.”
Pickens is averaging 13.5 points and 3.0 assists a game for the MHS boys’ basketball team as a starter at guard.
“When I took the visit, it felt like home,” Pickens said. “I’ve had some great memories out there. I will just miss the Friday nights, but it’s the same locker room and the field is the same. Everyone can still come and watch.”
Longcrier (6-2, 175), listed as an “athlete” by the Norsemen, rushed for 667 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 28 passes for 578 yards and another eight scores.
“The biggest deal with Grant is trying to decide what to do with him — he can play so many positions,” Bigby said. Longcrier has played quarterback, running back and receiver on offense for the Dogs.
Thyer (6-2, 230) was one of the key players on defense for Miami. He logged 54 tackles, including nine solos.
“I had planned on going to NEO, but almost didn’t play football,” Thyer said. “I started to missing it and knew it was what I was supposed to do. When I visited NEO, Coach Bigby got me excited.”
Thyer said he will be tried at end because he’s not big enough to play inside. “Once I get bigger, they will move me inside to tackle,” he said.
“He was a big factor late in the season for us controlling the line of scrimmage from his defensive line standpoint,” Miami head coach Chris Risenhoover said. “He’s got a great frame and has great explosion.”