Less than two weeks after winning a state championship, Myrtle Beach High seniors Evan Jumper and Travis Polson achieved another milestone in their football careers on Wednesday.
The offensive linemen who helped power Myrtle Beach to a 37-21 win over Greer in the S.C. Class 4A state championship game on Dec. 7 signed National Letters of Intent to continue their playing careers at the college level.
Jumper signed with Furman University and Polson signed with Gardner-Webb, and they were joined by one of the top defensive linemen in the area, Javonte Turrentine of Loris, who signed with Wofford College.
The trio took advantage of the NCAA’s early signing period that began Wednesday and continues through Friday. The traditional signing period begins on Feb. 6.
Jumper and Turrentine will each play in the Southern Conference, while Polson will face Big South competition.
“(Signing) means I get the opportunity to do something I’ve been working for my whole life, which is to play college football,” Jumper said. “(The recruiting process) was a blessing and a lot of fun, but very stressful. Furman is a great place, probably the best academic school that offered me. I know that pro ball isn’t extremely likely anywhere I go, so education is very important (in my decision).”
Polson, the left tackle for the Seahawks, was overjoyed to be able to continue playing a game he loves at a higher level. “It means the world to me,” he said. “I’ve worked hard to get to this point and it’s awesome to see it paying off with the opportunity to play at the next level at such a good school like Gardner-Webb.”
Polson committed to Gardner-Webb in September and credits the staff and players at Myrtle Beach High for transforming him into the player he has become.
“Playing at Myrtle Beach helped tremendously with my development as a player,” he said. “We had a great strength and conditioning program. Also I (faced) tough competition whether it was a game or every day at practice. They have instilled a work ethic within me that will continue to college.”
The duo of Jumper and Polson helped Myrtle Beach win 12 games this season with a 3,000-yard passer, an 1,100-yard rusher and a pair of 800-plus yard receivers.
Turrentine will make the nearly four-hour move from Loris to Spartanburg, where he found the perfect fit in Wofford and never looked back. Playing this season at a trimmed down 300 pounds, the defensive tackle used a unique blend of size and speed to overpower and overwhelm offensive linemen to catch the attention of the Terriers.
“It means a lot, it has definitely been a long journey,” he said. “I’m just glad to be in the position to play at the next level. (It took) a lot of blood, sweat and tears but it all paid off. I’m beyond excited to be going to Wofford. Being able to stay in-state and play at a great school is truly a blessing.”
In a weather-shortened season, Turrentine tallied over 70 tackles with 12 tackles for loss, all while often taking on double teams from opponents. With a knack for plugging holes and stopping the run, Turrentine will be right at home in the midst of Southern Conference competition next season.
The NCAA began an early signing period last year, and it has been popular for early commitments and players who plan to enroll in college for the spring semester and practice period. According to 24/7 sports, roughly 65 percent of all players signed in the class of 2018 did so during the advanced signing period.