Three of Brunswick High’s baseball players signed with their respected colleges on Friday at ‘Bud’ Couch Field in front of their families and classmates as DeVontae Gadson, Caden Hutchinson and Isaiah Wellman announced their schools of choice.
Brunswick coach Greg Roberts said signing day is one of his favorite days of the year because all of the players’ hard work has come full circle, especially with the Hutchinson and Gadson staying multi-sport athletes in college.
“These guys are going to play football as well, so they’ve got a lot on their plate. The thing about those two guys – Caden and DeVontae — is they can handle it,” Roberts said. “They enjoy practice. They’re not guys that come out and don’t practice hard. You can tell they’re enjoying going through the practice and getting better. So it says a lot about them.”
Gadson is heading to Erskine College in South Carolina, originally for football, but after talking with their baseball coach, he will get the opportunity to play both.
He said it’s a huge accomplishment for him to get to sign with Erskine and continue to play ball at the next level.
“When I was younger, it was always my dream to sign to a school — just to have an offer,” Gadson said. “It’s a lot of help on my part to get into college. I know it’s going to be a great experience for me to play both sports because not a lot of people can handle it, but I feel like I need to challenge myself a little bit, and it’s going to help me do that.”
Gadson said he likes Erskine because it’s not too big and it’s not too small.
“They were the first school to be interested in me,” Gadson said. “I like their nice facility. It’s a small area. Everybody knows everybody. It’s fun. There’s a lot of things to do there. The people there are very nice and very chill. I feel like I’m going to get a good college experience and good education there.”
Roberts said Gadson was the spark of the team, and there wasn’t much he didn’t do.
“DeVontae, I think he played seven of nine positions on the field for us this year, so that says a lot about him and how versatile he is,” Roberts said. “He was a spark that we needed all year long. If he got on base, we had a pretty good chance of scoring runs. He gave us that little spark. He’s also an electric base runner and does a lot of good things at the plate.”
The other guy going to play football and baseball at the next level is Hutchinson, as he signed with Divison II school, Edward Waters College.
Signing with the Tigers was a dream come true for Hutchinson as it’s been his goal since he was little.
“My whole goal was to play college football and baseball because I love the game so much,” Hutchinson said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Edward Waters is giving me this opportunity, and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”
What caught Hutchinson’s attention was the coaches and their honesty.
“I love that it was a smaller school. I loved how these coaches — they were straight up with me,” Hutchinson said. “They said, ‘I’m going to give you a shot to play varsity as a freshman,’ and I took it. That’s what I look for in a coach is honesty, and I’m thankful that I got that from them.”
Hutchinson spent his first three years at Glynn Academy, but when he transferred, it wasn’t long until he was just one of the guys. He immediately gave the Pirates another weapon on offense, and Roberts said he could do it all.
“Caden came in and gave us a huge boost offensively that we needed,” Roberts said. “He led us in a lot of offensive categories — RBIs, home runs, extra-base hits. His ability to get you back in games and also his electricity running bases. He’s a very versatile defensive player — he played a lot of positions. So he was a huge key.
The last Pirate to sign was Wellman, as he will continue his baseball career at South Georgia State College, where he will join the pitching staff. He said being able to play at the next level means a lot because he set the goal as a freshman.
Roberts said Wellman played a pivotal role this season for the Pirates, and if it weren’t for him and the other two, they wouldn’t have won some of the games they did.
“Isaiah led the charge on the mound for us this year being very consistent,” Roberts said. “Every night he goes out, we felt we had a chance to win every time he was on the mound.”
“It’s something that I’ve always dreamed about doing,” Wellman said. “To finally be able to do that and be here to sign the paper is pretty cool.”
Wellman said after the visit to South Georgia’s campus, he knew it was the perfect place for him to go to school.
“I went and visited — a couple of players they showed me around, and I felt comfortable — almost like I could have made that decision that day,” Wellman said. “I waited a little bit to make sure that I made the right decision, and I feel like I did.
All three signees plan on studying some field of business at their schools.
“I have three kids who are going to college. Those are supposed to be your better baseball players, obviously, and they are,” Roberts said.
Roberts took the time to talk about each player before they spoke, and it was clear despite only getting one season with them, he was proud.
“It says a lot about them, their hard work and determination and what they’ve done not only in baseball but also in football as well,” Roberts said. “These three guys have put a lot of time and effort into their athletic careers. They’re all good students as well. Their grades are really good, and they’re going to do great things. I’m excited to see what the future holds for all three of them.”