Thursday the Monroe Tornadoes football program showed they are about thier players getting to the next level by any means necessary.
Jarnaski Lassiter signed his letter of intent to play with Livingstone College in North Carolina, while teammates Eric Seay and Ulysses Williams announced they are taking their talents to Middle Tennessee State University as confirmed walk-ons.
Monroe pulled out all the stops as family and friends gathered in the cafeteria and the DJ kept the crowd entertained throughout.
Afterwards an excited Lassiter said he looks forward to venturing out of state and seeing a new environment.
Livingstone had a special place in Lassiter’s heart as it was the first school to give him an offer. The football team itself is young and Lassiter said he’ll be able to contribute at offensive guard immediately.
“They have a lot of sophomore and freshman offensive linemen and I have a great opportunity to go in a start as a true freshman,” he said.
He added that he’s confident he’ll be in playing shape and ready to go as soon as he gets there thanks to Monroe’s rigorous workout schedule.
“This program has prepared me very well,” he said. “The coaches helped and we worked out, got in good workouts during the whole summer, spring football, early workouts, all of it.”
Monroe head coach Charles Truitt said it pleases him to see his players forge their own paths and make things happen for themselves. He said being able to send players to college even in a non-traditional manner shows “that if you continue to do what you’re supposed to do, you’ve got a chance.”
“Those kids have, they excelled, they played well and it sets an example for the young guys coming along that if they do what they’re supposed to do, they’ll have those opportunities as well,” he said.
Truitt noted that the atmosphere of the event had a positive impact on his younger players.
“They were excited,” he said. “And that’s what we wanted it to be, a celebration. Hopefully they’ll be able to celebrate when they get to this particular point.”
He’s hoping that buzz created by the day’s event carries over into the upcoming season.
“We’re hoping that this causes those kids to come back hungry. To play, get better and also continue to keep our program on the uprise.”