Michiana athletes put pen to paper on national signing day

Several Michiana athletes signed to play college football on national signing day.

In South Bend, John Adams quarterback Ira Armstead officially signed to play for Virginia.

Armstead is ranked as the eighth best player in Indiana, according to 247 Sports.

He will enroll early at UVA because he believes it gives the best opportunity to pursue his dreams earlier.

"I'm extremely proud," Armstead said. "I never would've thought I would be representing South Bend, but you know, now that I am, I want everyone to look up to me and say that they can do the exact same thing that I'm doing. Honestly, just the coaches, the whole culture all around and academically, it's a perfect fit for me."

At Elkhart Central high school, star Blazer running back Mark Brownlee is trading Blazer Blue for Cardinal Red. Brownlee officially signed to continue his career at Ball State.

The three-star running back is ranked as the ninth best player in Indiana, according to 247 Sports.

Brownlee says he never thought this day would come.

"It feels good," Brownlee said. "I'm ready to go off to college and play football. I'm done with my high school years, and I'm just ready to play football in college. I'm very proud. I never thought I would be having this day like this, and I just feel so good to have a scholarship and get to play at the next level."

Joining Brownlee in the Mid-American Conference but on another team is his high school teammate Jonathan Decker. The defensive lineman is heading across the state line to join Central Michigan.

Decker credits his teammates and coaches for helping him earn this opportunity

"I'm excited," Decker said. "Just ready to move on. Get there and have some fun and play some football. It's amazing. It's just awesome. I just want to be out there and play some football with my brothers. My coaches have been amazing. They've helped to get me to where I am. Because of them, I wouldn't be here without them."

In Michigan, Edwardsburg offensive lineman Josh Priebe made it official Wednesday, putting pen to paper to sign with Pat Fitzgerald and the Northwestern Wildcats.

Priebe hopes to lead Northwestern back to the Big 10 Championship, and he can't wait to start. He will enroll early in Evanston and hopes that will help him both on the field and in the classroom.

"It's definitely one of the most exciting moments of my life," Priebe said. "It's such a relief, and I can't wait to get there in January pretty soon. I am really excited. I committed so long ago, and it really came down to the coaching staff. Coach Fitzgerald is such a great person and coach Anderson, the offensive line coach. It really just was the right fit for me out of all of the places I visited, and I just can't wait to get started there."

Meanwhile, at Berrien Springs High School, offensive guard Garrett Jones is a Shamrock-turned-Jayhawk. Jones will play his college ball at Kansas for Les Miles.

Jones was the first signee for Kansas Wednesday morning, and he was the first player to announce a commitment to KU in his class.

Jones says he's been dreaming about this day for some time now.

"Oh, I'm excited," Jones said. "I've been waiting for this for a long time. Since I committed on Jan. 20, I've been so excited to do this. Now, it's so surreal. I can't believe I did it. It was between want and where I felt like I belonged, and it was exactly both those. It was wanted and I felt at home. It felt just right."

Concord's Ethan Cain also signed to play college ball at Indiana State.

Those are just a handful of local Michiana athletes signing today. 16 News Now will have more coverage of local athletes in our newscasts Thursday.