WHITEHOUSE — Whitehouse High School’s all-time leading passer, Hunter Taylor, and all-state receiver Jonathon Aldridge made their college commitments official Wednesday, along with hundreds of other East Texas players on National Signing Day.
Aldridge made the decision to continue his football career at Navarro College next season.
Taylor plans to one day be behind center at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he plans to major in physics.
Both players spent six years in the football program at Whitehouse; each beginning in seventh grade and eventually joining head coach Randy McFarlin’s varsity squad.
Taylor, who was joined by his mother Vickie and sister Cassi at the ceremony, said his decision to play for the Lumberjacks is in large part due to their offensive scheme.
“I’m looking forward to passing the ball,” Taylor said. “I didn’t want to go somewhere and hand the ball off 30 times a game. On my visit they said they would throw the ball 50 times a game and I asked when I could sign up. Today shows how much my family supports me and shows why I’m here.”
McFarlin echoed Taylor’s thoughts, saying SFA’s offense fits Taylor and that he believes Taylor will be successful in Nacogdoches.
Taylor finished his high school career with the top eight passing performances in Whitehouse history.
He set the school record for passing yards (534) and touchdowns (9) in a game against Pine Tree this past season. Aldridge caught 11 passes for 185 yards and two scores in the same game.
“It’s great,” Vickie Taylor said. “We’ve worked on this for a long time. He’s had his future in mind throughout high school; he’s always wanted to play football and I’m just proud to see him go somewhere he’ll be happy.”
Taylor passed for 4,110 yards in 2011, and a total of 10,037 passing yards and 110 touchdown passes in two and a half season as the signal caller for the Wildcats.
Joining Aldridge at his signing was older brother Willie and mom LaJoyce. He leaves Whitehouse after catching 18 touchdowns and 1,256 yards on 70 receptions in 2011. As a junior he caught 81 passes for 1,416 yards.
“I was expecting to have more yards this year than last year, but I had an injury and it knocked (my numbers) down a little,” Aldridge.
“(However) I was very glad to make the all-state team.”
Aldridge, the youngest of three, plans to join his older brother at Texas Christian University or transfer to Houston after his days at Navarro.
“This day means a lot,” LaJoyce Alridge said. “Navarro has a good structured program and I think he’ll do well … it makes me a proud mom.”
Both players will report to their respective schools this summer to prepare for the 2012 season. SFA’s first game is scheduled for Aug. 30 against Southwestern Oklahoma.
Navarro’s 2012 schedule is not set.