Time to celebrate: 3 Titans make college football destinations official

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Three of the top players for the Memorial football team put pen to paper Wednesday to lock in their college destinations.

Quarterback Jah’mar Sanders, defensive back Jaylon Guilbeau and defensive end Christian Thomas signed at Memorial High School on the stage in the school’s auditorium and dawned the colors of their respective universities.

Guilbeau, one of the state’s top prospects, selected to play college ball for the University of Texas, while Sanders signed with New Mexico and Thomas committed to Northwestern State.

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Players expressed emotions from relief to excitement.

“It is really stress relieving to know that I got something to look forward to,” Sanders said.

The quarterback said he felt he was at home when he visited Albuquerque earlier this year.

Sanders amassed more than 60 touchdowns during his three years as the Titans quarterback. Sanders also earned District 9-5A MVP in his junior and senior seasons.

Guilbeau, who spent the summer touring colleges, said he is ready to get to work.

“To all of the Texas fans, I am ready to get there and put my head down and grind,” he said. “In my freshman year, I am trying to come out and dominate and elevate my game.”

Guilbeau is expected to graduate later this month and join the Longhorns for the spring semester in Austin.

During the event, Memorial Head Coach Brian Morgan introduced each player before they signed and talked about each player’s journey.

He spoke of how Thomas wanted to quit during his freshman year, and how the coach talked to Sanders’ mom during his freshman year and let her know the quarterback would start for three years there.

Thomas said he is thankful for the talks he had with Morgan.

“I would go in his office every day and he would tell me what I needed to do,” he said. “Now, look where I am at.”

Thomas earned defensive player of the year for the district last season and still put up impressive numbers despite seeing more attention from opposing offensive lines in his senior campaign.

Morgan said earning the offers is a great achievement but added the most important accolades are yet to come.

“I told them that whatever happens in football is great,” he said. “But if they don’t play a down of college football, the most important thing is getting a degree. That will change their lives and their future family’s lives. As you have seen on TV, the college football landscape is very turbulent right now. Hopefully these guys take that into account. The degree is the biggest reward you will have out of college football.”