For Jonathan Raudales, National Signing Day meant an opportunity to continue not only his football career, but also his education.
The 290-pound offensive tackle knew how important Feb. 6 was, and it showed as he prepared to sign his scholarship to play football at Alcorn State University.
“(I was) very anxious and nervous about it,” Raudales said. “ It’s a big step in life.”
Signing a scholarship took some pressure off of Raudales, because he knew where he would continue to prepare himself academically and athletically.
“(It was) relieving,” he said of the signing ceremony. “I’m excited about it and looking forward to it.”
Drawn to Alcorn State by the prospects of football and a scholarship, the EHS lineman made an impression on the Braves’ coaches.
“They’re excited about having me,” Raudales said. “I was a top pick for them. I’ll hopefully get some playing time.”
Standing 6-feet, 3-inches tall, Raudales proved valuable on the Enterprise offensive line. He was also one of the Wildcats’ strongest players.
With a 405-pound bench press and a 515-pound squat, the senior paved the way for EHS running backs and provided protection in the passing game.
He graded out at 87 percent for the year on the line, and was named to the Alabama All-Star team.
Raudales played in the 2012 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, and helped lead Alabama to a 21-16 victory.
While football is high on Raudales’ list of collegiate priorities, he knows the classroom is a crucial key to success in life.
“(I want to) get my education,” he said when asked what his primary goals for college were. “Focus on my major and do what I’ve got to do when I get up there. Be as successful as I can.”
The senior plans to major in criminal justice at Alcorn State, and hopes it will translate into a successful career.
“Hopefully some type of law enforcement work and move up from there,” Raudales said.
The prospect of playing football while preparing for and taking steps toward his future is something Raudales is grateful for.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “I love it. I don’t think I want to stop.”
His Enterprise High School football career is now complete, but the senior said his time as a Wildcat is special.
“It meant the world to me,” Raudales said. “If I could keep on going, I would. I don’t have any regrets about anything I’ve done playing football here. I really enjoyed it. It was a great experience.”