Ariton’s Zaykeria Johnson was one of a number of Wiregrass basketball stars to sign with ESCC recently.

It’s a tough time to be recruiting high school seniors in the world of college sports, but that didn’t stop Enterprise State Community College basketball coach Jeremaine Williams to land four local stars and a transfer already.

For the men’s side, Williams signed Eufaula’s JaDarious “Trez” Blackshire, Dothan’s James Pouncy and Houston County’s Brakevion Saffold. For the women’s side, he landed Ariton’s Zaykeria Johnson and Albany Tech transfer Macy Danley.

Williams said that Saffold – who had a number of other offers – was a big signing for the Boll Weevils.

“To be able to keep him home is really great for us,” Williams said of Saffold. “He’s 6-foot-6-inches and he’s long and athletic. He’s very versatile and what he can do defensively with blocking shots can do a lot for us. I’m expecting a lot out of him as a freshman.”

Blackshire is another big-time signing for ESCC who averaged more than 14 points and five rebounds at the point guard position.

“He’s another great steal for us,” Williams said of Blackshire. “That kid chose us over a couple of Division I (schools) that offered him and I’m just glad he stayed home and came to us.

“He’s really fast and can defend and what I’m doing with our system right now he fits exactly what I need at point guard with his speed and how tough he is. He has the heart of a lion.”

Pouncy averaged 8.6 points and 12.3 rebounds as a senior at Dothan and Williams said that he would be a big-time role player for the Boll Weevils.

“I’ve been watching him for awhile,” Williams continued. “He’s 6-foot-5-inches and has a nice jump shot and rebounds really well. He’s a guy I’m going to depend on as a ‘trash guy’ around the rim to get rebounds and defensive effort to be able to do multiple things for us.

“He used to be a post player but he lost a lot of weight and now he’s slimmed up a lot and is a lot quicker on his feet. I’m excited to have him.”

In addition, 6-foot-5-inch guard Shomari Gaines of Montezuma, Ga., committed to ESCC and is expected to sign his letter-of-intent at ESCC later this week. Gaines averaged 24 points, four assists and 10 rebounds as a senior at Macon County High.

Williams will be bringing in more freshmen Boll Weevils as sophomore Enterprise native Ja’Juan Hayes is the only returning player for the 2020-2021 season. While it will be a very young Boll Weevil team, Williams said he expects big things out of his lone sophomore.

“I’m expecting him to have a breakout year for us shooting,” Williams said. “We’re moving him to the 2-guard and going to let him shoot a lot more. I expect big things out of Ja’Juan. He has a chance to be a really good player and make it to the next level.”

Johnson – who averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds as a senior – comes to the Lady Boll Weevils as what will likely be a small class as Williams said all but one of his players from this past season will return.

“She brings a lot of versatility for our women’s team,” Williams said of Johnson. “She’s played a lot of different positions but she’ll be playing just one for us and I think she’ll end up being a dominant player this season.

“She has great size, great basketball IQ, she can handle the ball, she can shoot it, she’s a competitor and she’s a winner. I’m really blessed to be able to get her before anyone else was able to.”

Williams also landed DeFuniak Springs, Fla., native Macy Danley as a transfer from Albany Tech and said he will potentially add one more transfer in the coming weeks.

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