Sammy McGuire, a senior at Stockton High School, signs on to play for Evangel University’s football team on Wednesday, Feb. 12. 

Sammy McGuire, a senior at Stockton High School, signed with Evangel University to play football as a defensive tackle on Wednesday, Feb. 12. 

Attending Evangel and playing football for the team is something McGuire said he is excited for. 

“They were at the top of my list for a while,” McGuire said, shortly after signing on. “I went to a football camp there freshman year. Ever since then, I liked it.”

McGuire’s decision to sign on to Evangel came after he toured Evangel’s campus in Springfield a few weeks ago. That’s when he made the decision to sign, he said. 

While he is excited to play football at the university, Sammy said in all honesty, he is more inclined toward the academic side of the college experience.

“I’m going there more to learn,” Sammy said.

McGuire’ coach for the previous two years — Travis Hurley, Stockton High School head football coach — said he felt as if McGuire would follow the college trajectory in his football path. 

“Sammy’s got a lot of talent,” Hurley said. “Physically, he’s there. He’s a good student, so he would qualify academically. This doesn’t surprise me at all.” 

Hurley said he believes Evangel’s football program is a good fit for Sammy because Evangel is a good school, has a good community and is not too far from home. 

Explaining the college’s inclination for signing McGuire, Brandon Staley — who is Evangel’s wide receiver coach — said his team’s defensive tackle coach liked McGuire’s “explosiveness.”

Staley said McGuire will be an asset to Evangel’s football team. 

“We don’t recruit kids that aren’t going to be assets,” Staley said. “We bring in kids that we see have potential, so we expect him to be an asset.”

Looking forward to this year’s season, Staley said Evangel’s football team has had a great recruiting class so far. 

“Next year’s looking real good. We’re bringing a lot of starters back and a lot of kids on both sides of the ball,” Staley said. “Overall, we’re looking forward to next year. We’re glad we got McGuire signed.”

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