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Grand Street Campus sends 3 to college on football scholarships

February 5, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Kamaal Seymour (Rutgers), Abdul Ajelero (Delaware State) and Jacob Jones (Delaware State) signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Grand Street head coach Bruce Eugene expects more to follow in the coming weeks. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Three players from the Grand Street Campus football team are officially going to college for free after they signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday in front of their coaches, a few parents and the entire team.

“This is huge for the program,” said Grand Street’s head coach Bruce Eugene. “We got our first National Letter of Intent players, and I’m excited because we have a few more to come.”

Kamaal Seymour signed with Rutgers University, and Abdul Ajelero and Jacob Jones both signed with Delaware State University. Seymour was the school’s biggest recruit and the first ever to commit to a Division-I football program in Grand Street’s history.

“I feel like I’m kind of the foundation for future athletes,” Seymour said of being Grand Street Campus’ first football Division-I commit.

Seymour started playing football during his sophomore year, but he suffered an early season ankle injury, so he didn’t actually start playing until his junior year.

Being 6-foot-6 and 299 pounds, he easily caught the attention of college coaches, but he still had a lot of work to put in before he became an athlete who actually got offers.

“We always mess [with] Kamaal for being the Trojan man — extremely big and stiff — but he’s worked extremely hard on his pass rushing moves, his speed and agility,” Eugene said. “If you notice, Kamaal played every down. He never came off the field. He worked himself into shape to make sure that he was an every-down player.”

Eugene explained that the attention Seymour brought in helped the other players to get their scholarships. It still came down to the wire as Ajelero (6-foot, 245 pounds) and Jones (6-foot-3 and 279-pounds) didn’t get any offers until Delaware State called last Saturday. Now both feel like they have something to prove.

“It was a surprise,” Ajelero admitted. “Coach Eugene was working his magic behind the scenes. Every time I asked coach what was going on, he said, ‘Don’t worry, I got you.’ To be honest, not too many schools were interested. I’m just glad that Delaware State took a chance on me. I don’t want to upset them.”

Two seasons ago, Grand Street’s football team was far from highly regarded. Eugene took over the team in 2012, and the Wolves went 1-7 in his first year. They improved to 6-3 in 2013, and this season they went 9-1 before a second-round elimination in the playoffs.

The success of the team has meant success for its players. Seymour, Ajelero and Jones were the first, but Eugene expects more this year. Alex Badine hopes to join Seymour at Rutgers eventually, and Edwin Lee has verbally committed to Sacred Heart. Eugene said he expects at least six others could commit to a college football program over the upcoming weeks as well.

“Getting kids into college is the most important thing for a football team,” Eugene said. “We have other kids who haven’t signed today, but eventually, in the next few weeks, will be signing. That’s the main thing. Every kid that plays in our program, some how, some way, we try to get them into college. We try to make sure that they are set up for everyday life.”

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