Walker’s Austin Mansell, Brady Pugh and Joe Bell and Lynn’s Brody Meeks each signed a letter-of-intent at their respective schools on National Signing Day. Mansell signed with Jacksonville State University, Pugh signed with West Alabama and Joe Bell signed with Faulkner University in Montgomery.
“They were the leaders of our team along with the rest of the seniors,” Walker football coach Heath Brunner said. “We want to put out quality young men first and these three exemplify that.”
Walker finished the season with a perfect region record and an overall mark of 8-2. The team was put on probation with a postseason ban after the season opener, but rebounded to finish 8-1 in its last nine games.
“That says something about the caliber of kids we put out. They are not only talented athletically, but academically as well. They’ve also got a lot of character. I’m just real proud of them,” Brunner said.
Mansell, a 6-foot-1, 237-pound linebacker, was offered a scholarship from Jacksonville State before the season started.
“I’ve been up there a few times. It’s close to home and very convenient for my family. It just seemed like a great fit,” Mansell said.
Mansell was an honorable mention All-State player in Class 5A. He led the team with 120 tackles. Mansell also added 12 tackles for loss and two sacks.
“Playing at Walker has been a great experience. I had some great teammates over the last four years and some wonderful coaches to guide me along the way.”
Pugh, a 6-3, 225-pound tight end/fullback, battled through injuries during his Walker career, but had a healthy senior season, finishing as one of the Vikings’ top receivers. He will play football for a West Alabama team that has won back-to-back Gulf South Conference championships.
“I went to a camp in the summer. That’s when they offered me. I loved the coaches and the facilities. I really like the atmosphere,” said Pugh, who enjoyed his time at Walker. “I couldn’t ask for a better place to play high school football. I had a great coaching staff and teammates. It was great.”
Bell, a 6-2, 205-pound running back led Walker’s ground attack in touchdowns with eight scores.
Like Pugh, Bell battled injuries before coming into his own during his senior year. Bell was offered a spot on the Faulkner roster just last week.
“I was excited just to know that I was going to get a chance to keep playing football. It’s a great feeling,” Bell said. “We had some ups and downs here, but there were the best teammates I’ve ever had. We went through a lot and always stuck together.”
Meeks will join Bell at Faulkner. The record-setting Lynn High School quarterback, was a finalist for the Class 1A Back of the Year.