Wadsworth senior Joey Baughman made a “tough” decision Dec. 4 when he backed out of a commitment to wrestle for the University of Virginia. Football was Baughman’s first love, and options began to open when he was named Ohio’s Mr. Football.
The end result came Monday, as Baughman announced on Twitter he will play quarterback for Elon University, an on-the-rise Football Championship Subdivision school in North Carolina.
The 6-foot-1, 192-pounder reportedly held other interest from Air Force, Kent State, West Virginia, Western Carolina, Rhode Island, Malone, Walsh, Tiffin and Saginaw Valley State.
“Excited to announce my commitment to play FOOTBALL at Elon University!” he tweeted.
Academically, Elon is ranked No. 1 in the south region by USA News & World Report, while the campus is 35th in the country according to niche.com. It is a liberal arts school with a 636-acre campus and enrollment of approximately 6,000.
The Phoenix snapped a streak of six losing seasons with an 8-4 record and NCAA playoff berth under first-year coach Curt Cignetti, who was on Nick Saban’s original staff at Alabama. It also was ranked as high as seventh in the coaches poll.
Elon’s spread-option offense is similar to what Baughman used to put up record-smashing statistics at Wadsworth over the past two seasons.
“Football was the No. 1 choice to begin with,” Baughman said in December. “I went to tons of camps over the summer and never got a flinch from any coach. That’s why football was off the board for a while.”
Baughman led Wadsworth to its first undefeated regular season since 1996 and fifth overall (1917, 1966, 1967). The Grizzlies also won their first Suburban League title since 2009 — they dominated seven SL National Conference opponents by an average of 28 points — and broke county records for points (589) and scoring average (49.1).
Baughman ended the season with 3,060 yards passing, 1,533 yards rushing and 56 total touchdowns (36 passing, 20 rushing) despite Wadsworth playing seven games with a running clock in the second half. He also broke individual county game records for passing yards (416 yards vs. North Royalton), total offense (520 at Hudson) and passing touchdowns (5 vs. Sylvania Northview).
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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