Fairland sends four to play for Pikeville
PROCTORVILLE, Ohio -- If Notre Dame can have its Four Horsemen, why can't the University of Pikeville have its Four Dragons?
A quartet of players from Fairland High School signed to play football at Pikeville. Defensive tackles and twin brothers De'Vonte Braye (6-foot-2, 297 pounds) and Dionte Braye (6-4, 335), running back Evan Maddox (6-1, 200) and center Jeff McLain (6-1, 240) are part of a whopping 68-player signing class for the Bears.
Maddox, a third-team all-state selection, carried 175 times for 1,346 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. He also caught 34 passes for 466 yards. Maddox's versatility and receiving ability attracted Pikeville.
"They run basically the same thing we run at Fairland," Maddox said. "They run an up-tempo offense, a spread and zone. I'll be used to it."
That offensive scheme, along with other factors, appealed to McLain.
"When I visited the campus, it spoke for itself," McLain said. "It's a program that shows promise."
The Braye twins decided long before signing that they were going to the same school, if at all possible. Pikeville made it possible.
"They made us an offer we couldn't refuse," Dionte Braye said. "We wanted to go to the same place. We're twins. Why wouldn't we?"
De'Vonte Braye concurred.
"After visiting there, it was hard to refuse," De'Vonte Braye said.
Pikeville, an NAIA member of the Mid-South Conference, went 7-4 overall and 3-3 in the conference last season.
The four players were recruited by many of the same schools, including Ohio Dominican, Charleston, Alderson Broaddus, Ohio Northern, Union and Marietta.
Rarely does a local program produce four college signees in one season, let alone all who sign with the same university.
"I'm close with all of them," McLain said. "Evan and the twins are good friends of mine."
Maddox and De'Vonte Bray said they likley will major in business, Diante Braye in psychology and McLain in criminal justice or education.
All four players thanked their coach, family and God.
"And our student section," Maddox said, drawing hoots from his classmates in the Fairland library. "We couldn't do it without them."