With most area high schools out for the holiday break, there was little fanfare during Wednesday’s college football early signing period in Eastern Jackson County.
Grain Valley defensive lineman Tristan Pfeiffer was getting a haircut because he wanted to look sharp for his big day as he and family and friends celebrated his signing with Western Illinois, an FCS school in Macomb, Ill., at the Grain Valley Community Center.
Oak Grove linebacker Kenton Wilhoit and Blue Springs defensive lineman Daniel Parker Jr. simply signed their letters at home, and will celebrate the big day sometime in the near future.
Parker signed with Missouri, while Wilhoit will attend Illinois State University, an FCS school. Lee’s Summit North tight end/receiver Jordan Murray signed with FCS Missouri State.
“This is a surreal day, one of the biggest days of my life,” said Pfeiffer, who caught the attention of the Leathernecks despite missing much of the season with a torn ACL. “I’m living a dream – I’m going to be a Leatherneck.
“They were there from day one and didn’t walk away after the injury. They are such a great program, and I already feel like a part of their family.”
Pfeiffer was talking from a local barbershop as he was about to celebrate the big day.
“We wanted to have the ceremony somewhere where we could share it with all the important people in my life,” Pfeiffer said. “What a great day.”
Wilhoit and Parker echoed those comments.
“We’re going to have a signing ceremony at school in February, so I just signed the letter at home and that was it,” the low-key Wilhoit said. “But you know what’s so cool? I have dreamed about this moment since I was playing little league football and today it became a reality.
“That’s what makes today so special.”
Parker, one of the most highly recruited defensive linemen in the state, is pleased to have the letter signed, sealed and delivered.
“I got up at 7:02 (a.m.), had it signed by 7:03 and my mom sent it off,” Parker said. “The recruiting process was fun for a while, but now, I’m just happy if done and over with. Now, I can hardly wait to get to Missouri.
“I was always excited about being a Tiger, and now, with the success they had this season going to a bowl game, I’m even more excited – and I didn’t think that was possible.
“I’m going to finish the school year at Blue Springs, and I can’t wait to continue my football and academic career at MU.”
The early signing period ends Friday. High school football players who don’t sign by then will have to wait until Feb. 7 for another chance to sign.