College bound

Published 8:42 pm Friday, February 8, 2013

Northview teammates Blake McCall and Neiko Robinson signed football scholarships during Wednesday’s national signing day. Robinson will suit for Penn State next year, while McCall will play for Jackson State.

This was a big week for three local athletes as each inked college scholarships.

Northview Chiefs’ teammates Neiko Robinson and Blake McCall signed football scholarships and Hannah Fountain signed to play softball with Alabama Southern Community College.

Neiko will be playing safety at Penn State next season. He said he chose the Nittney Lions over schools like Minnesota, South Alabama,

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Purdue and North Texas because he was impressed by Bill O’Brien’s coaching staff.

“It really was the coaches,” he said. “They have great coaches.”

He said the atmosphere on campus also had a lot to do with his choosing Penn State.

“When I went up there the players were like family,” he said. “They treated me like I was already enrolled.”

The son of Anthony and Sharon Robinson said he hasn’t experienced a game day in State College, Pa, but is looking forward to that the most.

“The first game I go to I’ll be playing,” he said.

McCall signed with Jackson State University Wednesday during national signing day.

“It felt good to sign with Neiko and be on stage with him,” McCall said. “I talked about it for a week.”

McCall, who played tackle during Northview’s state championship run last season, will be able to compete for the position of starting center next season in Jackson, Miss.

“Being able to play there as a freshman that’s what got me hooked,” McCall said.

The son of Robert McCall and Kristi Crawford said his parents are still very excited about the news.

“They’re still going crazy,” he said. “They’re 10 times happier than I am.”

Fountain, a second baseman for the Lady Cougars, caught the eye of Alabama Southern coach Elaine Covin during a camp in Atmore late last year.

“She was so aggressive and so willing to learn,” Covin said. “She made an impression on me.”

Covin called the 17-year-old and arranged a campus visit. Thursday in the EA gymnasium Fountain signed with the college while her senior classmates cheered her on.

“I’m glad that all of my hard work has paid off,” she said after she posed for several pictures with her parents, coaches, friends and classmates.

Covin said Fountain would get a great chance to prove herself and battle for a starting position when the Lady Eagles suit up for fall ball next year.

“We play 30 games in the fall and everyone will get equal playing time,” Covin said. “She’ll get quite a bit of playing time.”

The daughter of Hugh and Susan Fountain and the granddaughter of Hugh and Gayle Fountain said she’s been playing softball since she was 4 years old and loves everything about it.
“It’s good to know what she’s going to be doing for the next two years,” said Hugh, her father. “I’m proud of her. This is something she’s always wanted to do, go to college and play softball.”
Hugh Fountain added that he knows Covin personally and knows it’ll be a good fit.
“We were looking for a place where Hannah could go somewhere she could have a role model,” he said.