N.O. players from state championship teams top signees

To the victors go many of the National Signing Day spoils.

On Wednesday, the New Orleans area’s three high school football state championship schools celebrated the college decisions of some of their best playmakers.

Karr’s Titus Charles drew laughs as he struggled to put his Southeastern University cap over his full head of hair. Charles was one of six seniors from the Class 4A championship Cougars. Later in the morning, Damien Williams’ recruiting experience ended with the Rummel quarterback signing to play at Mississippi State. Williams was one of three Raiders to sign football scholarships.

At John Curtis, the Patriots sent off seven seniors to college, including four to Tulane — defensive back Richard Allen, running back Sherman Badie, linebacker Eric Thomas and offensive lineman Brandon Godfrey.

“I think we can bring in the winning feeling that we have, and how proud we play, how we practice,” said Godfrey, part of John Curtis’ Class 2A championship team, the school’s 25th title.

“I think they’re really moving things in the right direction,” Patriots coach J.T. Curtis said.

Overall, some of these prep standouts will stay close to home, such as Charles, whose college home will be in Hammond. Teammate Noel Ellis will move to Texas A&M, where he will join Johnny Manziel, the Aggies’ Heisman Trophy winning quarterback.

“It’s going to be a blessing to play with someone like that, and go against him every day at practice,” said Ellis, a cornerback.

Former Karr tight end Standish Dobard has already left for Miami where he is enrolled this semester, said Karr coach Nathanial Jones, who was hired last month.

Rummel tight end Cethan Carter signed with Nebraska while Elcee Refuge, Karr’s defensive captain, signed with Kent State in Ohio.

“It just left like a home away from home,” said Refuge. “When I got up there, I connected with a lot of the players that’s coming up there with me. The team, the coaches, it seemed like the place to be.”

Williams entered his senior season considered one of the state’s top prospects. But as the fall started, he opted to postpone his college visits until after the season, which lasted until early December as Rummel won its first state championship with a 35-14 victory over Barbe.

He was then forced to start the recruiting process over, with no offers. Last month, he committed to Southern Miss before making Mississippi State his final choice.

“I got my blessing in late January, and took full advantage of it,” he said. “Honestly, it was frustrating because I thought I did better than I got (immediately after season). I just waited on my moment, my blessing from the sky and took advantage of it.”