- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
Halifax County High School senior Shaquan Bailey has signed a letter of commitment to play football for Hargrave Military Academy this coming season.
The 6-1, 180-pound Bailey had a good season last year playing free safety for the Halifax County High School varsity football team. He was named to the First Team of the All-Western Valley District Football Team as a free safety.
At Hargrave Military Academy, Bailey will play for the school’s post-graduate team. Hargrave Military Academy has an outstanding reputation nationwide. Eighty-five percent of the players that have played for the school’s post-graduate team have gone on to play college football at Division I schools.
“I’m excited about it,” Bailey said.
“It’s a great opportunity. I don’t know if I had any other sources. But, I felt Hargrave was a good decision. They teach you discipline, it’s a good school and I get to play football.”
Bailey said he sent highlight videos to coaches at several schools, including Hargrave Military Academy. He noted that Hargrave’s defensive backs coach Scott McConnell contacted him and asked him to attend the football combine the school held.
The former Comets football standout said things went well at the combine. Unfortunately, Bailey broke his arm during the last five minutes of the combine. His recovery is going well and he is continuing to do the workouts that he is able to do, including agility drills.
“The defensive backs coach contacted me and kept in touch with me on a daily basis,” Bailey noted.
“Then, he called me one day and told me I was on the team.”
Bailey said he feels as good about Hargrave Military Academy’s academics as he does about the school’s football program.
“Their academic program will help me a whole lot,” Bailey said.
“The classes are structured like college classes. They have small classes so that everybody can get the same amount of work and help.
They have tutoring twice a day and they have study hall every night. The coaches will help you at any time. They prep you for the ACT tests and the SAT tests. You can take them four or five times in a year.”
Former Halifax County High School head varsity football coach Stan Hodgin said he feels Hargrave Military Academy will be a good fit for Bailey.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” Hodgin said.
“He’s getting one additional year to grow, get a little stronger, get a little faster and play another year of football below the Division I level. It’s also year to grow academically.
“I think the greatest skill that Shaq is about to learn is study skills that are applied directly to the college curriculum,” continued Hodgin.
“When he finishes his two semesters at Hargrave, it does not in any way affect his NCAA eligibility. He will still have five years to play four. Being a year older, a year stronger and a year faster, he will be a much more marketable prospect for Division I football programs.”