Looking for the opportunity to develop his skill set and give himself the best opportunity to earn a Division 1 football scholarship, Keishaun Creel signed a football scholarship to attend Mesa Community College in Arizona on Thursday. Creel signed his letter of intent surrounded by family, coaches and teammates at a ceremony at Coffee County Central High School. Creel becomes the 2nd Red Raider of the Class of 2018 to sign a football scholarship.
Creel was impressed by the success that the Thunderbird program has been able to achieve advancing football players to the next level. In 2016, 40 former Mesa players were signed to play football with 26 of those being to NCAA Division 1 schools. Mesa finished the 2017 season with a record of 6 and 5 culminating in a loss in the Valley of the Sun Bowl. Mesa is coached by Ryan Felker and plays in the Arizona Community College Athletic Association. Creel will be the second Tennessee player on the Thunderbird roster joining Andrew Banks of Chattanooga’s Notre Dame High School.
Despite being so far from home, Creel liked his interactions with the coaches saying “they always kept it real with me.” Creel was also fond of the large campus and student population as Mesa has an enrollment of 27,000 students. When asked what he will miss most about his time at Coffee County, Creel was quick to say that besides his family and friends, he will miss “coming out from under the bleachers at and running onto the (Carden-Jarrell) Field. But my favorite memory will be winning the Coffee Pot during my junior year.”
Coach Ryan Sulkowski expects Keishaun to excel at the college level because “he is driven to succeed.” He went on the say that “Keishaun is a solid student and has a good head on his shoulders” which Sulkowski is confident will make the transition to college easier for Creel. Creel, who transferred to Coffee County before his junior year from Decatur, Alabama, played defensive back for the Red Raider football team. Sulkowski sees the opportunity to play in Arizona as a positive in terms of exposure. “Keishaun will get the opportunity to experience different coaching and develop in front of a new set of college coaches for the future”