Seth Walter’s first visit to Dartmouth was a shock. A few months after the Big Green offered him a chance to play for the Football Championship Subdivision program, the Manatee High senior took a trip up to Hanover, N.H., for an early fall game.
If he was going to play for the Ivy League school, he’d have to get used to what confronted him: a 30-degree day.
“It was cold. It was like 30 degrees,” Walter said. “It wasn’t even like cold yet. I’ve never played in a game colder than like 60.”
A few months after that unofficial visit, Walter took an official visit and a few weeks after that he locked in to eventually playing for Dartmouth. He’ll be one of four Hurricanes honored during a National Signing Day ceremony Wednesday in Manatee High School’s auditorium, although he won’t be signing a National Letter of Intent. Ivy schools don’t offer athletic scholarships.
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Walter, who started at guard for the Canes and also made occasional appearances at tight end, will still get some financial aid to join the Big Green, which helped make going to New Hampshire a no-brainer.
Division I signings at Manatee Tarique Milton, undecided A.J. Colagiovanni, Stetson* Garrett Ware, Stetson* Seth Walter, Dartmouth* * — Football Championship Subdivision program
“Especially for that cheap,” Walter said.
It made Dartmouth appealing enough to overlook interest from Navy and Florida International and instead play at the FCS level for a program which doesn’t compete for any sort of national championship.
The Big Green’s highest accomplishment instead is the Ivy title, and Dartmouth will only be two years removed from its most recent league title once Walter joins the team. Last season, however, the Big Green took a step back with a 4-6 record and last-place finish in the conference.
Dartmouth still ticks all the boxes for Walter. While other schools expressed interest in him, he never seriously wavered off favoring the Big Green.
“I liked the environment,” Walter said. “Everybody there was nice, everybody greeted you. Their football team’s pretty good and of course the education is the real reason I went.”
News and nuggets:
- Tarique Milton is the highest profile senior in Manatee County who’s undecided heading into National Signing Day. The Manatee wide receiver will wait until Wednesday to make his choice during a ceremony at Manatee High School. The Herald’s All-Area Offensive Player of the Year — and a third-team all-state selection by the Associated Press — previously narrowed his list to Louisville, Michigan State, Iowa State, South Florida and Central Florida during the fall.
- Tyrone Collins is Manatee County’s most coveted prospect in the Class of 2018 and with this year’s National Signing Day on the horizon the Braden River defensive back has pulled in another offer. Central Michigan offered the junior a scholarship Wednesday, adding a 12th offer to a list which also includes Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, Boston College, Iowa State, South Florida and Central Florida. Collins was named to the first-team all-state team in Class 7A by the Associated Press and was the Herald’s All-Area Defensive Player of the Year.
- Deshaun Fenwick joined teammate Tyrone Collins in picking up an offer from Central Michigan on Wednesday when the Chippewas extended a scholarship offer to the Braden River athlete. Fenwick, who was a third-team all-state selection by the Associated Press in Class 7A for his performance at running back and wide receiver, now holds five offers from CMU, Mississippi, Missouri, Central Florida and Ohio.
- Raymond Thomas’ road back from a knee injury will continue at the college level. The Braden River running back committed to Division II Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville on Jan. 23 after a second straight first-team All-Area season. Thomas had previously been offered by Northern Iowa and South Dakota.
- Quay Harvey will continue his career at the junior college level. The Southeast defensive back committed to Dakota College at Bottineau on Wednesday. The senior was a second-team All-Area selection by the Herald after intercepting three passes this past season and now is set to spend the next two seasons in North Dakota.
- Tommie Battie, who played at Braden River during the fall before transferring to Sarasota, picked up his first offer from Eastern Michigan, a Football Championship Subdivision program. The defensive back recorded 15 tackles, one interception and five passes defended for the Pirates last season.