Afam commits to Colorado
Cuthbertson High football star Emmitt Afam accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Colorado on Wednesday and could be returning kicks for the Pac-12 school as early as this summer.
Afam committed to UNC Charlotte last winter but didn't sign a letter-of-intent.
He took an official visit to Boulder last weekend and was offered a full scholarship by head coach John Embree while on campus Sunday.
"I knew it was coming because they were hinting at it all weekend but there's no way to describe the feeling of getting an offer from a big school like that," Afam told The Enquirer-Journal Wednesday night. "I had to come home and think about it for a couple days, but ultimately what it came down to is, it's the Pac-12."
Afam (5-11, 193 pounds) liked the idea of playing college football so close to home in Charlotte. He's already developed relationships with some of the 49ers' coaches and players.
"Everything was in place with Charlotte and I know a lot of the guys," he said. "But when I thought about it I couldn't pass up this opportunity."
As a senior, Afam caught 50 passes for 920 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for another seven scores.
He finished with 23 touchdowns for the 6-6 Cavaliers, including four scores on special teams.
Afam said Colorado's coaches signed him as an athlete, and will use him as a receiver or cornerback depending on need. What they liked most about Afam's film was his ability to make defenders miss in the return game.
"They think I can come in and return kicks right away," Afam said.
Whether or not Afam gets to play in 2013 remains in question.
If he can get accepted and clear all the paperwork in time to take summer school courses and work out with the team starting next month, Afam will suit up this season.
If not, he will accept a gray shirt and join the program in January.
Afam leaves Cuthbertson as one of the school's most accomplished athletes. In addition to his football prowess, he was a four-year starter in basketball and played in two state championship games.
"It was a great experience," Afam said. "I feel like we could have had more team success in football. I thought we underachieved my senior year. We had a great two-year run in basketball.
"As far as the community and the support for athletics, I haven't seen another school in Union County that follows the teams the way they do at Cuthbertson, and not just football and basketball. The support we had from the community made it a lot more fun."
Afam is joining a program that won the AP national championship in 1990, but won just once last season.
"It's a new staff and the coaches have a lot of enthusiasm," Afam said. "They're great recruiters and I think they'll build the program back up."
Afam is one of four Cuthbertson football players to sign this offseason, along with defensive back Ryan Torza (Delaware), offensive lineman Zach Panek (Wingate) and offensive lineman Luke Fussy (Malone University).
Two UC players are headed to the Pac-12, including Porter Ridge kicker Matt Wogan, who has signed with Oregon. The Ducks play at Colorado on Oct. 5.
If Afam becomes a wideout at Colorado, he will become one of six Union County products playing receiver at a major college.
The others include: Jamison Crowder (Monroe/Duke), Issac Blakeney (Monroe/Duke), Marcus Leak (Parkwood/Maryland), KJ Brent (Marvin Ridge/South Carolina) and Jody Fuller (Sun Valley/South Carolina).
Afam says he draws inspiration from keeping up with those older receivers from the county.
"I played against some of them but I keep up with all of them," he said. "It definitely motivated me seeing those guys getting scholarships."
Union County's 2013
Cuthbertson's Emmitt Afam became the 14th player from Union County's class of 2013 to accept a football scholarship this offseason:
Emmitt Afam (WR)^Cuthbertson^Colorado
Matt Wogan (K)^Porter Ridge^Oregon
Quay Chambers (QB)^Monroe^Duke
Chris Duffy (RB)^Porter Ridge^Charlotte
Avery Worsham (LB)^Porter Ridge^Western Carolina
Roderick Poag (TE)^Forest Hills^Western Carolina
Ryan Torza (DB)^Cuthbertson^Delaware
Ryan Dilworth (DT)^Porter Ridge^Wingate
Zach Panek (OL)^Cuthbertson^Wingate
Luke Fussy (OL)^Cuthbertson^Malone U.
Jermany Hammond (DB)^Monroe^J.C. Smith
Lavonte Baker (DB)^Monroe^Elizabeth City St.
Rasheed Rushing (RB)^Union Academy^Elizabeth City St.
Antonio James (DB)^Union Academy^Pikeville