Patriots eager for college football opportunity

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Thursday was a big day for the football program at Albemarle County High School.

Seated a table in front of classmates, coaches and other supporters, three seniors from the AHS football team were honored for their decisions to continue playing football in college next season. DaQuandre Taylor and Myles Ward will both head to UVA-Wise next year, while offensive lineman Ryan Brandl will play at Ferrum.

After the brief ceremony, Brandl said college football had been his goal "since I was born." He appreciated the opportunity to celebrate his future plans with his teammates and others on Thursday.

"It means a lot actually," Brandl said. "Because not a lot of people get to go through this, and get to sit in front of all these people and watch them sign what they want to sign, and where they're going and stuff. So it's a great honor."

Taylor was a second-team All-Jefferson District quarterback for the Patriots last fall. He'll move to H-back at UVA-Wise -- a school he picked over other options that included Richmond, Fairmont State, Glenville State and Hampden-Sydney.

He's looking forward to joining the Cavaliers alongside Ward after high school.

"It's awesome, man," Taylor said. "Myles is my guy. He's a great player to play with -- look at him eating that cake right now. He's a great guy."

"It wasn't really a package deal thing," Taylor added. "I just recruited him really good to get down here."

That recruitment ultimately worked, as Ward chose UVA-Wise earlier this month. Delaware, Fairmont State and Frostburg State were also in on his recruitment.

A first-team All-JD receiver and second-team punt returner in his first season at AHS last fall, Ward said he'll head to UVA-Wise as a receiver but could eventually move to tight end.

"We definitely didn't plan to go to the same school, but it's great that we are. We'll continue being brothers down there too," Ward said. "It's a dream come true, obviously. We all dream as little kids to play college ball, and I get the opportunity to do that, and I hope I can grind it out."

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