National Signing Day: Signatures change lives of two Barnwell High football players

  • Barnwell High School Head Coach Dwayne Garrick with Earl Bostick Jr. (left) and Marcus McKethan. Bostick signed with the University of Kansas and McKethan signed with the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill during National Signing Day.

Two Barnwell High School seniors grinned as they wrote their names on the documents before them.

Those signatures officially changed the lives of Marcus McKethan and Earl Bostick Jr. starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1 – college signing day.

McKethan will be joining the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill football team while Bostick picked the University of Kansas’ football program, both Division 1 universities.

Both also got their first taste of being the focus of media as cameras from local newspapers and televisions stations recorded the event, not to mention the mobile phones and tablets held by family, coaches, teachers and the Barnwell High School football team.

“This means a lot to me,” said McKethan, wearing a UNC shirt and cap. “UNC is a great university and they are rebuilding their team. It is also a great educational opportunity.”

McKethan, who stands at 6-feet 7-inches and 347 pounds, has played offensive right tackle for the Warhorses. He said he wants to get his degree, perhaps in psychology, and has the dream of playing in the National Football League (NFL).

Earl Bostick Jr. has played tight end and defensive end for the Warhorses, coming in at 6 feet 6 inches and 250 pounds. At the media event he sported a red Jayhawk cap and matching red bow tie. He said he picked the University of Kansas because of the “family vibe of the coaches and staff there.”

While family is important to both young men, Bostick’s opportunity is bittersweet. “My dad died last year from a brain tumor. He was my main motivation. This last year has been all about him and making him proud.”

That dream continues as Bostick says he want to “make it big” either in the business world, the NFL or both.

“This is a huge day for Barnwell High School,” said their head football coach Dwayne Garrick. “This is a big day for them and their families.”

“More importantly, this is going to be a four-to-five year life-changing experience for Earl and Marcus,” said Garrick. “I am so proud of the type of people they are. Whether or not in football, both will succeed.”

He said both are not only athletically talented but also hold “high 3 to low 4-point grade averages”.

“They are the whole package,” said the coach. “That makes them special.”

Garrick said that by joining Division 1 teams, these two young men will get the opportunity “to play against the best in the country.”

McKethan and Bostick both challenged their high school teammates to carry on the goal of excellence at Barnwell High.  “This isn’t just about us. It’s about you, too,” said Bostick. “Ya’ll are the ones to push each other. We are doing this for ya’ll.”