FORT WALTON BEACH — With standing room only, a pair of Fort Walton Beach Vikings signed letters of intent to play football at the next level on National Signing Day in the chorus room at the high school Wednesday afternoon.
Jamison Brundidge, a former Destin Marlin, signed to play football at Stetson University in DeLand, while Kendarius Smith committed to play for East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Mississippi.
Fort Walton Beach football coach Phil Dorn spoke highly of both young men.
“They are excellent athletes and have been real difference makers in our program,” Dorn said. “They have a great work ethic and great attitude ... they are guys that really love football.”
“And they really did a lot to inspire their teammates to try to succeed and move forward.”
As for Brundidge, who played all four years as a Viking, Dorn said he‘s excited for him to go to Stetson, a NCAA Division I school that competes in the Sun Belt Conference.
“They really needed more receivers this year and they thought Jamison was one of their top recruits as a wide receiver and they went after him hard ... made him feel welcome.
“It‘s a great school and he’s got a great opportunity and I‘m excited for him.”
“I‘m excited to go,” Brundidge added.
Brundidge, who hopes to study optometry, said he went with Stetson because of what they could offer him.
“A life after football ... they‘ll really help me set up once I‘m done playing football ... can’t play football forever,” said Brundidge, who started playing football at around age 4.
Brundidge, who played wide receiver and free safety for the Vikings, looks to play slot receiver at Stetson. This past year, he had 12 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns. His best game was against the South Walton Seahawks when he had two catches for a total of 94 yards and a score.
Brundidge, who is 5-foot-10 and weighs a 170 pounds, will be checking in at Stetson in April and reporting back fulltime in July.
“I can‘t wait,” he said. However he did admit he’ll miss being around Fort Walton and Destin.
As for Smith, he came to Fort Walton as a senior, after having played as a sophomore and a junior at Meridian Mississippi.
East Mississippi is an “excellent community college football program. One of the best,” Dorn said.
“He‘s originally from Mississippi so it’s a chance for him to go back home and be closer to family.”
And after his visit to East Mississippi, which has finished as National Champions in the NJCAA in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018, he felt welcomed and at home.
“When I went there on a visit, it felt like home ... they treated me well ... made me feel at home,” Smith said.
At Fort Walton this past year, Smith played wide receivers and strong safety.
However as a EMCC Lion, he‘s open to any position.
“Anything ... where ever they need me, I‘m there,” said the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder.
While at East Mississippi, Smith plans to study biology with hopes of getting into marine science.
Once finished on the junior college level, Smith hopes to get back to Florida and maybe either play for Florida State or the University of Florida.