St. Frances football has 11 players sign NLIs


The national early signing period for high school seniors was another major coup for St. Frances Academy. Ten seniors signed a national letter of intent Dec. 18 inside the East Baltimore school’s chapel.

Dominic Bailey (University of Tennessee), Jahmal Banks (Wake Forest), Chris Braswell (Alabama), Blake Corum (Michigan), Ja’Khi Green (Maryland), Nikhai-Hill Green (Michigan), Bryce Johnson-Maith (Buffalo), Osman Savage (Michigan), Michael Statham (Pittsburgh) and Jordan Toles (LSU) finalized their commitments. Defensive back Luke Hill wasn’t in attendance, but signed with Oregon.

Emmanuel Balogun, a 2018 graduate who spent a post-graduate year at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia, joined the 10 2019 seniors in the ceremony. Balogun will play for Marshall in the fall.

The Panthers were a consensus Top 5 team in the nation (No. 5 in both USA Today and MaxPreps rankings) this past season, finishing 11-1. St. Frances’ lone loss came at California’s Mater Dei, which was No. 1 nationally before losing to league rival and eventual No. 1 St. John’s Bosco in the California Southern Section Division I championship.

Panthers co-coach Henry Russell said a rematch with Mater Dei in Baltimore next season won’t happen, but St. Frances will travel to Texas to play Duncanville, which finished No. 6 in USA Today’s Super 25 and reached the Texas state 6A final. The Panthers will play at Florida’s IMG Academy, which St. Frances throttled, 35-7, at Morgan State University.

Six players – Bailey, Braswell, Corum, Hill, Micah Mazzcua, and Toles – will represent St. Frances at the Under Armour All-America game next week in Orlando.