The props were familiar for a college football signing â?? the baseball cap with the schoolâ??s name on it, a T-shirt in school colors, the desk and the pen.
But there also was something unique when Lima Central Catholic High Schoolâ??s Sam Huffman sat down for a signing ceremony on Monday to recognize his earlier commitment to play football at Princeton.
Huffman will be the first Lima Central Catholic athlete to play football for an Ivy League school, or at least the only one athletic Ron Williams and longtime teacher, counselor and coach Bob Seggerson could remember.
Huffman was a third-team Division V All-Ohio player as a defensive back last fall. He was first-team All-Northwest Conference three times in football and was second-team All-NWC in baseball last season.
His final choice came down to two Ivy League schools â?? the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton.
â??I was considering Penn, they were there early. It was kind of a last-minute decision that that I made of Princeton over Penn,â?ť Huffman said. â??I also was considering the University of Dayton. But when I looked at the football, the academics and just the whole big picture, Princeton was the right choice for me.
â??At first, I was talking to some MAC schools but that didnâ??t really work out. The Ivy League was where I was getting the real interest and offers, and Butler, UD and Valparaiso.â?ť
At 6-feet, 2-inches and 170 pounds, Huffman knows he will have to get stronger to play safety early in his career in college football.
â??Obviously, you always want to try to play. I want to put on some weight this summer. If I get a lot bigger, faster, stronger I might get a chance to play. But if not, Iâ??ll take my lumps as a freshman, work hard and try to see the field as early as possible,â?ť he said. â??Iâ??ve wanted to play college football my whole life.â?ť
Princeton is coached by Bob Surace, a former Cincinnati Bengals assistant coach. The Tigers have a 7-23 record in his three seasons.
Two other LCC seniors who are athletes are also going to Ivy League schools, though without a sports connection.
Sarah Pajka, the Northwest Conference Volleyball Player of the Year, will go to Yale and Alex Swick, a three-time state competitor in tennis, is going to Penn.