ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Ten Alaskan football players signed their national letters of intent Wednesday, otherwise known as National Signing Day.
Headlining this year’s class was Bartlett lineman Thomas Sio, who signed with Oregon State.
“Feels amazing, blessed to have the opportunity,” said Sio on signing day.
The 330-pound lineman was recruited by other Pac-12 schools, but was quickly scooped up by Oregon State after a dominating performance at the Polynesian Bowl.
At the bowl game Sio caught the eye of former NFL wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh who immediately called up Oregon State.
The journey to division one football all started when Sio was in junior high.
“I met Thomas when he was an eighth grader at his sister’s high school graduation, and I thought he was eighteen years old,” said Bartlett co-head coach Daniel Esparza.
The player and coach duo would stick together for the next four years.
"Coach Esparza said if I do everything he says I'll get to the next level, and I really trusted him,” said Sio. “He's a great coach, and we achieved the goal. Here we are.”
A common thread throughout Sio’s signing ceremony is the optimism that his signing set an example for future generations of Alaska football players.
“One of the things we are hoping is that this validates our state has talented football players,” said Esparza
Sio says he leaves for Oregon State on June 22nd, and plans on studying business management.
Thomas Sio – Oregon State Football
Colton Herman – Bemidji State Football
Julian Baker – Bemidji State Football
Aiden Williams – Minnesota State Duluth Football
Eli Turvey – South Dakota School of Mines Football
Joel Martinez -- College of the Desert Football
David Cason -- University of Dubuque Football
Bolee Gridley- Eastern New Mexico University Football
Luke Guggenmos -- Northwestern College Red Raiders (Iowa) Football
Makeehan Knittle -- Lewis & Clark State Valley Loggers Football
Maddy Morgan -- Oklahoma Baptist University Women's Soccer
The Anchorage School District say students are typically awarded scholastic scholarships in late April and early May.
If you know of a prep athlete singing a National Letter of Intent, email firstname.lastname@example.org