CONYERS -- Just two months removed from making his commitment known via social media, Heritage’s Darryl Buggs put pen to paper Wednesday night in the school’s media center and signed his baseball National Letter of Intent to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Buggs shared his big moment alongside fellow Heritage baseball player Cynja’e Cooley, who signed his NLI to Morris College in Sumter, South Carolina. In front of a packed house, Buggs wasn’t expecting so many familiar faces to show their support.

“It’s really cool,” Buggs said. “It shows how much support I get outside of baseball and during baseball. It was nice. I wasn’t prepared for all of these people to be here. I thought it was going to be a smaller group, but it turned out to be a lot.”

His decision to sign in November instead of later in the school year was made for two different reasons, Buggs said.

“I am just really excited and ready to take this next step,” Buggs said. “I’m ready to take my talents to UAB. I’m more relaxed now. It’s more relaxing to get it out of the way so that don’t have to worry about anything. I can just have fun my senior year and do what I do best which is play ball.”

With still his entire senior season at Heritage awaiting him in the spring, Buggs said that putting on his Blazers hat doesn’t quite feel real yet.

“Not quite yet,” Buggs said. “But I’m pretty sure that once I step on campus those first 2-3 days it will sink in.”

As a junior, Buggs hit .373 on 44 hits and drove in 25 runs. On the mound, tossed 28 innings and struck out 32 in relief. He posted a 5-1 record to pair with his 2.00 ERA and helped lead the Patriots to its first-ever Class AAAAAA state championship.

Sports Editor

A 2017 graduate of the University of North Georgia, Colin joined the Rockdale/Newton Citizen in March of 2018 as the papers' full-time sports editor. A 2013 graduate of Jackson County High School, Colin received a golf scholarship to Andrew College.