Three Viper football players sign National Letters of Intent


Offensive tackle Jake Helton signs with Kansas State. The Wildcats went 9-4 this season, and defeated Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl.

Carson Field, Sports Editor

National Signing Day was held on Wednesday, and three varsity football players signed with Division I FBS programs on signing day.

The three players who signed are quarterback Alex Fernandes, who signed with UTEP, Holton Greenfield, an Army commit, and Jake Helton, who signed to be a preferred walk-on at Kansas State.

Fernandes has been the starting quarterback on varsity for the past two seasons, and he played wide receiver and backup quarterback for varsity in his sophomore year. In his three seasons on varsity, Fernandes threw for a combined 4,814 yards, 53 touchdowns and a passer rating of 105.2.

“Competing at Vandegrift is going to prepare me to play in big games and big situations,” Fernandes said. “The level of competition that we face in the district is just huge to my development, and I’m going to carry that with me at the next level.”

While he signed with UTEP, he had multiple other offers, including Princeton and Holy Cross.

“One of my biggest things was the coaching staff at UTEP has always been genuine with me from the start,” Fernandes said. “My recruiter, specifically Coach Pease, has been awesome in the recruiting process. And then just the high level of football they play is another reason for my decision.”

Holton Greenfield spent the past three seasons on varsity, and made his presence aware on both sides of the ball. He plays center on offense and is a defensive lineman, and he starts at both positions. 

Greenfield chose to play center at Army over other schools that offered him, including Navy, Air Force and Central Arkansas.

Finally, offensive lineman Jake Helton signed to play at Kansas State as a preferred walk-on. Helton has been on varsity since his freshman year, playing in 53 varsity games, the school record for most games played.

“I learned a lot of great things in the football program that will help me in college,” Helton said. “Playing for the varsity team for four years taught me how to be a disciplined athlete and that a great work ethic is very important.”

He will join Brandon Brown, Paxton Segina and Dakota Prukop as one of the few Vipers to play football for a Power Five school. He is excited to play for a strong program and for one of the greatest coaches of all time, Bill Snyder.

“My dad grew up in Manhattan, Kansas, so I have always kind of been a Kansas State fan, but it wasn’t until sophomore year that I realized how great and historic Coach Snyder is,” Helton said. “It is a great program and the big thing up there is family, so it just felt like a home away from home.”