Three Cyclones sign to play at next level

Published 9:08 am Friday, February 8, 2019

It was a special day at Elizabethton High School Wednesday.

Three senior Cyclones football players, Garrett Jennings, Carter Everett, and Austin Outland, signed with their respective schools as friends and family looked on.

“It is pretty cool today to have three different guys from three different positions with three different body types sign,” said Elizabethton head coach Shawn Witten. “All three guys come from really good families. They have done things the right way and have made our program better.”

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Garrett Jennings—Eastern Kentucky University.

At 6-7, 300 pounds, Elizabethton senior Offense Tackle, Garrett Jennings isn’t hard to miss.

Wednesday, the sizable Cyclone made it official with East Kentucky University where he will play on the offensive line for the NCAA Division I school.

“The community is great and welcoming,” said Jennings. “I just felt like it was the best place for me. The coaches know a lot and care. They not only care about football but about making their players into better men.”

The EKU Colonel are coached by Mark Elder who is in his fourth season with EKU after leading the team to a 7-4 record in 2018.

For most seniors, moving on to the colligate level can be bittersweet. Wednesday, Jennings took a moment to look back at his time with the Cyclones.

“It was a great ride, and I will always remember these times,” said Jennings. “Carter (Everett), I knew he had my back, and he knew that I had his back. That is the same with all the other players. We all had each other’s backs.”

Looking forward to playing at the next level, Jennings knows that the competition in Division-I ball will be a steep change from high school football.

“It is going to be tough,” said Jennings. “It’s not high school anymore. Everybody is going to be the same size or bigger. Everybody is going to be bigger, faster, and stronger. It’s exciting and I am ready for it.”

Jennings said he plans on majoring in criminal justice while at EKU.

Carter Everett


Over his years with the Cyclones, quarterback Carter Everett has made a major impact on Elizabethton’s offensive output.

And now, the senior Cyclone hopes to take his throwing accuracy to Carson Newman, an NCAA Division II school.

“It is only an hour away which is a bonus,” said Everett. “Being close to my family is important to me. The coaches there were unbelievable to me, and I felt like I was at home when I was there for visits. I am looking forward to being there.”

Over his time with the Cyclones, Everett recorded a career 6,888 passing yards while connecting on 475 of 696 passes for a 68-percent passing completion rate. Everett also had 83 touchdowns. Everett said he knows moving into collegiate ball will be a big change from high school.

“It isn’t going to be easy,” said Everett. “I think Coach (Shawn) Witten has really prepared me for it. His brother, Ryan Witten, has also been unbelievable to me. My family has pushed me to be the best I can be academically and on the field.”

Everett said that he plans on studying broadcasting while at Tusculum.

Austin Outland—Emory & Henry

While Jennings battled up front and Everett provided air support, Elizabethton’s Austin Outland was a contributor in the run game.

Outland signed with Emory & Henry where he will compete as a running back for the  NCAA Division II program.

“They had a good atmosphere there,” said Outland. “It’s nice and small and not too big. They said at a meeting there that they have a hundred-percent graduation rating which is something I thought it would be good for me.

“I connected well with the coaches and players,” added Outland who said he plans on studying business. “It is just a good fit.”

Outland said that his time as a Cyclones has helped him prepare for the future.

“Coach Witten has pushed me to be the player I am today,” said Outland. “I believe that will help me in the long run.”