Journal – Signing Day isn’t a celebration for some of the most deserving players

By TONY TAGLAVORE, Journal Sports

All Zyon Lilly wants is a chance.

“You grind — blood, sweat and tears,” Lilly said. “You put it all on the line. When you do that, and you don’t get rewarded, it’s really just a hurt feeling.”

The Captain Shreve senior doesn’t think he can play college football. He knows he can. But Wednesday, much to his disappointment, Lilly was a supporter — instead of a signee — at the school’s National Signing Day Ceremony. Braylon Finney (Grambling) and Ckelby Givens (Southern) will play football at the next level.

“I’m happy for my teammates, because we’re brothers at the end of the day,” Lilly said. “I’m really being humble, because I know I can play. I know somebody will give me a chance.”

Lilly, a defensive lineman, was named second team All-District 1-5A both his junior and senior seasons. Last fall, Lilly was seventh on his team in tackles, tied for fourth in tackles for loss, and was third in sacks. All that, on a squad that shared the district title, and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.

“I know I can play, because we play at the highest level — in Class 5A,” Lilly said. “We play in the toughest league. I go up against guys bigger than me most of the time. Really, people just need to start recruiting football players.

It’s not that Lilly hasn’t drawn interest.