Josh Ault, NBC 5 News
Wednesday was an exciting day for Paschal High School senior Darrell James as he declared where he would play college football.
Wednesday was an exciting day for many local student-athletes as they declared where they would attend college.
NBC 5 was at the signing day for the Fort Worth Independent School District as several students committed to universities around the country.
For some families this day was extra special because this would be the first time someone in their family would be going to college.
"It was a dream growing up,” said R.L. Paschal High School senior Darrell James. “That is all I could think of was going to play college football. It was always a big goal in my life to move on to the next level."
James signed to play football at Southern Illinois on Wednesday.
His mom said she always taught her son to focus his attention on his education.
"I truly encourage my kids not only to play football, but that school is important,” said James' mother Toya Berry. “Because of course, I didn't graduate from college, but I would love to see my son do four years of college."
James' football coach said he had no doubt that he would be headed to college to play football.
"Darrell made it a point to tell me he was going to be the best receiver in the state,” said Paschal football coach Matt Cook. “He did all the little things to make sure that was going to happen."
James said even though no one in his family has graduated from college yet. He is ready to be the first.
"I don't look at it as much as a challenge, but as a an opportunity to do something great," said James.