Russellville senior signs with FullertonPublished 6:00am Wednesday, June 6, 2012
RUSSELLVILLE — The spring and summer months mark a time when high school seniors have to plan for their futures.
They must make decisions on what is next in life for them, whether it be finding a job, joining the military or furthering their education.
For one Russellville senior, the decision has been made.
Ben Britnell a recent graduate and member of the Golden Tigers football team, has signed on to play for the Fullerton College Hornets in Fullerton, Calif., just north of Anaheim in Orange County.
“The offensive coordinator at Russellville at the beginning of the year, Keith Tincknell, he really helped me,” Britnell said. “He put my name out and he got me in touch with the school.
“From everything I’ve been told it’s supposed to be developmental football and the best way for me to keep going on to a Division I school.
“I think they sent somewhere around 30 players off of last year’s team to Div. I or II schools on full-ride scholarships. That’s the biggest reason I decided to go out there is to hopefully keep going.”
Fullerton has a rich history and is the oldest community college in continuous operation in California.
This is a big move for a young man from Franklin County, but Britnell seems to be ready.
“I’m looking forward to it, but I’ll be honest, I’m nervous,” he said. “It is kind of scary when you’re leaving home, not just to leave home, but to jump country sides.”
Britnell will soon be playing at the next level, but a future in football did not always seem to be in the cards for him.
“I went to Belgreen until the end of my 10th grade year and I transferred to Russellville my junior year,” he said.
“Right when I transferred I broke my foot, so I pretty much missed my entire junior season. I played in 11 football games my senior year.
“That’s the whole reason I moved was so I could keep playing football. I loved basketball. Basketball was my first love, but I’m a six foot three, 320-pound center.
“I didn’t see myself going to the next level in basketball, so that’s why I wanted to try football.
“It didn’t exactly pan out the way I wanted it to with the injury, but it worked out for the best with me signing in California after only getting to play 11 games.”
While basketball was his first love, playing football is indeed something that Britnell enjoys.
“Right now it’s a learning experience,” he said.
“I love learning new things. Pretty much every week through my senior year was a new learning experience. I like to get out there and bust heads.”
Though he did not get to instruct Britnell for very long, Russellville head football coach Michael Jackson is sure the young man will do well playing at the next level.
“I’m very excited for him,” Jackson said. “He only got to play for me one year, but with some more time under his belt he’ll do great. I just wish I had more time with him.”
Britnell said that he is currently undecided about which major to pursue in college, but he is set on what he wants to do with football in the future.
“[Fullerton] is a junior college, so I’m hoping to go out there for one or two years at the most, and ultimately I’d like to come back to the SEC,” Britnell said.
“I’d like to come back to a bigger school on a full-ride somewhere in the Southeast, somewhere a lot closer to home and try and finish up there.”