0308 Silas Cannady signing

Front row, from left, are Willie Cannady, Terrelle Cannady, Silas Cannady, Sibyl Bowie, Jessie Bowie and Donald Bowie. Back row, from left, are Thomas Williamson, Paul Pratt, Rico Salliewhite and Elyze Harrison.

McCORMICK — Silas Cannady became a leader on both sides of the ball during four years on McCormick’s football team. He was best used as a speedy running back or defensive back.

On Erskine’s upstart football program, Cannady has the chance to work his way into any position he wants.

“They wanted athletes,” Cannady said of Erskine. “I know coming from a small school, playing both sides of the ball, offense and defense, (Erskine coach Shap Boyd) said he just wanted athletes, so I thought it would be a great fit for me.”

Cannady signed Thursday afternoon at McCormick High School in front of a library full of teachers, coaches, family and classmates. He will join Erskine College’s football team, which will begin competition in fall 2020.

“It’s always been a dream of mine ever since I was younger, playing college football,” Cannady said. “It’s like a dream come true.”

McCormick coach Paul Pratt said he was proud of Cannady for bringing his game and education to the next level.

“On and off the field, he’s a decorated kid. He’s a leader,” Pratt said. “I’m really glad that he can go to a college where he can help out. His speed alone and his grades are just impeccable. I’m glad that everyone in his family and the kids could come out and support him.”

Cannady became a main cog in McCormick’s offense his junior and senior years. He started at running back and played on defense.

Cannady is close friends with Mataeo Durant, who graduated from McCormick in 2018 and now plays at Duke. Cannady said he learned a lot about becoming a leader his senior year, when he stepped up as the team’s most experienced player.

“I learned a lot about leadership,” Cannady said. “I had to step up and lead the guys the best way I knew how, on the field and in the school building. They always looked to me. When someone needed help with a play, they always looked to me.”

Erskine has recruited many players from the Lakelands. Cannady said the Fleet’s coach, Shap Boyd, gave him the opportunity to prove himself at whatever position he wanted to play.

“I’ve been talking to him and he said I can really go wherever I want,” Cannady said. “Just got to come out there and prove myself. The first day, I’m just going to have to come out there and compete. Looking forward to it.”