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How Grand! Three Wolves sign football scholarships

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Taysir Mack needed every last second to decide his future.

The torn Grand Street star receiver waited until just before his announcement to choose to sign with Indiana over former betrothed Rutgers on Jan. 3.

“I probably made the decision when I was in the seat,” he said. “It was hard.”

Mack committed to Rutgers earlier this year, then backed off when the school fired coach Kyle Flood. Mack ultimately picked the Hoosiers over the Scarlet Knights because he didn’t want to wait around while new coach Chris Ash rebuilt the program.

“I liked the direction coach Ash was bringing the program — I just wasn’t sure how long it would take for the program to be up and running,” Mack said. “I didn’t want to be waiting until my junior year before the program started running. I want to go somewhere that is stable.”

And so he picked the Indiana flashing a pair of the team’s uniform receiver gloves during the announcement.

The three-star receiver and 247Sports.com’s No. 7-ranked prospect in New York State, was one of three Grand Street players who signed National Letters of Intent. Fellow receiver Ahmed Bah recommitted, picking Rutgers over Buffalo, and defensive back Justin Philip selected North Carolina A&T. All three made up their minds as they closed in on signing day.

“Stressful is not the word,” Wolves coach Bruce Eugene said. “A couple of them were in panic mode. I know, for Ahmed, it was tough coming down the stretch. Everything that went on with Rutgers — the commitment, the de-commitment and everything — was tough on him.”

The 6-foot-4 Mack is the reigning Brooklyn Courier All-Brooklyn Player of the Year after helping Grand Street claim its first Public School Athletic League city championship — and an undefeated season. He had 66 receptions for 1,210 yards and 16 touchdowns, including two in the title game. University of Connecticut, Syracuse, and Penn State were also courting him.

Philip, an All-Brooklyn First Team selection made 73 tackles, collected four interceptions, and scored a defensive touchdown last year. Bah excelled in his first season with the Wolves — after transferring from Holy Cross — with 33 catches for 727 yards and 10 scores. The trio signing was a perfect cap to all of it.

“Unbelievab­le,” Philip said. “A wonderful feeling. We all put the hard work in from August summertime to here. The hard work pays off. This year has been everything I dreamed of in senior year — winning a championship, going undefeated, able to sign to a D1 college.”

Bah made up his mind to stick with Rutgers the night before, wanting to be a part of what Ash builds there. He struggled to sleep that night, but said he can rest easier now, believing he made the right choice.

“I like the whole vibe that [Ash] brought in — the new coaching staff, the whole new offense,” Bah said. “I see myself doing well at it.”

No one can predict what the future holds for the trio, but Eugene is certain they deserve the good starts.

“They earned it,” the coach said.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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