Herald Photo / William Gibson
MOVING ON  — Eastern High School senior Scott Mullenix signs to continue his football career at Grand Valley State.
Herald Photo / William Gibson MOVING ON — Eastern High School senior Scott Mullenix signs to continue his football career at Grand Valley State.
People in Allendale, Mich., take football seriously. And one local student-athlete will find out how serious when he hits the gridiron at Grand Valley State University this fall. 

Eastern High School standout Scott Mullenix recently signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his career at the NCAA Division II school that has tallied four national championships since 2000.

“I knew it was the right school when I walked onto campus; the coaches treated me differently than any other coach,” said Mullenix. “This is something I have worked for since I played flag football. I am excited for the future.”

Grand Valley officially lists the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Mullenix as a long snapper. In fact, early indications are he will see plenty of playing time as a freshman.

“Not a lot of players get that opportunity as a freshman,” said Mullenix, who will study exercise science and wants to coach college football when his career is complete. “That is an experience I won’t take for granted. Coaching has always been a dream of mine. I love football and just want to be around it.”

Eastern Head Coach Josh Edwards was excited that one of his players is heading to a collegiate program.

“This is a lifelong dream of his; it has been a goal since middle school, and he committed himself 150-percent,” said Edwards. “This is a great signing for him, both as a player and financially. And he will be the only long snapper on the roster, so he will be on the field as a freshman.”

While he might be the long snapper in college, he played a variety of position for the Comets, including quarterback. As a junior, he threw for more than 1,200 yards and tallied 12 touchdown passes. He scored another 14 times on the ground, while racking up more than 700 rushing yards. 

“When he is on the field, he is the pulse of the team,” said Edwards. “When he was on the field, it was a different story. And now we are losing a great leader. Kids would follow him.”

During an injury-riddled senior campaign, he rushed for 360 yards and six touchdowns, while passing for another 860 yards and eight scores. He also had four sacks and 80 tackles on defense.

“I love it here; some people can’t wait to leave high school, and I am kind of the opposite,” said Mullenix. “Coach Edwards has been part of my family since I arrived. I have played linebacker and receiver and quarterback and running back. I have had a great experience. I loved being the quarterback for the Comets.”

Grand Valley State University is one of the most successful programs in Division II, having won NCAA national championships in 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006. The Lakers were 12-1 a year ago and won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title with a 10-0 record.

“I get to play for one of the top teams in the nation, and the fans love it,” said Mullenix. “It is exciting, and I can’t wait to get up there.”

Grand Valley Head Football Coach Matt Mitchell recruited 31 student-athletes who will arrive on campus this fall.

“Our coaches did an outstanding job of recruiting to our positional needs and finding kids that want to be a part of Grand Valley State University and our football program,” said Mitchell. “We always recruit the state of Michigan first, but Grand Valley State also draws the attention of kids in the surrounding states. And over half of our recruiting class (17) will come from bordering states this year.”

Grand Valley State’s 2017 class consists of 31 total players from Michigan (14), Indiana (7), Ohio (6), and Illinois (4). The Lakers signed 16 offensive players, 13 defensive players, and two specialists.