GREENSBORO, NC - Before they suit up for the Winston-Salem State University Rams, there will be a bit of unfinished business for a pair of incoming players. The duo of incoming freshman defensive lineman Jhaki Rankin and running back Jalen Fairley will both take part in the 2021 North Carolina Coaches Convention Association (NCCA) East-West All-Star Game, Wednesday evening. After a pair of successful seasons, both players were selected to take part in the prestigious annual event which features some of the top football talent in the state of North Carolina.
"We are really excited to have both Jhaki and Jaylon in the NCCA East-West All-Star Game," Winston-Salem State University Interim Head Football Coach Robert Massey said. "We know that these two young men are going to do some great things both on and off the football field."
For Rankin, a graduate of Reidsville High School, earning a spot in the East-West All-Star Game was not only an honor, but it was also the result of his tremendous effort. "It means a lot," Rankin said. "It shows that my hard work is paying off."
When Rankin takes the field in the game, he will be continuing a family tradition as his two older brothers, Jayron and Jasahn, both played in the game to finish their high school careers. "Being the youngest, you always have to live up to your brothers and their name," Rankin added. "But I am trying to create my own footsteps and create a name for myself."
Following the all-star game, Rankin will turn his attention to the collegiate level as he will be an incoming freshman with the Winston-Salem State University. He will follow in his brothers' footsteps once again as his older brother Jayron is a 2019 graduate of Winston-Salem State University where he played four seasons with the Rams. His other brother Jasahn is currently a member of the Rams as well. "I'm very excited to play at the college level and show them how hard I work and my talent," Rankin said. "I like to football program and overall, it's a good school to play for."
Fairley is a graduate of Southeast Guilford High School where he was a Mid-Piedmont 3-A Fall All-Conference selection.
The 2021 East-West All-Star Game will be held tomorrow afternoon with an 8:00 p.m. kick off at Jamieson Stadium on the campus of Grimsley High School. For more information on Rams football, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.