Khalil Khatib football star

Arda Unal, Sports Copy Editor

Amy Gahan
Varsity player Khalil Khatib prepares for the next play

Along with being the starting middle linebacker Khalil Khatib, senior, has made a name for himself this year. From being named homecoming king to crushing a school record, Khatib has been a commonly talked about topic at Athens for the 2016-2017 school year.

Khatib’s journey started when he a freshman trying to make a name for himself in the football program. Khatib’s first two years at Athens Drive consisted of playing junior varsity where he learned the ins and outs of the football program at Athens. As time progressed, he moved up to the varsity team and became captain his senior year.

“I had to keep the guys in check, had to be a role model and make sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing,” said Khatib.

His time as one of the captains on the team gave way to a lot of attention among the students at Athens. This, among other reasons, prompted his winning of the 2016 Athens Drive homecoming king.

“I voted for Khalil for homecoming king because he is just a great guy all around, he’s nice to everyone he meets and can always put me in a good mood,” said Colin Daughtry, senior.

Part of being a successful athlete is being able to manage both sports and school. Khatib’s grades and his athletic skills have led him to receive many offers from many different college football organizations. Several schools, such as Columbia University, Western Carolina University, Campbell University, South Carolina State University, and Coastal Carolina University are interested in Khatib’s talent and have offered him positions on their teams.

“As of right now it is undecided where I will attend college, but I know I want to definitely play football in college,” said Khatib.

At the start of his season Khatib had the choice of picking his jersey number. This prompted him to choose the number 56, which has started somewhat of a trend among students at Athens. Many of those who follow him on social media see the number 56.

“It was a mix of two things: at the time that I chose it my sophomore year my favorite football player was Brian Cushing who was number 56, and the rapper Future just dropped a new album called “56 Nights” with a song “56 Nights” on the album which turned out to be my favorite song of all time (I think 56 nights crazy) and now it’s a movement and a way of life,” said Khatib.

Though Khatib’s college destination is still unknown, he is set on continuing his football career in college and beyond.