The Sports Inquirer

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Georgia Staet football announces 2016 signing class — February 3, 2016

Georgia Staet football announces 2016 signing class

georgia state logoRelease from Georgia State Athletics:

Six weeks after playing in its first bowl game, the Georgia State football program took another step forward on National Signing Day as the Panthers announced a highly-regarded class of 25 student-athletes.

 “This is the next step in the process of becoming a program that competes for championships and is not just trying to get in a bowl game,” head coach Trent Miles said on his fourth National Signing Day with te Panthers.

“We’ve added young men of high character who are smart, tough and love the game,” Miles continued. “I’ve said that a million times, but that’s what we go out and look for.

“You don’t really know until they play, but we believe we’ve got an outstanding class. We don’t get caught up in the rankings; we trust our eyes and our evaluation. I’ll just throw out the words ‘Penny Hart’,” Miles added, referring to the Panthers’ prolific receiver and 2015 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year who was not recruited by any other programs.

Seventeen high school standouts signed their NLIs Wednesday, joining eight student-athletes who are already at Georgia State, including five additional high school prospects who enrolled in January, two transfers who enrolled in the fall and sat out, and graduate transfer quarterback Conner Manning from Utah.



In all, the class of 25 includes seven linemen (four offense, three defense), five receivers, four linebackers, three defensive backs, two running backs, two athletes, one quarterback and one tight end.


Eighteen of the 25 are from Georgia, while the remainder hail from California, Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina and Alabama.


“You always want to be able to bring in speed, and we did that,” Miles said. “We brought in some offensive linemen who could really help us, we needed wide receivers because of the sheer numbers, and we brought in a transfer quarterback to add to the mix.”


Manning, a 6-1, 205-pound junior, spent three seasons at Utah after a record-setting prep career at El Toro High School in Southern California, where he broke several marks set by former USC signal caller Matt Barkley. Manning will compete with sophomore Emiere Scaife and redshirt freshman Aaron Winchester for the starting berth to replace Sun Belt Student-Athlete of the Year Nick Arbuckle.


Two other additions who could make an immediate impact are outside linebacker Andrew Everett, a former starter from Old Dominion with one season to play at GSU, and tight end Hunter Atkinson, a former Georgia signee. Both sat out the fall while practicing with the Panthers.


Other highly-rated players in the class include safeties Kendrec Grady (Norcross High School) and Kwon Williams (West Hall High School), running back Darius Stubbs (Luella High School), defensive lineman Clifford Amazan (Archer High School) and offensive lineman Zeke Pernell (Jackson, Ala., High School).

Georgia Tech football signs 2016 recruiting class —

Georgia Tech football signs 2016 recruiting class

Georgia TechRelease from Georgia Tech Athletics:

Georgia Tech football head coach Paul Johnson unveiled the Yellow Jackets’ 2016 signing class Wednesday on National Signing Day. Tech’s class is 18 deep, including 11 from the state of Georgia.

 The newest players hail from eight states: Georgia (11), Alabama (1), California (1), Florida (1), Louisiana (1), New Mexico (1), Tennessee (1) and Texas (1).

 Three members of the class – Dedrick Mills (Waycross, Ga.), Emanuel Bridges (Newnan, Ga.) and transfer Desmond Branch (Rio Rancho, N.M.) – enrolled at Georgia Tech in January and will be able to participate in spring practice, which begins in March.

 “This time of year, this day, everyone is excited,” said Johnson. “We did a good job of addressing the needs of our football team. We are excited about this group and feel like it fits some needs. We hit our target number. When we started when wanted to get 18 and that’s where we ended up.”


 On the heels of a 27-member class in 2015 that included 18 from Georgia, Tech stayed close to home again in 2016 with 11 from the Peach State, including eight in the greater Atlanta area. Jakob Brashear (Dacula HS), Bridges, Jalen Camp (Cumming/South Forsyth HS), Jarett Cole (Norcross HS), Xavier Gantt (Buford HS), Jair Hawkins-Anderson (Suwanee/Northview HS), Ajani Kerr (Powder Springs/McEachern HS) and Chris Martin (Loganville/Grayson HS) all played high school football in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

 The Yellow Jackets added depth in the trenches with a total of seven on either the offensive or defensive lines, including four-star DL Jordan Woods (6-4, 255 pounds) from Citra, Fla., and three-star OL Parker Braun (6-3, 275) from Hallsville, Texas, the brother of former Yellow Jacket All-ACC offensive lineman Trey Braun.

 “This year was a pretty good year for defensive lineman,” said Johnson. “We were able to get some really good guys. Chris Martin wanted to come to Tech and he recruited us, like we recruited him. He had a lot of good offers — some SEC offers, but he wanted to come to Georgia Tech. We were able to find Desmond Branch as a transfer, who’s a little older, and then to pick up Jordan Woods and Brandon Adams, who were two really sought-after players. We helped ourselves there with some really good players.”

 Two prep quarterbacks – Lucas Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) and Jay Jones (McCalla, Ala.) – are part of the 2016 class. Jones joins a long list of recent Tech signal-callers under Johnson from Alabama, which includes current starter Justin Thomas (Prattville), his backup Matthew Jordan (Jackson) and current graduate assistant coach Tevin Washington (Wetumpka).

 Branch,  who enrolled at Tech as a transfer from Trinity Valley CC after redshirting his rookie season at New Mexico, hails from Rio Rancho, N.M., and is believed to be the first-ever Yellow Jacket from the state of New Mexico.

 Johnson, a San Diego product, is Tech’s first Golden State signee since Coach Johnson’s first season in 2008.