Release 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).