Tennessee State University head football coach Rod Reed announced on Wednesday that 23 student-athletes signed their National Letter of Intent to join the football program in 2013.
“We targeted a lot of guys and in the end, we got a lot of the top guys that we wanted at the top positions,” said Reed.
With TSU finishing the season 8-3, the most wins in an 11 game season since 2001, it made a big difference in recruiting.
“It’s easy to go into a school and tell a kid that you are 8-3 instead of 5-6,” Reed said. “Kids pay attention to that and winning is important. We not only want to win the Ohio Valley Conference, but we want to win the National Championship. ”
Cameron Carter – P/K
Hamilton HS (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
A three year starter and a captain during the 2012 for Hamilton high school in Chattanooga, Tenn. … ranked top 10 nationally in punting, kicking, and combination specialists by prokicker.com … made class of 2013 All-American watch list as both a punter and kicker … kickoffs average 70+ yards with 3.8/3.9 seconds hangtime … set a state record for kickoff touchbacks in Tennessee sending 71/82 into or out of the endzone … ended the season with a 42-yard punting average and had 13 punts downed inside the 20 yard line … a member of the FCA …
Evan Clay – OL
Tucker HS (Tucker, Ga.)
Was a member of the Class 4A State Championship team as a junior … also participated in track throwing the discus and shot put … received offers from Buffalo and Southern Miss. … plans to major in Business of Communications …
Quindell Cousin – WR
Blackman HS (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Caught 26 passes for 494 yards to lead the Blaze in his second season of playing varsity football. He also had three TD catches. … named to the 7AAA All-District Team as a senior … also played basketball at Blackman … Cousin told the Murfressboro News that the opportunity to play close to home was something he couldn’t pass up.”I’m a hometown kid,” Cousin said. “They were the school that was consistent in contacting me. Plus, they have a new indoor facility and their coaching staff is great.” Was recruited by Austin Peay, Colorado State, Howard, Tennessee Tech, UT-Chattanooga and UT-Martin.
Adam Davenport – RB
Navy/Riverdale HS (Riverdale, Tenn.)
Ran a 4.5, 40-yard dash.
Rodney Edwards – DT
Gadsden City HS (Gadsden, Ala.)
Was the team captain on defense for Gadsden City … named first team All-State and All-County … named the most outstanding defensive lineman during his senior season while making 53 tackles and 8.5 stops for a loss …played in the 26th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game on Dec. 15… had offers from Colorado State, Middle Tennessee State, Murray State, Southern Miss and UAB …
Leon Holderhead – P
Butte Community College (Australia)
Played at Butte Junior College, the #1 ranked team in Northern California, for head coach Jeff Jordan … member of the State Center Bowl Champions and the 2011 Graffiti Bowl Champions … averaged 38 yard per punt during the 2012 season and 37 years per punt in 2011 … had a 3.6 cumulative GPA … hometown is Leongatha, Australia. … plans to major in Occupational Therapy
Afolabi Laguda – S
Brookwood HS (Snellville, Ga.)
Has a vertical jump of 33 inches.
James Lewis – OL
Vanderbilt/Arlington HS (Arlington, Tenn.)
Has seen limited action, participating in four games on the offensive line.
Lewis did not play during his first season on campus.
Senior captain… Three-year starter at OT for school near Memphis… As senior, helped Arlington to 8-3 record and first round of 6A state playoffs… Played in two postseason games: Tennessee East-West Game and inaugural All-World Gridiron Classic in Charleston, S.C… Three-time All-District recipient and named to Commercial-Appeal’s Best of Preps squad… As junior, helped squad to district title and 10-0 regular season, just one year after a 1-9 campaign… Also played on basketball squad.
James Edward Lewis… Son of Bryan and Endia Lewis… Born December 4, 1992… Dad is senior account manager; mom is early intervention specialist… Has a younger brother, Bryan II… An uncle, Darren Hughes, played in NFL… Served as youth coach at summer camps… Plays the tuba.
Khari Lewis – RB
Florida HS (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Class 4A second-team all-offense selection as a senior … rushed for 1,110 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior … was named the Charlie Ward Offensive Player of the Year by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club … offered by Gardner-Webb …
Devante Miller – WR
College of Dupage/Curie HS (Curie, Ill.)
Roc-m Nesbitt – DE
Carver HS (Atlanta, Ga.)
Named first-team All-State by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Georgia Sports Writers Association … selected at Region 6B-AAAA Defensive Player of the year … recorded 10 sacks, 63 tackles and six tackles for loss during his senior season … named to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Preseason All-State Watch List. … finished first in the shot put in the Atlanta Public Schools Middle School Track & Field Championships with a throw of 42 feet, 6 inches … City of Atlanta Champion in both the discus and shot put as a sophomore … named the Male Most Outstanding Track & Field Athlete at the City of Atlanta Track & Field Champtionships as a sophomore … placed second in the discus and shot put at the Region 6 AAAA meet and qualified for state in both events as a sophomore … plans to major in Sports Medicine …
Everett Nicholas – CB
Cedar Grove HS (Ellenwood, Ga.)
Named a 5AAA All-Region and All-DeKalb county defensive back as a junior … selected as a 5AAA All-State, All-Region and All DeKalb-county DB during his senior season … received offers from Alabama State, Coastal Carolina, Howard and Grambling State
Justin North – LB
Freedom HS (Orlando, Fla)
North is an aggressive, athletic and versatile linebacker … Nationalunderclassmen.com said that he finds himself around the football and the natural athleticism he displayed in both pass coverage and stopping the run. North plays with an aggressive attitude and loves getting physical at the point of attack. He shows great mobility in the open field and has the fluid hips to turn in coverage and help break up passing plays. North could either line up on the inside or play on the outside of any line backing corps. North has good speed and the ability to play sideline to sideline. He takes good angles towards making the tackle and has good instincts when finding the football. … the NUC Florida 5 Star Showcase in Orlando … runs a 4.7, 40 … had offers from Bowling Green, UMass and Memphis
Dantwaun O’Neal – WR
Deland HS (Deland, Fla.)
Caught 41 passes from 753 yards and three touchdowns last season as a senior … ranked #97 on the Florida Top 100 list and #29 in Central Florida … a three start recruit from ESPN … has good hands, a knack for getting open and a desire to block … O’Neal told the Daytona Beach News Journal that he chose TSU, in part, because it recruited him the hardest. “The visit was nice,” he said. “The head coach (Rod Reed) was cool, and I felt like I had a good bond with him.” He said Tennessee State coaches told him they viewed him as a potential deep threat. “We went over film, and I asked a lot of questions,” O’Neal said. “They are going to be running a multiple offense, and I think I will fit in perfectly.” … was offered by Georgia Tech, Bethune-Cookman, Florida International, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Toldeo, Miami (OH), Middle Tennessee State, Robert Morris and South Alabama.
Aaron Piper – ATH
Duncanville HS (Dallas, Texas)
Is an explosive athlete capable of making a long gain when others that are just a tick slower couldn’t … ran for 583 yards and had 298 receiving yards with nine total touchdowns as a senior … during his sophomore season, Piper ran for 741 yards and 10 touchdowns on 83 carries … Piper is one of the best athletes I have ever seen in a camp, Barry Every said at the National Underclassman Combine in June 2012. “He is very fast, quicker than a gazelle, and his change of direction reminds me of Bralon Addison who just signed with Oregon. When he is in space even corners struggled to get one hand on him as he looked to have double jointed knees. Piper also had good hands and body control ideal for slot receiver or punt returner at the next level.” … ran a 4.4, 40-yard dash and a 4.19, 20-yard shuttle … has a vertical jump of 33 inches … offered by Stony Brook
Baron Poole – DL
Southwest DeKalb HS (Decatur, Ga.)
6-AAAAA All-Region selection on defense … team captain during his senior season while also recording 10 sacks and 34 tackles … named All-State, All-County and All-Conference as a senior …
Mark Reeves – LB
Grady HS (Atlanta Ga.)
All-region 5A first team during junior and senior seasons … had four interception, including on returned for a touchdown, during his senior season … played in the East/West game … coached by Ronnie Millen … had offers from East Carolina, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Delaware and Alabama-Birmingham.
Christopher Sanders-McCollum – WR
Creekside HS (Fairburn, Ga.)
A tall, strong possession receiver who uses his size to leverage out defenders when in tight situations … has the size and athleticism for the wide receiver position at the major level of competition … has played football since the age of six and basketball since the age of five … a three star recruit on ESPN … as a high school freshman, Chris played Varsity, JV and 9th grade football (Team Captain) and was an MVP that season … was a captain on the varsity during his junior and senior seasons … played four years of basketball on the varsity and was a captain on the varsity during his junior and senior seasons … 10 years played of AAU basketball … also ran track in high school …selected to play in the 2011 Rising Seniors Junior Bowl(Top 100 Football Players in Georgia) and the 2012 David Scott Jr. Senior Bowl … invited to numerous camps, combines, training sessions, showcases, teams and games for football and basketball as an elite athlete for many years … has won MVP awards, Iron Man awards, honors as captain and for leadership … received offers from Auburn, Cincinnati, Tulane, Middle Tennessee, Ohio and Pittsburgh … his standardized test scores have awarded him the opportunity to take and receive high school Foreign Language credits in French as a middle school student … is an Honor Student and a member of the FCA, the FCCLA and the Friendship Community Church Sports Ministry … plans to major in Biology with a focus on Human Performance and Sports Science
De’Ante “Pop” Saunders – CB
Florida/DeLand HS (DeLand, Fla.)
True sophomore who has appeared in 12 games, recording 26 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
Saw action in 12 games, making nine starts as a true freshman…Finished his debut season with 26 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery…In UF’s Gator Bowl win vs. Ohio State, recovered a fumble and recorded four tackles…Forced a fumble against Florida State…Returned an interception for a touchdown against Furman…Grabbed his first career interception at South Carolina…Made a career-best five tackles at Kentucky.
PRIOR TO FLORIDA:
Rated a three-star prospect according to Scout.com and Rivals.com…In 2010, the 6A Florida Athletic Coaches Association Player of the Year for Seminole and Volusia counties…In his junior year, ran for 1,634 yards and 23 touchdowns…As a kick returner, had 580 yards and three touchdowns and led the Bulldogs on both sides of the ball to 6A state title game in his junior year… First-team All-State defensive back for 6A classification and named All-Central Florida Defensive Player of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel in 2009…Participated in the Under Armour High School All-American Game in 2011…Chose Florida over South Carolina, Ole Miss, Clemson, Cincinnati, USF and FIU…Coached by Kevin Pettis.
Jordan Sidney – OL
Riverdale HS (Riverdale, Ga.)
Played offensive and defensive line at Riverdale high school in Georiga … helped Riverdale rach the state playoff in 2012 for the first time since 2004 … 4-AAAA All-Region Defense First Team as a Junior … 4-AAAA All Region Offense First Team and 4A All-State Offense Honorable Mention as a Senior … recorded 18 solo tackles, 29 assists, three forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles and four sacks during his junior season … as a senior, recorded 39 offensive pancake blocks … coached by Olten Downs (TSU alum), James Reese and James Webster. … plans to major in Business
Patrick Smith – Athlete
Whitehaven HS (Memphis, Tenn.)
Smith manned the quarterback position as a junior and had a strong season under center as a senior as the quarterback of the state champions Whitehaven … ranked 25th overall in Tennessee by ESPN … coached by Rodney Sawsberry … had offers from Arkansas State, Austin Peay, Memphis and Mississippi State.
Tevin Spells – RB
Atlantic HS (Delray Beach, Fla.)
Rushed for 554 yards on 75 carries and eight touchdowns as a senior at Atlantic high school in Delray Beach, Fla. … rushed for 658 yards and nine touchdowns on 105 carries as a junior … as a sophomore, finished the season with 110 carries for 646 yards and a pair of scores… offered by Arkansas State, Bethune-Cookman, UMass, Georgia State and Purdue
Ashton Westmoreland – FB
Beech HS (Hendersonville, Tenn.)
Release provided by Tennessee State Athletics