Wednesday, February 3, 2010

All prospects signed in

By 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Jacksonville State had letters of intent from all the prospects it expected to get on National Signing Day.

For as strong as the class will be -- with an Alabama Mr. Football, an SEC-caliber offensive linemen and three JUCOs to fill voids on the defensive line -- the key to making the class so strong might just be a kicker.

The Gamecocks signed two kickers in the class, but the biggest pick-up could be Florida State transfer James Esco.

The kicker signees help fill the void created by the departure of Patrick Tatum, the Auburn transfer who handled all the kicking duties last season but left the program after the season for personal reasons.

Esco kicked off for the Seminoles in 2008, averaging 59.5 yards for his 48 kickoffs in eight games. He also was credited with three tackles. He's expected to be the kickoff guy when JSU opens the season at Ole Miss next season.

As for the class as a whole, JSU coach Jack Crowe said "the (quality at the) top is higher than it's ever been and the bottom is higher than it's ever been." Translation: The Gamecocks have raised the bar in their recruiting class.

Complete details can be found in Thursday's edition of the Star.

Here's the list:

Coty Blanchard (6-0, 180, QB, Leesburg, Ala./Cherokee County HS)
Brannon Byrd (6-2, 243, LB, Lucedale, Miss./Gulf Coast CC)
Gabriel Chambers (5-10, 157, WR, Centre, Ala./Cherokee County HS)
Steven Coates (6-2, 190, QB, Decatur, Ga./Southwest Dekalb HS)
James Esco (PK, 6-3, 207, Leesburg, Ga./Florida State)
Marquis George (6-4, 242, DE, Elsner, Del./Dodge City CC)
Chad Hampton (6-5, 252, OL, Hartselle, Ala./Hartselle HS)
Tristan Hardin (6-6, 291, OL, Birmingham, Ala./Erwin HS)
Preston Hatcher (6-3, 285, OL, Dothan, Ala./Northview HS)
Max Holcombe (6-3, 271, C, Tuscaloosa, Ala./Hillcrest HS)
Michael Lewis (6-4, 237, DL, Ocoee, Fla./Ocoee HS)
Tarik Milner (6-3, 240, OL, Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern HS)
Aaron Nelson (6-1, 285, NG, Ocian Springs, Miss./Gulf Coast CC)
Jeremy Nicholson (5-10, 172, WR, Brewton, Ala./WS Neal HS)
Joel Smith (5-11, 179, PK, Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton HS)
Clay Squires (6-2, 280, C, Satsuma, Ala./Satsuma HS)
Johnny Ubi, Jr. (6-6, 302, OL, Meridianville, Ala./Hazel Green HS)
Pierre Warren (6-1, 178, WR, Prattville, Ala./Marbury HS)
Armani Williams (6-2, 277, NG, Navarre, Fla./Navarre HS)
Chase Williams (6-0, 212, LB, Boaz, Ala./Boaz HS)

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