(gomocs.com) UTC head football coach Rusty Wright welcomed his first recruiting class to the Scenic City today. The Mocs signed 15 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. Add in two signees from the December period and a mid-year transfer and the class totals 18 future Mocs.
“We’re really pleased with how it ended up,” stated Wright. “I think our staff did a great job in basically 15 days. We had to get guys on campus and start building relationships quickly and we were able to do that.
“We started out with a bunch of names and a bunch of guys. After about a week and a half, we really focused in on a select few. We got those guys on campus and had an opportunity to be around them and develop some better relationships. Thankfully, we had some relationships with guys already that we were able to get here on campus.”
This class features five individuals with at least a two-star rating, led by three-star quarterback prospects Drayton Arnold (5-11, 205) and Gio Richardson (6-1, 200). Arnold is a graduate transfer from Old Dominion who has two years of eligibility remaining. Richardson was a standout signal caller at Dwyer High School in Wellington, Fla.
The two-star signees include running back Ailym Ford (5-9, 205), receiver Avery Williams (6-1, 175) and offensive lineman Brock Bethea (6-5, 300). Ford was an all-state honoree from Florence, S.C., while Williams earned the same honors at Brentwood High School in Brentwood, Tenn. Bethea was an all-area selection at Clay-Chalkville High School in Pinson, Ala.
These are five of the 10 offensive signees for the Mocs. UTC also welcomes running backs Brandon Gregory (6-1, 195) from Venice, Fla., and Lance Jackson (5-10, 185) from Norcross, Ga.; offensive linemen Sam Hall (6-6, 255) from Logan, Ohio, and Cameron Perry (6-5, 250) from Byron, Ga.; and receiver Kanore McKinnon (6-3, 200) from Dillon, S.C. McKinnon has spent the last two seasons at Georgia Military College and is the lone junior college transfer in the group.
“I think we addressed some needs offensively as far as depth at running back and a little bit at wide receiver and offensive line,” added Wright.
There are seven slated to compete for a spot on defense, including all-state defensive lineman Evan Brown (6-4, 230) from Trenton, Ohio, and all-state defensive back Jelen Lee (6-0, 175) from Florence, Ala.
Other newcomers on defense include defensive lineman Marlon Taylor (6-3, 275) from Brunswick, Ga.; linebackers Daniel Brent (6-1, 190) from Madison, Ala., Justin Sanders (6-0, 205) from Atlanta, Ga. and Tre’Von Stanford (6-3, 205) from Manchester, Ga.; and defensive back Kameron Brown (5-11, 185) from Mobile, Ala.
“Defensively, we had some issues on the second level at linebacker and in the secondary at some spots,” continued Wright. “We addressed those to a certain degree.”
This class also continues its tradition of attracting outstanding students by tying a school-record with 10 signees who carry academic accolades on their resumes.
“Our staff did a great job of getting guys in here that we needed and identified good players,” said Wright. “It’s also a really good class of students once that GPA is totaled up.”
Brock Bethea OL 6-5 300 Fr.-HS Pinson, Ala. (Clay-Chalkville HS)
Daniel Brent LB 6-1 190 Fr.-HS Madison, Ala. (Madison Academy)
Evan Brown DL 6-4 230 Fr.-HS Trenton, Ohio (Edgewood HS)
Kameron Brown DB 5-11 185 Fr.-HS Mobile, Ala. (Theodore HS)
Brandon Gregory RB 6-1 195 Fr.-HS Venice, Fla. (Venice HS)
Sam Hall OL 6-6 255 Fr.-HS Logan, Ohio (Logan HS)
Lance Jackson RB 5-10 185 Fr.-HS Norcross, Ga. (Norcross HS)
Jelen Lee DB 6-0 175 Fr.-HS Florence, Ala. (Florence HS)
Kanore McKinnon WR 6-3 200 Jr.-TR Dillon, S.C. (Georgia Military College)
Cody Olszewski LS 5-11 225 Fr.-HS Marietta, Ga. (Pope HS)
Cameron Perry OL 6-5 250 Fr.-HS Byron, Ga. (Peach County HS)
Gio Richardson QB 6-1 200 Fr.-HS Wellington, Fla. (Dwyer HS)
Justin Sanders LB 6-0 205 Fr.-HS Atlanta, Ga. (North Atlanta HS)
Tre’Von Stanford LB 6-3 205 Fr.-HS Manchester, Ga. (Manchester HS)
Marlon Taylor DL 6-3 275 Fr.-HS Brunswick, Ga. (Glynn Academy)
Ailym Ford RB 5-9 205 Fr.-HS Florence, S.C. (West Florence HS)
Avery Williams WR 6-1 175 Fr.-HS Brentwood, Tenn. (Brentwood HS)
Drayton Arnold QB 5-11 205 Jr.-TR Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Old Dominion)