0

Star RB headlines ASU’s 2013 class; QB still needed

Rams coach Mike White is happy with the players he signed this week, but he says he expects even more to commit in the coming weeks.

Rams coach Mike White is happy with the players he signed this week, but he says he expects even more to commit in the coming weeks.

ALBANY — Out of all the highlight films that Albany State football coach Mike White looked through this offseason, none quite compared to Screven County running back Jeremy Johnson’s.

“It blows you away,” White said Friday.

Johnson, the 5-foot-10, 250-pound star rusher, ran for 1,625 yards and 33 touchdowns last season to lead the Gamecocks to a perfect 6-0 Region 3-AA record and into the second round of the state playoffs. He was one of nine players to sign national letters-of-intent this week for Albany State.

White believes the powerful running back can be a force immediately in the ASU backfield, which lost starter Nathan Hoyte to graduation.

“When I saw his highlight film, I got excited,” White said. “I think he will really help our run game, especially in the third-down and short-yardage situations. A back like that will help us be a lot more powerful in our run game.”

Other players who committed to ASU were Terrell Flowers (TE, Heritage), Niles Hamilton (TE, South Cobb), Zavondric Shingleton (DB, Jenkins County), Malik Broughton (WR, Veterans), Jalen Sneed (DL, Thomas County Central), Stefan Whitehead (K, Langston Hughes High), Bo Bailey (LB, Central Macon) and Josh Ingram (OL, Jackson County).

It’s a 2013 signing class that will continue to expand as the offseason continues, but so far it’s one that doesn’t exactly fill ASU’s two biggest needs — defensive line and quarterback.

The Rams, who finished 6-4 last season and missed the Division II playoffs for the first time since 2004, lost top defensive linemen Justin Blash and Troy Morgan and quarterbacks Keenan Grissett and David Kooi from last year’s team, and White said filling those voids is imperative this offseason.

White all but ruled out the return of QB Blaize Schaeffer, who backed up former conference MVP Stanley Jennings in 2011 but was academically ineligible last season. That forced the Rams to scramble and sign Kooi and Grissett. White said Friday he extended offers to two other QBs recently.

“One of them went to another school, and the other one we are still trying to work out,” said White, who wouldn’t elaborate on either quarterback. “That’s a position we need to get solved.”

Sneed is the lone defensive lineman to commit to ASU, but White said the 6-2, 270-pounder is a good start to a position that’s vital to ASU’s success.

“That’s a group that we knew we really have to land some guys,” White said. “We need some more numbers there because of all the guys we lost last year. We have to really rebuild.”

The Rams also have to rebuild at the receiver position after top wideouts Ronnie Tubbs, an HBCU All-American, and Julian Bellinger graduated.

White said Broughton, a 6-4, 215-pounder who was initially leaning to Valdosta State, will compete for a starting job his freshman season.

“That’s the plan,” White said. “We think Malik can come in and compete right now. He is a big-time kid. He had a better junior year than senior year, and I think if he would have had a better senior year than we might not have been able to get him. He is a receiver who can stretch the field, catch the deep ball and keep defenses honest.”

White expects to be able to announce more signings in the coming weeks as players — whose initial recruitments with FBS or FCS teams didn’t work out — start to look at Division II options.

“We just have to be selective with the guys we sign,” White said. “But we aren’t done yet.”

Comments

bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 2 months ago

Until ASU opens its eyes and looks at the talent already here in South Georgia, they will not win the SIAC Championship anymore....They have a bad habit of ignoring the talent at the 4 local high schools and surrounding towns. The toughest kids in the State are in the south....Not Atlanta!!! Thats why they got their butts whipped last year fooling with all those A-T-L kids....

0

dominiquedamac 1 year, 2 months ago

They are giving these local guys scholarships but everybody don't want to stay in Albany. You can't make players play for your school.

0

dmyers80 1 year, 2 months ago

with the acception of Monroe, there wasnt much good football played in Albany this season...Youre right they are in the south... but further south than albany.... Thomasville, TCC, Cairo, Bainbridge, Valdosta!!

0

dominiquedamac 1 year, 2 months ago

Just because a team is sorry doesn't mean they have sorry players on it. Hell, Monroe wasn't about nothing when Ricardo Lockette was playing for them. He is in the NFL now! There are plenty of good talent in Albany. Btw, Westover made the playoffs last year and they beat everybody in Albany.

0

dmyers80 1 year, 2 months ago

OK... Well if you look at it that way... There werent many very good players in the area this season, the QB and the O-lineman from Monroe, The RB from Deerfield, the RB from Lee Co., and maybe the reciever from Westover!! It has been so in the past, but its a stretch to say the best talent in the state is here in Albany!! Oh and just for the record... How many receptions did Lockette have this year???

0

dominiquedamac 1 year, 2 months ago

First of all, Ricardo is on the practice squad. He is way better than me and you. He still has a chance to make a NFL squad. I didn't say Albany has the best talent in the city. Can you read? Albany has talent though.

0

dominiquedamac 1 year, 2 months ago

Another thing, no team in Southwest Georgia has won championships last year. So, they are not the best...

0

bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 2 months ago

The best running back to ever come out of Albany State is Antonio Leroy from MONROE HIGH......LOCAL TALENT!!!! and BROKE RECORDS!!!!

0

dmyers80 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree bubba... that guy would have been the best to ever come out of where ever would have gone, I have NEVER seen anyone with the work ethic he has!!

0

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 2 months ago

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...........................................................

0

Sign in to comment