ORANGEBURG, SC – South Carolina State, Wednesday, announced the signing of twenty-three (23) football prospects to national letters. The list includes three mid-year signees. Fifteen of the prospects are from the Palmetto State, along with four each from North Carolina and Georgia. Five are Shrine Bowlers and four participated in the North-South All-Star Game.
The 2012 class is made up of five defensive backs (three safeties) and defensive linemen each, four offensive linemen, three linebackers, two quarterbacks and fullbacks each, one athlete and one wide receiver.
SC State head coach Buddy Pough, who is beginning his 11th season as Bulldog head coach, said this year's class was similar those of recent years and appeared to address the team's needs, primarily at quarterback, fullback and the middle of the defense (LB and safety).
"We try to stay as high up the recruiting chain we possibly can, that is to get the very best available," Pough said. "Both of the quarterbacks (Gaffney's Joey Copeland and Spartanburg's Adrian Kollock) we signed are very close to ready as we've signed here during my tenure. They did similar things for their high school teams, appear to be mature and possess a good understanding of the game.
"The two fullbacks (Virgil Smalls of Goose Creek and Dondre Brown of Wade Hampton) will go a long way to addressing our needs on short-yardage and goal-line situations, and the linebackers and safeties will help us up the middle on defense where we took some key losses."
SC State finished the 2011 campaign 7-4 overall and 6-2 in the MEAC, a tie for second. For the first time in four seasons, the Bulldogs failed to win or share the Mid-Eastern Conference title or make the prestigious Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) championship. Pough is hoping his team will return to its lofty heights this season.
"Our league is getting more competitive each year," he said. "We have had an infusion of some young, very good, hard-working coaches that make every game interesting. You can't take a day off any Saturday, so it's our goal to put a solid team on the field every time we go out."
SC State begins preparing for the 2012 season Mar. 20 when spring drills get underway. The drills will culminate with the team's annual Garnet and Blue game Arp. 14. The Bulldogs open the 2012 campaign August 30 in a Thursday night encounter against Georgia State at Atlanta. The entire 2012 schedule will be released soon, according to Pough.
2012 Football Signees
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Hometown Honors/Facts
Shaquan Brock DB 6'0 183 Camden County St. Mary's, GARegion III 5A All Region, All Coastal Region. GAAC All-
Dondre Brown FB 6'1 236 Wade Hampton Varnville, SC Offensive MVP, All Region, 3-time All-Region, 2 time Offensive POTY
Javonte Brown DL 6'0 250 Calhoun County Cameron, SC Shrine Bowl, All-State, Region Defensive POTY, T & D All-Area
Joey Copeland QB 6'0 205 Gaffney Gaffney, SC Shrine Bowl, All-State, All-
Region, Offensive POTY, SI All-American Honorable, Max Prep All-American, HSSR Offensive POTY, Spartanburg Herald-Journal Offensive POTY
Antoine Crouch DL 6'0 286 Richmond County Ellerbe, NC Shrine Bowl
Eric Dickerson OL 6'4 265 Stratford Goose Creek, SC North/South All-Star Game, HSSR All-State
*Javon Hargrave DL 6'2 295 North Rowan Salisbury, NC 2-time All-State, 4 time All-
Conference, 2-time Defensive
Phillip Henry DB 6'0 170 Manning Manning, SC North/South All-Star Game, HSSR All-State
Clyde Johnson OL 6'3 315 Calhoun County Orangeburg, SC All-State, All Region, T & D All-Area
Marquise Jones DB 6'1 172 Eau Claire Columbia, SC HSSR Top 100 Prospects
Adrian Kollock QB 6'2 194 Spartanburg Spartanburg, SC HS MVP, HSSR All-State, Spartanburg Herald-Journal All-Area Team
Nikeem Ladson DL 6'3 265 Wade Hampton Greenville, SC North/South All-State,
All-County, HSSR All-State
Jetavius Marshall DE 6'1 225 Lincolnton County Lincolnton, GA All-State, All-CSRA, All- Region, 2-time HS Defensive Lineman of the Year
Javarius Leamon OL 6-6 290 Woodruff Woodruff, SC Shrine Bowl, 2A Upper State
Lineman of the Year,
Kimario McFadden DB 5'11 197 Atlanta Sports Acad. Riverdale, GA
Reggie Owens LB 6'2 216 Statesboro Statesboro, GA 4A All-State, All-Region
Jake Scott OL 6'3 245 Calhoun County Swansea, SC All-State, All-Region, T & D All-Area
Virgil Smalls FB 6'0 260 Goose Creek Goose Creek, SC Shrine Bowl, 4A Lower State Back of the Year, HSSR All-State, HSSR Division 2 4A POTY, HSSR All-State
Tyler Smith DB 6'1 182 Keenan Columbia, SC All-Region
*Alkeem Thomas LB 6'0 205 Gray Military Acad. Durham, NC 2-time Wilson Time All-Area, All Big East 3A Conference
*Deion Walker ATH 5'10 190 Butler Charlotte, NC 2-time NC 4AA State Champion
Taquan West WR 6'4 210 Lexington Lexington, SC HSSR Top 100 Prospects
Michael Wilson LB 5'11 200 Timberland St. Stephen, SC 2-A Division I State Champion