Thursday, August 21 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:47:56 GMT
High school football is almost here and you can watch live coverage of the three Champions Challenge games on WSFA 12.2, also known as Bounce TV. Six Alabama high schools will participate in the ninthMore >>
High school football is almost here and you can watch live coverage of the three Champions Challenge games on WSFA 12.2, also known as Bounce TV. More >>
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
Prior to Brent Barker becoming Faulkner's head football coach in 2012, the Eagles had won ten games in five years. In his two years as the head coach, Faulkner has won 15 games including nine in the 2013 season.
Barker's success at Faulkner is the result of strong recruiting and on Wednesday, Faulkner produced another strong class.
"We came into the recruiting process with momentum from our playoff appearance, and I think our coaches did an outstanding in bringing in the type players who can help us continue to grow in our efforts to become a perennial NAIA post-season contender," said Barker, whose Eagles won the Mid-South Conference West Division championship last season. "We have some really versatile athletes who we expect to contribute early."
Faulkner's biggest signing of the day was Ladarian Smiley, rated a 3-star defensive back out of Godby High School in Tallahassee, FL. Smiley had 21 tackles, one interception and five pass breakups as a senior. He also had 445 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns for the Cougars. Eagles' recruiting coordinator Blake Boren believes Smiley will have an immediate impact as soon as he steps on campus.
"He's a very talented player who had 11 Division I offers, so obviously we're looking at him making a big impact in our secondary," Boren said. "He's probably the most decorated high school player we've ever signed here."
Some notable defensive signees include Banton Price, a 6-3, 240-pound defensive lineman from Mosley High School in Florida, and Jaiquan Crook, a 6-1, 220-pound defensive lineman from Walker High School in Alabama. The pair should help provide depth to the defensive line, after the departure of defensive end Andrew Mahan.
The offense will get some help with the signing of linemen Caleb Crum and Blake Wood, both of whom played for Norcross High School, the two-time Georgia 6A state champions. Faulkner also picked up Chandler Houser, a wide receiver from Prattville High school, and Eric Reeves, a wide receiver from Thompson High School. In addition, the Eagles signed running back Revonte Robinson from Godby High School, and H-back Christian Childree from Mosley High School in FL.
Faulkner will have to replace Josh Hollingsworth, a two-time All-American and all-time passing leader in the MSC. The Eagles currently have two quarterbacks to replace Hollingsworth, Jr. David Cochran and Soph. Schyler Walker. They have also added Terrell Robinson, who transferred from Tennessee-Chattanooga, and Lane Moss from Gordo High School.
Faulkner was also successful in recruiting key junior college players, including wide receiver Keithon Redding. Redding is rated by Rivals as the 12th best junior college receiver in the country. He had 30 catches for 633 yards and seven touchdowns last season for Hinds Junior College in MS.
Other additions for the Eagles include Ryan Watson, a wide receiver from Golden West Junior College in CA. Nick Whitaker, a wide receiver from Sacramento City College in CA. Gabe Chambers, a wide receiver from Jacksonville State. Austin Wilder, a wide receiver from Shorter. Raquis Hale, a running back from Bethel who had 921 yards rushing in 2012. Jonquez Martin, an athlete from the College of the Sequoias. Johnny Kight, an offensive lineman from Louisiana Lafayette. Delvin Ervin, a defensive back from North Alabama. JaMarlo Alford, a defensive lineman from Georgia Military College.
The Eagles' 2014 season opener is set for Aug. 30 in Babson Park, FL., against Webber international.