February 8, 2007 at 3:30 AM CST - Updated July 3 at 1:32 PM
**This release is courtesy Troy University.**
Trojans Ink 26 On National Football Signing Day Ricky Hazel 02/07/2007
TROY, Ala. - Troy University head football coach Larry Blakeney announced today the signing of 26 players on National Signing Day, the first day high school and junior college football players are able to sign national letters of intent.
The group of new Trojans included more than a dozen players who will battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball, with five offensive linemen, five defensive linemen and five linebackers. Also included in the initial list of signees are five running backs, two defensive backs, two kickers, one receiver and one quarterback.
Geographically, the Trojans stuck to their roots, with 21 of the 26 signees coming from Alabama (7), Georgia (8) or Florida (6). Troy also signed two players from Louisiana and one each from North Carolina, Washington and Utah.
"We went into the recruiting process this year thinking that we should have a good year," Blakeney said. "Of course, the proof is in the pudding, but it looks as if this is the best class we've ever had here.
"We had a lot of momentum this year, coming off a Sun Belt Conference championship and a big victory in the New Orleans Bowl. Those two things were big positives for this program and created a lot of exposure to go along with all of the other positives we already have going here at Troy University and, specifically, with Troy football."
Blakeney said the Trojans were able to address the two key areas of concern by landing a large crop of interior linemen on both sides of the ball.
"After losing five seniors from last season, offensive line was a huge priority for us this year," Blakeney said. "We were able to bring in three junior college linemen at mid-year and the group we signed today we are very excited about.
"Our defensive line received a big boost with the signing of Dion Gales from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, but we are also excited about some of the young linemen that we are bringing into the program."
Blakeney also said that, even though they did not sign as many skill position players as in past years, they are very excited about the ones that did sign with Troy.
"We were able to last some really good skill position players from right here in the state," Blakeney said. "Jerrel Jernigan from Eufaula is a very talented player at running back, and so is Stanley Jones from Dothan. We were also able to get the quarterback that we wanted in Jamie Hampton from Cedar Bluff. He is a big left-hander that we were able to keep in state over Purdue."
Most of the 26 players signed today will report to campus in August and be eligible to play this fall.
Please see below for a complete list of the Troy University football signing class for 2007 as well as biographical capsules for each of the new Trojan players.
2007 Troy University Football Signees
Auburn, Ala./Auburn HS
Boaz, AL/Boaz HS
Delta, UT/Delta HS/Snow JC
Brantley, AL/Brantley HS
New Orleans, LA/J.F. Kennedy HS/Miss. Gulf Coast CC
Quitman, GA/Brooks County HS
Douglas, GA/Coffee County HS
Ft. Meade, FL/Ft. Meade HS
Cedar Bluff, AL/Cedar Bluff HS
St. Petersburg, Fla./Brooksville Central HS
Luverne, AL/Luverne HS
Daphne, AL/Daphne HS
Eufaula, AL/Eufaula HS
Dothan, AL/Houston Academy
Homerville, GA/Clinch County HS
Tallahassee, FL/Lincoln HS
Asheville, NC/Roberson HS/Butler County CC
Tallahassee, FL/Lincoln HS
Waycross, GA/Ware County HS
Bellevue, WA/Interlakes HS/Snow JC
Ashburn, GA/Turner County HS
Boutte, LA/Hahnville HS/Jones County JC
Soperton, GA/Treutian County HS
Pensacola, FL/Washington HS
Douglas, GA/Coffee County HS
Fort Valley, GA/Peach County HS
Football Signee Biographical Sketches (listed in alphabetical order)
Brandon Boudreaux Defensive Line 6-1, 230 Auburn, Ala./Auburn High School Recorded 60 solo tackles, eight sacks, 12 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one blocked kick, 20 assisted tackles and 10 quarterback hurries during his junior campaign. Was an honorable mention class 6A All-State pick by the Birmingham News in 2006.
Jacob Creech Offensive Lineman 6-3, 275 Boaz, Ala./Boaz High School Recorded 60 pancake blocks as a senior in 2006 and graded out at more than 90 percent in every game during his final season at Boaz High School. Was rated as a two star player by Rivals and chose Troy over Vanderbilt.
Tyrell Curtis Offensive Lineman 6-3, 283 Delta, Utah/Delta High School/Snow Junior College Recorded 53 pancake blocks while starting on the offensive line in 2006 for Snow Junior College where he played for head coach Steve Coburn. Graded out above 95 percent in five games in 2006. He was also named a second team junior college All-America following his sophomore season at Snow. Was a two-time All-State selection in high school and was also the captain of the wrestling team. Originally signed with the University of Utah out of high school. Jeffrey Daniels Linebacker 6-1, 210 Brantley, Ala./Brantley High School Was a finalist for the 2A Lineman of the Year award as well as being named a first team All-State linebacker following a senior season that saw him record 115 solo tackles and one interception along with one blocked punt. He also saw action offensively where he rushed for more than 500 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. Dion Gales Defensive End 6-6, 280 New Orleans, La./J.F. Kennedy High School/Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Was a pre-season All-American at Gulf Coast Community College in Mississippi and was named first team All-Mississippi Junior College following a sophomore season that saw him record 68 tackles, eight sacks and 13 tackles for a loss. He also broke up three passes. Gales was graded as a five star recruit by both Rivals and Scout.com. Was named the 2003 New Orleans Player of the Year after recording 65 tackles and 16 sacks. Originally signed with Ole Miss out of high school. Will Goggans Punter 6-2, 210 Douglas, Ga./Coffee County High School Put 75 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone in 2006, while posting a net punt average of 41 yards. Was 5-of-10 on field goals with his longest coming in at 48 yards and all his misses coming on kicks of 40 yards or longer. He was named an All-State punter by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as well as first team All-Region. Donnell Golden Linebacker 6-2, 215 Quitman, Ga./Brooks County High School Recorded 69 tackles, two sacks and three tackles for a loss his senior season in route to being named the Region Player of the Year and first team All-State. He also rushed for more than 1,000 yards a junior in 2005. Micah Grimes Offensive Lineman 6-4, 300 Ft. Meade, Fla./Ft. Meade High School Was a four year starter where he graded out above 90 percent in every game during his senior season. He recorded 65 pancake blocks for the 2006 campaign in route to being named first team All-State. He won a state championship as a freshman and finished as the runner-up his sophomore and junior seasons. Jamie Hampton Quarterback 6-2, 180 Cedar Bluff, Ala./Cedar Bluff High School Completed more than 50 percent of his passes while throwing for more than 2,400 yards and 25 touchdowns his senior season. He also rushed for 942 yards and 12 touchdowns. Hampton was named first team All-State as well as being named Class 1A Region Two Offensive MVP and a finalist for 1A Back of the Year. He was also named the Gadsden Times Area MVP in 2006. DuJuan Harris Running back 5-9, 180 St. Petersburg, Fla./Brooksville Central High School Rushed for more than 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior. He also had 26 receptions for 250 yards and three touchdowns during the 2006 season. Harris was an All-Region selection following his junior and senior seasons. Fred Hawkins Running Back 6-0, 180 Luverne, Ala./Luverne High School Rushed for more than 4,700 yards as a four-year starter for head coach Brad Wagner. He also scored 73 touchdowns during his career including nine on punt returns. Hawkins also starred on defense where he recorded more than 100 tackles for his career. He was named All-State as a junior in both football and basketball and was selected to play in the state All-Star basketball game following his junior season. His Luverne squad played in the state championship game in 2003. Richie Henderson Receiver 6-2, 185 Daphne, Ala./Daphne High School Had 36 receptions for more than 400 yards and five touchdowns during his senior campaign in 2006. He also saw playing time at cornerback. He was named first team All-County as well as honorable mention All-Region. Jerrel Jernigan Athlete 5-10, 175 Eufaula, Ala./Eufaula High School Led his team to a 26-2 record as the starting quarterback including an appearance in the 2006 state championship. He recorded more than 1,300 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns on the ground while passing for 875 yards and six touchdowns. He was named first team All-State as an athlete following his senior season. Stanley Jones Running Back 6-0, 190 Dothan, Ala./Houston Academy One of the most prolific players in Wiregrass history, Jones finished his career at Houston Academy with more than 5,000 yards rushing and 52 touchdowns. He also starred defensively where he intercepted 13 passes during his career, returning two for touchdowns. He completed his high school career with more than 7,300 all-purpose yards and 67 touchdowns scored. Jones was named All-State as a running back his senior season as well as being named a member of the Dothan Eagle Super 12, the All-WAC Conference Player of the Year, Alabama Sports Writers Association 2A Back of the Year and a member of Alabama Sports Writers Super 12 for the State of Alabama. Eugene Kinlaw Defensive Line 6-3, 280 Homerville, Ga./Clinch County High School Was named first team All-State following a senior season that saw him record 72 tackles, 12 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss. He also caused two fumbles, recovering one. Kinlaw also broke up five passes and was credited with 15 quarterback hurries. Xavier Lamb Linebacker 6-0, 215 Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln High School Led his team in tackles for his senior year that saw him record 160 to go along with three interceptions, two fumble recoveries while being credited with 12 tackles for a loss and two sacks. He was named first team All-State for his efforts and first team All-Big Bend. David McDowell Linebacker 6-2, 245 Asheville, NC/Roberson High School/Butler County Community College Was named first team All-America and first team All-Conference during his sophomore season. He recorded 120 tackles, three sacks, 12 tackles for a loss while causing five fumbles and leading his Butler County Community College squad to back-to-back conference championships. He also recovered two fumbles to go along with two interceptions in 2006, including one which he returned for a touchdown. Ricky McGee Running Back 5-8, 175 Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln High School Was named Team MVP his senior season after leading them to the semifinals of the state playoffs. He was also named first team All-Big Bend after rushing for 1,400 yards and nine touchdowns. Was named All-Region after both his junior and senior seasons. Kejuan Phillips Defensive Back 5-10, 180 Waycross, Ga./Ware County High School Was a three year starter that recorded 28 tackles, 15 assists and one interception over his final season. He also was credited with six pass break-ups. Phillips was named first team All-Region and first team All-Area following his senior year. Wes Potter Offensive Lineman 6-4, 317 Bellevue, Wash./Interlake High School/Snow Junior College Graded above 90 percent in eight games during the 2006 season. He did not allow a sack and recorded 52 pancake blocks over the course of the season for head coach Steve Coburn at Snow College. Potter was an All-State honoree as a tight end following his senior year of high school. Lennie Richardson Linebacker 6-3, 210 Ashburn, Ga./Turner County High School Was credited with 110 tackles, 10 sacks, five interceptions and six forced fumbles for his senior campaign. He was named 1A Defensive Player of the Year and first team All-State. Richardson is also Turner County High School's all-time leading scorer in basketball. Rashad Roussell Defensive Line 6-3, 260 Boutte, La./Hahnville High School/Jones County Junior College Was a second team All-State defensive lineman following his senior year of high school. He played in the 2006 Mississippi Junior College All-Star game and will join the Trojans following a stellar career at Jones County Junior College. Barry Stokes Defensive Line 6-4, 300 Soperton, Ga./Treutian County High School Missed his entire senior season due to an injury, but during the 2005 season he recorded 72 tackles, four sacks and six pass deflections. Following his junior campaign he was named first team All-Region and first team Heart of Georgia. Michael Taylor Kicker 5-10, 180 Pensacola, Fla./Washington High School Sent 70-of-75 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks in 2006. He also connected on a 56-yard field goal. Taylor was named first team All-State and played in the Max Ensminger All-Star game. Stacey Williams Defensive Back 6-0, 185 Douglas, Ga./Coffee County High School Recorded 97 tackles, seven sacks and three interceptions for the 2006 campaign. He also was credited with 12 pass break-ups for his senior season, his first on defense. For his efforts he was named second team All-Region. Jeremiah Wright Offensive Lineman 6-3, 275 Fort Valley, Ga./Peach County High School Was a three year starter at Peach County High School where he played for head coach Rance Gillespie. He was named All-State, All-Middle Georgia, and All-Region for his senior season.