– Under the direction of first-year head coach
With his first signing class being quick after it was announced he would be the head coach just six weeks prior to that 2015 class, Terry Sims and his staff had a year to get ready for his second signing class in 2016. The class was announced as one of the largest in recent memory for the Wildcats. Sims, the 2015 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Coach of the Year, joined his staff in setting to fill several needs for the future of the Maroon and Gold on the gridiron.
“I feel great about this year’s class,” expressed Sims. “It’s an overall aggressive, talented, fast class that will certainly help us moving forward in Daytona Beach. They should help in our attempts not only to win the MEAC, but earn a spot in the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta.”
The 2016 class saw Bethune-Cookman focus on the offensive line, receiving core and defensive backfield, respectfully. In total, the Wildcats signed nine defensive backs, seven offensive linemen and five receivers in the class of 28.
“I feel like every need that we wanted to address was filled in those particular positions,” added Sims. “The coaches did an excellent job evaluating and securing what we feel is an exciting and brilliant 2016 signing class.”
The state of Florida is known as a hot bed for talent in the high school ranks, and that certainly weighed heavily in Bethune-Cookman’s decision to stay “at home” when it comes to recruiting local talent. The 2016 class has a total of 22 players from the Sunshine State. That includes four players that signed consecutively within minutes of each other from highly-respected Raines High School in Jacksonville.
“Florida always has great talent, and we think that’s always an added bonus when we recruit and stay at home, if you will,” admitted Sims. “I think that’s what has allowed Bethune-Cookman to consistently be a league title contender for a number of years, stretching back to even the days in the SIAC, and now the MEAC for over three decades.”
When speaking of how the 2015 season aided in the efforts of this year’s signing class, his first at the helm in Daytona Beach, affected the incoming class, Sims was quick to respond highly of his student-athletes and coaching staff.
“I thought with it being our second class, and being able to show kids our philosophy and style after a year of coaching, that it added to the way were able to recruit and approach this year’s class,” said Sims. “And, obviously, winning a share of the league title and just missing out on an at-large bid to the FCS Playoffs helps as well. I think this really adds to what we hope will be a great 2016 football season.”
|2016 BETHUNE-COOKMAN WILDCATS FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASS|
|Jerry Beauchamp||OL||6-4||274||Naples, Fla.||7:07 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Steffon Francois||WR||5-11||165||Miramar, Fla.||7:16 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Antonio Collier||SS||6-1||175||Hollywood, Fla.||7:18 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Jaylen Funches||OL||6-5||310||Willoughby, Ohio||7:32 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Chris Adams||OL||6-4||300||Dayton, Ohio||7:44 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Kevin Richardson||OL||6-4||305||Seffner, Fla.||8:13 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Keldrick Cesar||OL||6-4||310||Miami, Fla.||8:37 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Jamal Savage||OL||6-6||320||Plant City, Fla.||8:52 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Tyrrell Washington||WR||6-3||205||Vero Beach, Fla.||9:23 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Trevor Merritt||CB||5-10||185||Melbourne, Fla.||9:24 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|L'Dre Barnes||DB||6-3||290||St. Petersburg, Fla.||9:35 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Sam Marc||CB||6-0||170||Miami, Fla.||10:27 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Jamaal Burgess||DB||6-0||186||Miami, Fla.||10:35 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Daniel Palmer||LB||6-2||250||Hartford, Conn.||10:50 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Anthony Cruz||QB||6-5||210||Bronx, N.Y.||10:58 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Trevor Laurent||WR||5-10||165||Riverview, Fla.||11:16 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Jordan Rivers||WR||6-2||176||Jacksonville, Fla.||11:17 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Jacquan Holt||LB||6-4||197||Jacksonville, Fla.||11:18 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Dajuan Jackson||ATH||5-11||185||Jacksonville, Fla.||11:19 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Davonte Lawrence||SAF||6-0||190||Jacksonville, Fla.||11:20 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Simeon Brown||SAF||6-1||175||Deerfield Beach, Fla.||11:50 a.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Job Buissereth||OL||6-4||325||Brooklyn, N.Y.||12:06 p.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Marcus Levy||RB||5-11||215||Fort Pierce, Fla.||12:22 p.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Jabari Dunham||QB||6-3||211||Eustis, Fla.||1:09 p.m.||Bio||Gif|
|DeAndre Bozeman||CB||5-10||173||West Palm Beach, Fla.||1:29 p.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Isaiah Richard||SAF||6-3||175||Ocala, Fla.||2:19 p.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Julian Robinson||RB||5-11||205||Cross City, Fla.||2:35 p.m.||Bio||Gif|
|Michael Boland||TE||6-5||233||Dunmore, Pa.||3:35 p.m.||Bio||Gif|
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