Thursday, February 4, 2016

2016 NSU Football Signees

Matt Michalec, Asst. AD/Communications

NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk State University head football coach Latrell Scott announced the bulk of his 2016 recruiting class on Wednesday, a 15-player group which addresses Scott's goals to improve the Spartans' athleticism, size and versatility.

Three members of the recruiting class are already enrolled at NSU and are taking spring-semester classes: quarterback Tyre-Givers Wilson of Indian River High in Chesapeake, and offensive linemen Jordan Crockett and Kenneth Kirby of Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Va. The other 12 players signed national letters of intent on Wednesday.

Of the 15 players, Scott inked five offensive linemen, two quarterbacks, two wide receivers, two defensive backs, one running back, one defensive lineman and two multi-position athletes. Twelve of the 15 are from the state of Virginia, and 10 are from the immediate seven-city Hampton Roads area. The Spartans also welcome players from the Richmond, Va. area and Washington, D.C., in addition to one prospect each from North Carolina and New Jersey.

"We're thrilled about the 2016 recruiting class," Scott said. "Our aim was to identify and address our areas of need to enhance our roster moving forward. We also achieved our recruiting goal of starting locally, then moving out on a regional and national basis. With the addition of these players, we feel we have laid the foundation for success down the road."

Following are the members of the 2016 signing day class, with notes and quotes on each further down the page.

2016 NSU Recruiting Class
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown / Previous School
Malik Butts RB 5-9 180 Virginia Beach, Va. / Salem HS
Jordan Crockett* OL 6-5 325 Max Meadows, Va. / Fork Union / Ft. Chiswell
Josh Culberson DL 6-5 285 Chesapeake, Va. / Fork Union / Western Branch
Marcque Ellington WR 6-5 190 West Long Branch, N.J. / St. John Vianney HS
Tyre Givers-Wilson* QB 6-3 210 Chesapeake, Va. / Indian River HS
Tripp Harrington QB 6-2 175 Wendell, N.C. / East Wake HS
Dominic Jordan OL 6-2 280 Chesapeake, Va. / Oscar Smith HS
Kenneth Kirby* OL 6-5 275 Newport News, Va. / Fork Union / Menchville
Taro Lipscomb OL 6-3 290 Washington, D.C. / Friendship Collegiate HS
Bobby Price DB 6-3 180 Virginia Beach, Va. / Bishop Sullivan HS
Justin Smith WR 6-1 170 Richmond, Va. / Benedictine Preparatory
Kevin Staton OL 6-6 320 Chesapeake, Va. / Indian River HS
J.T. Wahee DB 5-11 170 Norfolk, Va. / Lake Taylor HS
Devon Watford Ath. 5-10 180 Norfolk, Va. / Norview HS
Anthony Williams Ath. 6-3 210 Norfolk, Va. / Maury HS

* Already enrolled at NSU in spring-semester classes

Malik Butts
5-9, 180
Virginia Beach, Va./Salem HS

High School: A first-team all-conference and All-5A South Region performer ... Also named to the VHSL 5A all-state second team and the All-Tidewater second team by The Virginian-Pilot ... Rushed for 1,066 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior ... Shared Conference 9 Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors with fellow NSU signee Devon Watford ... Also a first-team all-conference selection as a junior, when he rushed for over 1,300 yards ... Rated the No. 16 recruit in the Hampton Roads area class of 2016 by The Virginian-Pilot.

Scott Says: "Malik is a talented player who had a great career at Salem. His skill as a running back and kick returner should pay dividends in the near future."

Jordan Crockett
6-5, 325
Max Meadows, Va./Fork Union Military Academy/Ft. Chiswell HS

High School/Prep: Started five games at right tackle for FUMA's prep team in 2015 ... Was a two-time first-team all-state Group A selection at Fort Chiswell, where he lettered three years and played on both sides of the line.

Scott Says: "Jordan is a big, athletic and physical offensive lineman who will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact on an improved offensive line. He is another quality in-state student-athlete who has a bright future as a Spartan."


Josh Culberson
6-5, 285
Chesapeake, Va./Form Union/Western Branch HS

High School/Prep: Played a year of prep school football, where he teamed with fellow NSU signees Jordan Crockett and Kenneth Kirby at Fork Union ... At Western Branch, Culberson was named to the All-757 junior team on defense ... Was a two-time all-state track performer in the shot put and discus.

Scott Says: "Josh is another promising local product. He played both offensive and defensive line in high school, so we know he is versatile. He also continues our recent success in landing talented players from Fork Union."

Marcque Ellington
6-5, 190
West Long Branch, N.J./St. John-Vianney HS

High School: A three-year starter at St. John Vianney ... As a senior, led his team to an 11-1 record and a berth in the state championship game ... Caught 16 passes for 400 yards and scored 11 touchdowns ... Also had 40 tackles and three interceptions on defense ... Notched 85 tackles and two interceptions as a junior, when he was an All-Shore division nominee ... Also a basketball standout.

Scott Says: "Marcque is a tall wide receiver with big-play ability. His size and athleticism create matchup problems for defenders. He was also an excellent high school basketball player, which should help translate to his becoming a big-play receiver for us."


Tyre Givers-Wilson
6-3, 210
Chesapeake, Va./Indian River HS

High School: A three-star recruit by 247 Sports ... Rated two stars by ... Passed for 1,805 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior, leading the Braves to the Group 5A state semifinals ... A first-team All-Conference 9 selection.

Scott Says: "We identified Tyre as a priority recruit back in the spring and we have followed him every step of the way. Keeping a highly sought-after player like Tyre home is a big accomplishment for our program."


Tripp Harrington
6-2, 175
Wendell, N.C./East Wake HS

High School: Led all Triangle-area (N.C.) quarterbacks with 1,187 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns while passing for 2,507 yards and 24 more scores as a senior ... Named the Greater Neuse River Conference 4A Player of the Year ... Also was a Raleigh News & Observer All-Metro selection ... Threw for 2,639 yards and 30 TDs as a junior.

Scott Says: "Tripp is an athletic quarterback who possesses a big arm and the ability to run the football. He was heavily depended on by his coach to manage games and be a leader, and we look forward to him doing the same for us."


Dominic Jordan
6-2, 280
Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Smith HS

High School: Named to the All-Conference 2 (Monitor-Merrimac Conference) first team as a senior and sophomore ... Named to the Virginian-Pilot's All-Tidewater first team ... Selected to the All-6A South Region second team as a senior ... Rated a two-star recruit by ... No. 20 senior recruit in the Hampton Roads area by the Virginian-Pilot ... Helped Oscar Smith reach the 6A state championship game as a sophomore and senior ... Also wrestles for Oscar Smith.

Scott Says: "Dominic comes from a great local program and he had a great career for coach Rich Morgan at Oscar Smith. He has played all three offensive line positions and doubles as a long snapper, so he adds even more versatility to this class."

Kenneth Kirby
6-5, 275
Newport News, Va./Fork Union Military Academy/Menchville HS

High School/Prep: Spent a post-graduate year at Fork Union in 2015, where he teamed with fellow NSU enrollee Jordan Crockett on the offensive line ... At Menchville, was a first-team All-Conference 10 offensive lineman as a senior in 2014 ... Also named to the all-conference second team at defensive line, as well ... Honorable mention all-conference performer as a junior in 2013.

Scott Says: "Kenneth is a big, athletic offensive lineman who we think will be able to compete for time immediately after spending last fall at Fork Union. He continues what is becoming a strong pipeline of talented Fork Union players to play at NSU."


Taro Lipscomb
6-3, 290
Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Charter

High School: Named to the All-USA Today Washington, D.C. second team ... Also played in the District of Columbia State Athletic Association (DCSAA) all-star game.

Scott Says: "We really like Taro's athleticism as an offensive lineman. He comes from a great program in Washington, D.C. and we feel like he is a great fit for our line at NSU."


Bobby Price
6-3, 180
Virginia Beach, Va./Bishop Sullivan Catholic HS

High School: All-State (VISAA) first-team defensive back ... Named to the all-state second team as an offensive athlete ... Played quarterback, receiver and defensive back at various points for Bishop Sullivan, averaging 120 yards of total offense per game ... Passed for 524 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for another 462 yards ... Had 50 tackles on defense and also returned a punt for a touchdown on special teams ... First-team all-conference (TCIS) at defensive back and second team at quarterback.

Scott Says: "Bobby gives us the ability to do multiple things from a schematic standpoint. The fact that he is a 6-6 high jumper speaks to his athleticism. He has loads of potential."


Justin Smith
6-1, 170
Richmond, Va./Benedictine Preparatory

High School: A first-team All-State (VISAA) Division I selection ... Also an honorable mention All-Metro pick by the Richmond Times Dispatch ... Caught 24 passes for 650 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior ... Helped Benedictine win the VISAA state Division I title his junior and senior seasons.

Scott Says: "Justin is a late bloomer who had a great year for the state championship team at Benedictine Prep. He played with lots of talented players in Greg Lilly's program. He has the possibility to see immediate time for us."


Kevin Staton
6-6, 320
Chesapeake, Va./Indian River HS

High School: Rated a top 100 guard in the nation and a three-star prospect by ... Rated a two-star recruit by both Rivals and 247 Sports ... Selected to the All-PenSouth Conference second team as a junior ... Helped Indian River reach the state Group 5A state semifinals as a senior.

Scott Says: "Kevin is a welcomed late addition to our group. He is a nationally-recruited offensive lineman from the powerhouse Indian River program. He also continues a tradition of Spartans in his family - both his father and brother are former NSU players."


J.T. Wahee
5-11, 170
Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor HS

High School: Finished his senior season with 32 tackles and seven interceptions as the Titans advanced to the state 4A championship game ... A first-team All-Conference 17 selection ... Named to the all-state 4A second team ... Second-team all-conference defensive back as a junior, when he helped Lake Taylor go 15-0 and win the state title ... Younger brother of George Wahee, who is a redshirt freshman receiver at NSU.

Scott Says: "J.T. got one of the first offers in this year's recruiting class and we've been following his progress for some time. He's a shut-down corner with tremendous upside. He had a great career for a top program at Lake Taylor and also is an excellent basketball player."


Devon Watford
5-10, 180
Norfolk, Va./Norview HS

High School: First-team all-conference, All-5A South Region and All-Tidewater ... Also a second-team all-state 5A selection and the conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year ... Caught 36 passes for 820 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior ... Scored 15 total touchdowns and amassed over 1,000 all-purpose yards ... Selected to play in the VHSCA state all-star game ... Also had 63 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions on defense ... Played running back as a junior, running for 742 yards while helping the Pilots win their first playoff game in nearly 30 years.

Scott Says: "Simply put, Devon is just a quality football player. He showed in high school he could excel at any number of positions so we are looking forward to see what he can provide our team."


Anthony Williams
6-3, 210
Norfolk, Va./Maury HS

High School: Did not play football until his senior season ... Earned second-team All-Conference 9 honors at receiver ... Caught 21 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns ... Added 38 tackles, 15 for loss, and nine sacks as an outside linebacker ... Also a basketball standout, Williams averaged 15 points and seven rebounds per game as a junior ... Is averaging 13 points and nine rebounds so far as a senior.

Scott Says: "Anthony is a big, versatile athlete who has immense potential. He's only played one year of football, so his best days are definitely ahead of him."



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