Saturday, February 6, 2016

Alabama State Hornets Sign 17 on National Signing Day

MONTGOMERY – "Being able to bat a hundred is a good thing," Alabama State Head Football Coach Brian Jenkins said in describing the Hornets signing day class.

Jenkins and the Voice of the Hornets, Duane Lewis, announced the signing class in a live three-hour broadcast which was shown on

It was Jenkins' and his coaching staff's second recruiting class, but this class could be considered their first signing class since they arrived so late in the process last season.

"From last year to this has been a tremendous difference," Jenkins added.  "When we came in, we just tried to get what we could get our hands on to fill a football team, but this year we actually had time to evaluate and see what we needed, set a plan and go after guys that could help us be the type of football team that we want."

The coaching staff was able to not only pick up some top talent from other states, but they added five top in-state players to the 2016 class.

"My coaches did a phenomenal job in recruiting," Jenkins said.  They scoured the country and found the best talent that could come and help our team and make an immediate impact.  They traveled all over; from Cleveland, Ohio to Philadelphia to California and we were able to land some top players out of those areas as well as some top players here in the state.  So I couldn't be more proud of our coaching staff and the wonderful job they have done to secure this recruiting class."

The Hornets had the second ranked scoring defense in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) last season and added 12 players on that side of that ball.

Headlining that group from the state is Jamerson Pasteur from Greensboro High School.  The 6'-4", 286 pound lineman will join another in-state recruit Kevin Nunn (6-4, 290) from Calera and Randall Smith (6-4, 265) who is from Dawsonville, Ga., along the Hornets defensive front.

The Hornets also went after several defensive backs.  Aaron Pope, Cleveland, Ohio (6-0, 180) is one of three players from Glenville High School and will play in the defensive backfield.  Other defensive backs that have signed with ASU are Ezekiel Smith, (6-0, 185) Covington, Ga., Joshua Hill (5-10, 165), Prichard, Ala., Darius King (6-0, 200) Phenix City, Ala., and O'Shea Grant (6-0, 180), Sarasota, Fla.  Ezra Gray (5-9, 170) is listed as a defensive back and running back coming out of Lynn Haven, Fla., but could find himself in the defensive backfield once the season begins.

The coaching staff is high on the lone linebacker signee this season, Darron Johnson (6-1, 225), Memphis, Tenn.  The Ridgeway high school talent is not only one of the top linebackers in Memphis, but in the state of Tennessee.

The Hornets have seven new players added to the roster that will line up on the offensive side of the ball, and three of those signees are quarterbacks.

Jimmy Ferrell (6-2, 190), Nashville, Tenn., had been a leader for Pearl-Cohn High School and was the 33rd ranked player in the state of Tennessee.

ASU was able to out recruit several schools for Ocala, Fla., native Kobie Jones (5-11, 168).  Another quarterback joining the ASU ranks will be in-state product Kha' Darrius Davis (6-2, 170) from Bessemer, Ala.

Taliesin Farmer (6-0, 200), Garfield Heights, Ohio, was the lone running back signee this season.  He will join high school teammates Aaron Pope and Christian Clark on the Hornets roster.

Clark (6-1, 300), Euclid, Ohio will join the Hornets on the offensive line.  Another offensive lineman is Caleb Kinnikin (6-4, 305) the lone junior college signee in the 2016 class.  The Silver City, New Mexico native will transfer to ASU from Grossman Junior College located in El Cajan, Calif.

The final offensive signee is wide receiver Palmer Graham (5-9, 165), Schaumburg, Ill.  He is small in stature, but may be one of the fastest recruits bringing with him 4.48 speed in the 40.

Now that signing day is over the coaching staff can turn its attention to spring practice, which the Hornets will be able to participate in this year after missing out on those days last year.

"We have spring ball back," Jenkins said.  "That's always exciting to have those days back and get a chance to get your team out for those days and see what they can do and get them acclimated to some things you want to do defensively and offensively, philosophies and schemes.  So I'm excited about the direction the program is going and the support we're getting."

The first of 10 spring practice sessions will begin April 2 and will conclude with the Black and Gold Game on April 23.


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