Friday, February 5, 2016

North Carolina A&T Aggies Sign 15 On National Signing Day

GREENSBORO, North Carolina -- North Carolina A&T, the defending HBCU football national champions and two-time MEAC champions, released its Signing Day Class on Wednesday. The Aggies signed 15 players including four defensive backs, three wide receivers, two offensive linemen, two linebackers, a defensive tackle, quarterback, running back and tight end.

“I thought we got what we needed,” said N.C. A&T head coach Rod Broadway. “There are a lot of good players out there, so sometimes it is really hard to stay discipline and fill your needs instead of going out and recruiting positions you don’t have a need for at the time. I thought for the most part we were disciplined, got some really good players that can run, hit and make plays and filled in some gaps along the way.”

The Aggies will hold their Signing Day Party 7:30 p.m., Thursday at Corbett Sports Center. It is open to the public.

Tyler Beck (LB, 6-2, 235, Glenwood, Ill., Homewood Flossmoor HS): Beck transferred to Homewood Flossmoor before the start of the season. He eventually became the starter at middle linebacker for a team ranked 26th in the nation at one point during the season. His high school coaches say he has great size and potential to be an effective middle linebacker on the collegiate level. He made 52 tackles, 37 solo, five tackles for loss, four quarterback hurries, three sacks and recovered a fumble in his one season at Homewood Flossmoor.

Elijah Bell (WR, 6-2, 210, Wheeling Park, WVA., Wheeling Park HS): Bell was the recipient of the Randy Moss award, given annually to the top wide receiver in West Virginia. Led the state in receiving yards and touchdowns with 1,214 yards and 17 TD’s on 50 receptions. Set numerous single-season school records. Was named the USA Today Offensive Player of the Year for West Virginia. Helped Wheeling Park High School earn the Class AAA state championships.

Daquan Blake (OL, 6-3, 315, Leavenworth, Kan., Coffeyville CC): The Aggies got stronger upfront with the signing of Blake. He can play guard or tackle. He played two seasons at Coffeyville Community College, so he will bring majority to the offensive line. The Aggies will return all five starters from the 2015 season, so Blake will also add depth. He is good in pass protection and moves his feet well. He played 18 games at Coffeyville. As a sophomore, he helped Coffeyville have the No. 1 pass attack in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference 336 passing yards per game. As a high school player, he played in the 22nd Annual Country Mart Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game as a defensive tackle. He also threw the shot put in high school.

Kentre’ Grier (QB, 6-2, 175, South Charleston, WVa., South Charleston HS): Grier was a four-year starter at South Charleston. As a junior he was 220-for-306 (.719) for 3,533 yards, 47 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, while rushing for another 1,061 yards and 13 touchdowns on 169 carries. For his efforts he was named the 2014 USA Today West Virginia Gatorade State Player of the Year as well as the MetroNews High School Football Player of the Year. He led South Charleston to an 11-3 mark and appearance in the Class AAA state championship game in 2014. South Charleston was 8-4 his senior season and made another playoff appearance. For his career, he threw for 9,350 yards and 111 touchdowns. His father Ken Grier was a two-year starter at West Virginia State in the early 90’s.

Ron Hunt (WR, 6-2, 175, Greensboro, N.C., Southern Guilford HS): He is a tall, speedy target who played a big role in Southern Guilford winning the Mid-Piedmont 3-A conference title. They also went 11-3 and recorded the third round of the playoffs. As a senior he caught, 34 passes for 751 yards and six touchdowns. He is Southern Guilford’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 1,662. He was second-team News-Record All-Area as a junior and first team as a senior.

Savion Johnson (RB, 5-11, 220, Wheeling Park, WVa., Wheeling Park HS): He finished second as a sophomore and fourth as a senior for the coveted Harry H. Kennedy Award given to the top football player in West Virginia. As a senior he rushed for 1,884 yards and 26 touchdowns on 276 carries to earn USA Today second-team all-state honors. He was first-team All-West Virginia. Led Wheeling Park to a 12-1-1 mark and the Class AAA state title with a 23-15 win over Capital. All this came a year after tearing his ACL as a junior. As a sophomore, he ran for 1,484 yards and 20 touchdowns, while helping Wheeling Park to an 11-2 mark while being named All-Valley, All-West Virginia and The Intelligencer’s 29th annual Sophomore of the Year.

Randy Leak (WR, 6-2, 180, Laurinburg, N.C., Scotland County HS): The Aggies added another standout from Scotland County High School. He is a speedy target who helped the Scots go 10-0 in the regular season before losing to North Davidson in the second round of the 4-A playoffs. Over the past two seasons, he recorded 55 receptions for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had 137 yards and a touchdown on 12 receptions in a 35-31 win over Pinecrest. He is a two-time Southeastern 4-A all-conference performer.

Franklin McCain III (DB, 6-1, 170, Greensboro, N.C., Dudley HS): His name will sound familiar to N.C. A&T Aggies. He is the grandson of Franklin McCain, a member of the Greensboro Four who famously sparked the modern day civil rights movement with their lunch-counter sit-in at local Woolworth on Feb. 1, 1960. McCain III has compiled 96 tackles over the past two seasons at Dudley. He has also caused two fumbles and deflected 14 passes in 24 games. He earned News-Record All-Area honorable mention honors as a senior.

Justin Philip (DB, 6-0, 190, Brooklyn, N.Y., Grand Street Campus HS): Philip played a major role in Grand Street Campus’ 2015 PSAL championship. Grand Street went 12-0 last season. Philip made 12 tackles against Midwood. As a senior, he had 43 tackles (21 solo) and three interceptions. He can play cornerback or safety. He also had a pick-6 on the season.

Jarvis Reid (6-3, 230, Albany, Ga., Westover HS): He was a standout on the offensive and defensive at Westover. He also got many looks from colleges as a defensive end. As a tight end, he made eight receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. He also garnered consideration from Kennesaw State, FAMU, Georgia Southern, Kent State, Middle Tennessee State, Southern Miss, Troy and Western Kentucky.

Leon “Tre” Smalls (LB, 6-1, 217, Hanahan, S.C., Hanahan HS): He is a linebacker with tremendous speed. He has been clocked at 4.52 in the 40-yard dash. On Dec. 19, Small played in the Shrine Bowl, a game where the best seniors in South Carolina play against the best seniors in North Carolina. During his senior season, he made 129 tackles, caused three fumbles, recovered two and deflected four passes. Named second-team all-state by USA Today. He was named to the Post and Courier’s All-Lowcountry first team as a linebacker. As a track and field athlete, he finished second at the Class AAA state meet in the shot put with a throw of 51-feet, 11-inches.

DeMarcus Tinsley (OL, 6-4, 295, Newnan, Ga., Newnan HS): He is another in a long line of offensive lineman Broadway has signed he brings the combination of speed, agility and power upfront. He could play tackle or guard at the NCAA FCS level. He is a good run blocker and has the type of frame where he can play effectively at 310-315 pounds. He helped the Cougars earn a 9-3 record as they advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Thanks Tinsley’s protections, the Cougars had a 1,000-yard passer and rusher. Tinsely was among 12 players to earn All-Region 3-AAAAAA honors.

Ashton Tolliver (DB, 6-0, 175, Bronx, N.Y., Cardinal Hayes): Tolliver played two varsity seasons for Cardinal Hayes. Over that span, he made 95 tackles, eight interceptions and 21 pass deflections. He also forced six fumbles and recovered four. He also returned punts and kickoffs, averaging 34 yards per kick return and 21 yards per punt return. In 2014, he was named all-conference and runner-up for the defensive player of the year award. He runs a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash

Shomari Wallace (DT, 6-3, 260, Hope Mills, N.C., South View HS): Wallace played varsity for South View for four seasons. He is a two-time All Mid-South 4A first-team all-conference performer. He had 24 tackles and a sack as a freshman. He was a second-team all-conference selection as a sophomore after compiling 67 tackles, six tackles for loss. As a junior, he made 79 tackles and 14 tackles for loss.

Derrek Williams II (5-10, 177, Winston-Salem, N.C., North Forsyth HS): He played both offense and defense for the Vikings. He comes to N.C. A&T with the reputation of being a good student in the classroom. He runs a 4.44 in the 40-yard dash and closes in all the ball well.


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