Chattanooga’s Big Day
By Russell V.
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Russell Varner counts down his Southern Conference top nine recruiting classes.
9. Furman – 11 players
Stars: DL John Mackey, RB Tanner Skogen
Keep an eye on: QBs Travis Eman and Andrew Parker
Mackey should be a hoss for the Paladins. He recorded 120 tackles and 12 sacks during his senior year.
8. Citadel – 13 players – 12 high school seniors, one transfer
Stars: TE Alex Glover, QB Aaron Miller
Keep an eye on: OL Michael Mabry
The Bulldogs were actually able to steal Miller from Georgia Southern.
7. Elon – 13 players (1 three star)
Stars: DB Mark Bridges (***), TE Will Wentz
Keep an eye on: DB Jerrell Armstrong
All signs had Bridges originally going to Western Carolina, but the Butler High School product changed his mind last second to become the prized jewel in Jason Swepson’s first recruiting class.
6. Western Carolina – 12 players – eight high school seniors, four transfers
Stars: QB Jawan Simmons, OL Thomas Vonashek
Keep an eye on: RB Shaun Warren
Summers, a transfer from North Carolina Tech, was a three star prospect and Vonashek, a transfer from Iowa Central, was a two star prospect coming out of high school in 2010.
5. Wofford – 18 players – one transfer (one 2 star)
Stars: WR Will Irwin (**), DB Zack Cole
Keep an eye on: LB Kevin Thomas
Talk about a do-it-all star: in his senior year, Thomas recorded 121.5 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles, four interceptions and four fumble recoveries at linebacker and added 606 rushing yards, 123 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns on offense.
4. Samford – 16 players (two 2 stars)
Stars: QB Carson Bennett (**), DE Jerry Moore (**)
Keep an eye on: OT/LS Gunnar Bromelow
Bennett, who had originally committed to Elon, was the top quarterback at the Football University Combine in Atlanta and should be a great piece for the Bulldogs to build a team around.
3. Appalachian State – 19 players - 18 high school seniors, one junior college transfer (1 three star, three 2 stars)
Stars: LB Brandon McGowan (***), DE Thomas Bronson (**)
Keep an eye on: DE Ronald Blair
Bronson, the 2010 St. Petersburg Times North Suncoast Defensive Player of the Year, played defensive end for the first time last year and thrived, recording 47 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and six forced fumbles in 2010.
2. Georgia Southern – 26 players (three 3 stars, 1 two star)
Stars: RB Xavier Sharp (***), DB Riyahd Jones (***)
Keep an eye on: DL Jonathan Battle (***)
With Brent Russell and Battle, the 67th ranked DT in the country, in the middle of their defense, the Eagles’ scary defense becomes even more dangerous.
1. Chattanooga – 20 players – 19 players, 1 transfer (1 three star, five 2 stars)
Stars: RB Kendrix Huitt (***), TE Sean Stackhouse
Keep an eye on: DB Cam Montgomery (**)
Montgomery was the MVP of the East-West Florida All-Star game and was the No. 25 player on the Orlando Sentinel Central Florida Super60.