Universities announce student athletes during National Signing D - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Universities announce student athletes during National Signing Day


National Signing Day was Wednesday, February 4.

Southeast Missouri State added 26 players from five different states.

According to a news release, Southeast's second signing class under head coach Tom Matukewicz includes 11 players from Missouri, five from Florida, five from Tennessee, four from Mississippi and one from Nebraska.

Ten of the in-state signees are within a two-hour radius of Cape Girardeau.

Six signees are already enrolled at Southeast, including quarterback Tavarius "Tay" Bender, running backs Donterio Fowler and Tremaine McCullough, defensive backs Taron Divens and Jamarl Holloway, and defensive lineman Kendall Carr.

The Redhawks also added the southeast Missouri Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.

Quarterback Dante Vandeven won the Carr Award after throwing for 2,210 yards and 24 touchdowns, and rushing for 954 yards and another 19 TDs at nearby Jackson High School last season. Vandeven capped an outstanding prep career by leading the Indians to the state quarterfinals in consecutive seasons.

A native of Kennett, Mo., linebacker Bud Hilburn was named the Southeast Missouri Football Coaches Association Defensive Player of the Year after recording 141 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, seven sacks and five forced fumbles at Kennett High School in 2014.

Wide receivers Trevon Billington and Eric Williams, linebacker Arsante Conners and offensive linemen Drew Swihart and Mitch Yant join the Redhawks from the St. Louis area.

Billington, Williams and Conners are from St. Louis, while Swihart is out of Manchester and Yant comes to Southeast from Kirkwood.

Billington made 41 catches for 792 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior at Soldan High School, the same prep school as Southeast All-Ohio Valley Conference wide receiver Paul McRoberts.

Williams earned First-Team Public High League All-Conference accolades at Carnahan High School.

Conners was the Suburban West National Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a linebacker at Oakville High School. He registered 114 tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception as a senior while playing for his father, Arlee Conners.

Swihart (6-5, 319) was an All-Conference and All-District left tackle at Parkway West High School.

Meanwhile, Yant (6-6, 265) was a starting offensive tackle at St. John Vianney High School.

Wide receiver Austin Cooley, offensive linemen Drew Forbes and Ryan Ochoa, and defensive lineman Ryan Truvillion round out the in-state contingent.

A native of Potosi, Mo., Cooley was a three-year starter at Potosi High School, where he was the all-time career leader in receiving yards (1,984). Cooley earned First-Team All-Conference honors as both a junior and senior.

Forbes (6-6, 311) was a First-Team All-Conference offensive and defensive lineman at North County High School in Bonne Terre, Mo.

Ochoa (6-1, 260) was also a First-Team All-Conference offensive and defensive lineman. He was a two-year starter for Southeast alum Lee Freeman at Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, Mo.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Truvillion recorded 85 tackles, five sacks and 25 quarterback hurries en route to securing First-Team All-Conference and All-District honors as a defensive end at Park Hill High School a year ago.

Defensive backs Brandon Mack, Omar Pierre-Louis, Cameron Sanders, Steve Durosier and Rudie Frye, tight end Marquette Murdock, wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson and linebackers Stephon Williams and Byron Wilson complete the 2015 class.

Mack, who hails from Oxford, Miss., collected 73 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, seven interceptions, 20 passes defended and a blocked kick in two seasons at Northwest Mississippi CC.

A native of Loxahatchee, Fla., Pierre-Louis posted 64 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, an interception and two fumble recoveries as a redshirt-freshman at Independence (Kan.) CC.

Sanders garnered All-State honors at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, Tenn. He recorded 33 tackles, five interceptions, two forced fumbles and scored three defensive touchdowns in his prep career.

Durosier, who is from Miami, Fla., tallied 36 tackles, one interception, a forced fumble and fumble recovery as a senior at American High School, while Frye was an honorable mention All-Region cornerback at White Station High School in Memphis, Tenn.

Murdock was rated a two-star recruit by Rivals.com at Ridgeway High School in Memphis. He was a three-time First-Team All-District honoree as a prep. Murdock had 17 touchown receptions during his high school career, including five as a senior.

Wilkerson caught 155 passes for 2,403 yards and 36 touchdowns in his prep career at Memphis' Craigmont High School. He made 60 catches for 917 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior.

Wilson, another native of Memphis, had 45 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss and four pass breakups as a sophomore at Highland (Kan.) CC.

Williams, who hails from Clearwater, Fla., attended Calvary Christian Academy where he ran for 1,138 yards and 15 touchdowns. He is the first player in Calvary Christian Academy's history to pay NCAA Division I football.

"It was nice to have 12 months to actually work on a class," said Matukewicz. "The first thing we did was target some local prospects. From there, we went to the I-55 corridor, starting with St. Louis. We were able to get some kids out of there that we had in camp and know a lot about. Then, we ended up getting five down in Memphis and some others in between there. That is our recruiting model. We take care of that first and go from there to find some difference-makers."

Matukewicz also talked about the importance of depth as his program moves forward.

"We're looking at not only building depth and we were able to get some impact-players in this year's signing class," said Matukewicz. "Offensive line wise, we were trying to get a bigger body that we can build, so most of those guys we added are 6-5 or bigger. Secondary wise, we signed a lot because there were a lot of empty classes. We had to sign some junior college players to try to build the depth at those areas on our roster."

Lastly, Matukewicz commended his staff on a job well done.

"I think more than anything, people don't realize how hard it is and how much work it takes to recruit at a really high level," he said. "Our staff is second-to-none and they have done an amazing job. I think we are going to see the fruits of this labor eventually. It's an exciting time to be a Redhawk!"

Southern Illinois University signs the following student athletes

  • Deondre Barnett - Cocoa, Fla.
  • Rondarian Bell - Boynton Beach, Fla.
  • Parker Buenzil - Casey, Ill.
  • Cody Crider - Mayfield, Ky.
  • Ernest Dye, Jr. - Milton, Ga.
  • Josh Haynes - Herrin, Ill.
  • Tanner Hearn - Orlando, Fla.
  • Zack Ingle - Corbin, Ky.
  • Daquon Isom - Orlando, Fla.
  • Graham Lawrence - Cadiz, Ky.
  • Torian Lewis - Lansing, Ill.
  • Kamahl March - Detroit, Mich.
  • Jacob Marnin - Altoona, Iowa
  • Andrew McCrea - Florence, S.C.
  • Michael Nero - Louisville, Ky.
  • Chris Perkins - Carmel, Ind.
  • Airan Reed - Medina, Tenn.
  • Withney Simon - Orlando, Fla.
  • ShawnTrez Spates - Decatur, Ill.
  • Aaron Stanton - Moorpark, Calif.
  • Jake Summers - Wildwood, Mo.
  • Nate Sylvester - Belleville, Ill.
  • Jake Varble - Jerseyville, Ill.
  • Julius Washington - Lake Mary, Fla.
  • D'Eddric Williams - Tuscaloosa, Ala.
  • Michael Zeigler - Springfield, Ill.

The University of Tennessee at Martin signed 19 players.

Head Football Coach Jason Simpson announced the signings at a press conference in the Boiling University Center on Wednesday afternoon.

The 19 players, in addition to six signees who joined the program on Mid-Year Signing Day in December, were highlighted in short video clips with analysis from Simpson at the press conference.

Overall, Simpson and his staff added 14 players on offense and 11 players on defense. The UT Martin coaching staff signed 12 players from the state of Tennessee, five players from Florida, four players from Mississippi and one player each from Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina and Texas.

The winningest active coach in the Ohio Valley Conference, Simpson boasts a 58-45 record in his Skyhawk tenure and has posted a .634 winning percentage in OVC games (45-26).

Kyle Akin, QB, 6-2, 200, Fr., Jackson, Tenn. (Trinity Christian Academy)

Broke multiple passing records under head coach Blake Butler at nearby Trinity Christian Academy in Jackson…Led the Lions to two District 15A championships and a Class 2A state semifinalist berth in 2013…Wrapped up his career as the TSSAA all-time leader in career passing yards (11,131)…Was named All-West Tennessee Player of the Year by the Jackson Sun and the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Class A Back of the Year as a senior…Posted a 30-16 record as a four-year starter, including a 20-4 mark in his junior and senior campaigns…Completed 68.3 percent of his passes (218-for-319) for 3,265 yards and 42 touchdowns against six interceptions as a senior…Also added 50 rushing attempts for 332 yards and three more touchdowns…Tossed six touchdowns each in back-to-back weeks against South Gibson and Scotts Hill…Threw five touchdown passes – including a game-winner with four seconds remaining – against Evangelical Christian School…Participated in the eighth annual Toyota East-West Tennessee All-Star Game, passing for a game-high 68 yards on 7-of-11 passing for the West team in a 28-16 victory.

Brandon Anderson, DB, 5-10, 180, Fr., Frisco, Texas (Centennial HS)

Joins the Skyhawks out of Centennial High School, where he was a shutdown cornerback for head coach Mark Howard…Made 122 tackles his senior season, including six games of double-digit stops and a pair of 20-plus tackle games…Best game of the season came on Nov. 7 when he tallied 21 tackles, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble against The Colony…Added 71 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries as a junior…Compiled four sacks against McKinney North on Sept. 13, 2013.

Preston Baker, RB, 5-10, 215, Jr., Starkville, Miss. (East Mississippi CC)

Helped lead East Mississippi Community College to back-to-back NJCAA national championships and an unblemished 24-0 record in the past two seasons under head coach Buddy Stephens…Tallied team-highs in rushing attempts (119), rushing yards (615) and touchdowns (10) with only one fumble in 2014…Also added 21 receptions for 227 yards and three more touchdowns…Set new season-highs in carries (17), rushing yards (86) and touchdowns (three) against Mississippi Delta Community College on Oct. 23…Recorded 86 carries for 481 yards and six touchdowns with only one fumble as a freshman in 2013…Tallied 11 catches for 156 yards and three touchdowns during his freshman campaign…Was a standout tailback at Starkville High School for head coach Jamie Mitchell…Helped the Yellowjackets win the Class 5A state championship in 2012, capping off a 12-3 season and the first state title for the school since 2001…Rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown in the 2012 Mississippi Class 5A state title win over Pascagoula...Tallied 16 rushing touchdowns during his senior campaign.

Rakeem Battle, DB, 5-10, 170, So., Lake City, Fla. (Southwest Mississippi CC)

Attended Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, Miss. as a freshman…Made 23 tackles with three pass breakups in eight games for head coach Tucker Peavey…Made at least three tackles in six of his eight contests…Also served as the Bears' kickoff returner in five games, tallying 301 yards on seven returns…Had a 95-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff of the game against Copiah-Lincoln Community College on Sept. 18…Prepped at Columbia High School for head coach Brian Allen…Helped the Tigers post 10 wins and make a state playoff appearance during his senior campaign…Was a Class 6A all-state third team defensive player in 2013.

Olandrious Booker, OL, 6-5, 350, Jr., Lambert, Miss. (Hinds CC)

Played at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Miss. for head coach Gene Murphy…Helped the Eagles go 12-7 overall in his two seasons…Earned Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges all-state honorable mention accolades as a sophomore…Helped pave the way for a HCC offense that ranked 25th nationally in scoring (28.6 points per game) and averaged 373.1 yards per contest…Helped block for an offense that posted averages of 35.2 points (19th nationally) and 421.6 yards per game in 2013…Prepped at MS Palmer High School in Parks, Miss., where he played for head coach Aaron Holden…Was part of a Dragon team that went 6-4 during his senior season.

Jamie Bowe, RB, 5-11, 195, Fr., Spartanburg, SC (Fork Union Military Academy)

Prepped at prestigious Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Va., where he played for longtime head coach John Shuman…Also Played at Spartanburg High School in South Carolina for head coach Freddie Brown…Earned Region II-4A all-region accolades after tallying 198 carries for 1,122 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior in 2012…Led the Vikings with 1,375 all-purpose yards, also adding 17 receptions for 212 yards and a touchdown…Rushed for four touchdowns in the second half alone in a 49-35 win over Mauldin during his senior campaign…Tallied 111 rushing yards on 28 carries in the Region II-4A title game against Gaffney.

Joey Cave, DL, 6-5, 275, Fr., Knoxville, Tenn. (Hardin Valley Academy)

Was a standout performer on both lines at Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville, where he started at tackle on both sides of the ball for head coach Wes Jones…Helped the Hawks to a 6-5 record after tallying 58 tackles, four tackles for loss, three sacks and a fumble recovery as a senior, earning 2014 All-Region 4AAA accolades…Best game of the season came on Sept. 5 when he registered season-highs of seven tackles and two sacks against William Blount.

Isaac Chapman, OL, 6-4, 305, Oak Ridge, Tenn. (Oak Ridge HS)

Anchored the offensive line for head coach Joe Gaddis at Oak Ridge High School…Played guard for a Wildcat team that went 12-1 overall, averaged 37 points and 297 yards per game…Was named a Knoxville News Sentinel second team All-PrepXtra selection after being selected as a 5A Preseason all-state honoree by the Chatanoogan newspaper...Played in the Kentucky-Tennessee National Guard Border Bowl in Williamsburg, Ky. in January.

Donald Cofield, Jr., DL, 6-3, 300, Fr., Memphis, Tenn. (Whitehaven HS)

Prepped at Whitehaven High School under head coach Rodney Saulsberry…Helped guide the Tigers to a 14-1 overall record in 2014, earning Memphis Commercial Appeal first team All-District 16AAA defensive tackle honors…Also attended Mitchell High School, where he was named a Memphis Commercial Appeal first team All-District 16 offensive lineman and honorable mention defensive end in 2013…Played in the 13th annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl High School All-Star Game in Memphis.

Julian Crutchfield, DL, 6-5, 265, Fr., Lebanon, Tenn. (Lebanon HS)

Was a valuable two-way player (defensive end and tight end) for head coach Sam Harp at Lebanon High School…Earned All-District 9AAA accolades at defensive end for the Blue Devils, leading the squad in both tackles for loss and sacks while also falling on a pair of fumble recoveries in 2014…Helped the West team to a 28-16 win in the eighth annual Toyota East-West Tennessee All-Star Game.

Terry Fultz, DL, 6-6, 250, Fr., Memphis, Tenn. (Ridgeway HS)

Prepped at Ridgeway High School under head coach Duron Sutton, helping guide the Roadrunners to a 12-2 record in 2014…Earned Class 5A first team all-state defensive lineman accolades by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association after wrapping up 71 tackles and 11 sacks as a junior in 2013…Also earned second team All-District 15AAA honors at defensive end as a sophomore…Highlighted by Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper as a “Best of the Preps” honoree in 2014…Played in the 13th annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl High School All-Star Game in Memphis.

Malik Harris, LB, 6-2, 215, Fr., Nashville, Tenn. (Maplewood HS)

Played at Maplewood High School under head coach Arcentae Broome…Racked up 105 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, eight sacks, four forced fumbles and 30 quarterback hurries in his senior season alone…Also scored a pair of touchdowns (one rushing, one punt return) in 2014…Transferred to Maplewood halfway through his junior season after also playing at Pope John Paul II High School…Accumulated 57 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack and eight quarterback hurries in only five games during his junior campaign at Maplewood…Earned 2014 Metro Coaches Association all-city team honors and was also named as a top metro recruit by the Tennessee Tribune.

Parrish Huddleston, DL, 6-0, 290, Sr., Dorsey, Miss. (UAB)

Joins the Skyhawks out of UAB, a Football Bowl Subdivision team who was a member of Conference USA…Played in 11 games last season for head coach Bill Clark, helping the Blazers to a bowl-eligible season for the first time in a decade…Made 16 tackles – including three tackles for loss and two sacks while also blocking a kick…Had a season-high five tackles at Arkansas on Oct. 25 and concluded the season with sacks in back-to-back games against Marshall and Southern Miss…Played his junior season for head coach Ricky Smither at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, Miss….Tallied 22 tackles with two sacks and three tackles for loss in six games in 2013…Prepped at Baldwyn High School, where he was a first team all-state defensive tackle…Named as one of the state's top 10 defensive tackles by Mississippi Gridiron.

Dan Jensen, OL, 6-4, 305, Jr., Wamego, Kan. (Butler CC)

Played for head coach Troy Morrell at the prestigious Butler Community College program in El Dorado, Kan….Helped the Grizzlies post an 8-3 record while blocking for one of the most dynamic offenses in the junior college ranks in 2014, as BCC piled up 474.7 yards and 45.3 points per game…Was part of a NJCAA Region VI championship team in 2013, as the Grizzlies went 9-2 and advanced to a bowl game…Blocked for an offense that accumulated 384.7 yards and 35.5 points per game during his freshman season…Attended Wamego High School, where he manned both lines for head coach Dale Burkholder…Was named a first team offensive lineman while leading the Raiders to the NCKL championship in 2012 – a feat that hadn't been accomplished since 1984.

Koreyon Jordan, LB, 6-2, 225, Fr., Nashville, Tenn. (Pearl-Cohn HS)

Prepped for head coach Tony Brunetti at Pearl-Cohn High School, helping the Firebirds to an 11-3 record in 2014…Wrapped up 110 tackles, eight tackles for loss, seven sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries during his senior season…Earned 2014 Metro Coaches Association all-city team honors and was also named as a top metro recruit by the Tennessee Tribune…Helped the West team to a 28-16 win in the eighth annual Toyota East-West Tennessee All-Star Game, tallying five tackles with a tackle for loss, forced fumble and pass breakup.

Chance Key, TE, 6-5, 225, Fr., Brilliant, Ala. (Brilliant HS)

Played at Brilliant High School, the same program that produced former Skyhawk All-American offensive lineman Joe Gibbs (2006-09)…Playing for head coach Jarrod Helms, Key played quarterback and led the Tigers to a 7-5 record and second round playoff appearance in 2013…Headed an offense that produced 26.8 points per game, including a season-high 68 points against Vina on Sept. 27…Completed nine of his 12 pass attempts for 191 yards and three touchdowns while rushing nine times for 194 yards and three touchdowns in the aforementioned win over Vina…Rushed 22 times for 256 yards and four touchdowns against Marion County to lead BHS to its first 1A playoff berth in a decade.

Jaylon Moore, WR, 6-2, 180, Fr., Memphis, Tenn. (Mitchell HS)

Was a standout wide receiver at Mitchell High School under head coach Vernon Woods…Earned Class 2A all-state honors by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association while also garnering first team All-District 16A accolades…Accumulated 1,147 receiving yards on 53 receptions as a senior, hauling in 15 touchdowns while adding another rushing score…Recorded 15 tackles with three interceptions on defense in 2014…Helped the Tigers to the Class 2A state quarterfinals as a junior…Highlighted by Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper as a “Best of the Preps” honoree in 2014…Helped the West team to a 28-16 win in the eighth annual Toyota East-West Tennessee All-Star Game.

Austin Newsom, OL, 6-5, 325, Fr., Charlotte, Tenn. (Creek Wood HS)

Was a mainstay on both lines for head coach Chuck Daniel at Creek Wood High School…Tallied 65 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and five pass breakups in 2014…Had a breakout game against East Hickman on Oct. 14, tallying two sacks, two drive-ending tackles for a loss and blocking a pass in a 48-24 victory…Ended his prep career with 120 tackles, 15 sacks and 10 passes defended...Was also an all-district offensive lineman…Played in the 2014 Offense Defense All-American Game in Orlando, Fla.

Tyrone Patterson, OL, 6-2, 315, Jr., Gautier, Miss. (Jones County JC)

Played for head coach David Thornton at Jones County Junior College, starting every game at offensive tackle in 2014…Earned second team All-Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges honors…Was the highest graded offensive lineman for every game…Helped the Bobcats go 9-2 with a MACJC South division title and final No. 8 ranking in 2013…Led the South team to a 23-13 win over the North squad in the 2014 MACJC All-Star Football Classic…Attended Gautier High School, where he was a standout nose guard for head coach Chris Peterson.

Anthony Pearson, DB, 6-0, 175, Fr., Vero Beach, Fla. (Vero Beach HS)

Prepped at Vero Beach High School, where he was a shutdown corner for head coach Lenny Jankowski…Led the Indians to an 11-1 record and a district 8A postseason berth in 2014…Snagged eight interceptions as a senior, which led the Treasure Coast…Tacked on 35 tackles and a fumble recovery in his first season as a starter on his way to an all-area first team selection…Was selected as a Scripps Super 11 honoree, which spotlights the top Treasure Coast area college prospects for the Class of 2014.

Kevin Prather, Jr., LB, 6-1, 200, Fr., Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Oakland HS)

Earned a reputation as one of the state's best defensive players at Oakland High School under head coach Thomas McDaniel…Helped the Patriots finish with a 12-2 record in 2014, as OHS fell to eventual Class 6A state champion Maryville in the state semifinals…Compiled 119 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles as a senior, capturing Class 6A all-state honors by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association…Earned the title of District 7-AAA Defensive MVP on two different occasions by area coaches…Tallied 125 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and an interception with six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries as a junior…Racked up seven tackles for the East team in the eighth annual Toyota East-West Tennessee All-Star Game…Brother Casey was an All-American basketball player at the University of Florida (2010-14) and is currently playing in the NBA's Developmental League.

Colton Sander, OL, 6-6, 320, Fr., Oviedo, Fla. (Oviedo HS)

Was a dominant offensive tackle for head coach Wes Allen at Oviedo High School…Helped guide the Lions to a 7-4 record in 2014 and a 6-4 mark as a junior…Helped block for an offense that generated 337.4 yards per game and 39 total touchdowns in 2013…Transferred to Oviedo High School after spending time at Winter Park's Masters Academy.

Wilfred Taylor, WR, 5-8, 160, Fr., Daytona Beach, Fla. (Mainland HS)

Made a name as one of the best playmakers in the Sunshine State, as he helped Mainland High School post a 14-1 record under head coach Scott Wilson in 2014…The speedy Taylor hauled in 66 receptions for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior, helping the Buccaneers hold the No. 1 spot in the state's 6A ranks for the majority of the season…Racked up 263 yards and four touchdowns in three postseason games, averaging 46 yards per touchdown reception…Was named a Class 6A all-state honorable mention selection by the Associated Press.

Chris Turner, Jr., TE, 6-5, 250, Fr., Memphis, Tenn. (KIPP Collegiate School)

Displayed big play ability at KIPP Collegiate School under head coach Tim Thompson…Earned Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper first team All-District 16A honors on both offense (tight end) and defense (linebacker) for the Phoenix as a senior…Accounted for a pair of touchdowns (70-yard catch, 45-yard fumble recovery) in a 48-7 win over Rossville on Sept. 14, 2014…Was named to the Memphis Commercial Appeal “Best of the Preps” Tennessee 1A-2A-3A team as a junior…Hauled in a 60-yard touchdown pass against Rossville Christian on Sept. 13, 2013.

Lonnie Underwood, RB, 5-10, 195, Fr., Lake City, Fla. (Columbia HS)

Was a highly decorated all-purpose back for head coach Brian Allen at Columbia High School…Named Class 6A second team all-state in 2014 by the Associated Press…Scored five touchdowns and had 155 yards in a 42-14 win over Class 5A No. 2 Suwannee on Nov. 7, 2014…Rushed for over 1,100 yards and more than 20 touchdowns as a senior…Broke the school record for most touchdowns in a season (36) as a junior, helping the Tigers post 10 victories…Rushed for 236 yards and five touchdowns on only 16 carries in a 66-13 win over Jacksonville Terry Parker on Sept. 20, 2013…Came up big in the 2013 playoffs, rushing for 191 yards and three touchdowns in the Region 1-6A quarterfinal win over St. Augustine…Ran for almost 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns as the Tigers' third-string tailback as a sophomore.

Murray State University signed 25 student athletes.

Of the 25 student-athletes in Stewart's inaugural haul, 12 are defensive players, 11 are offensive players and two are specialists. The class includes six defensive linemen, five offensive linemen, four members of the secondary, three quarterbacks, two linebackers, two wide receivers, a tight end, a long snapper and a punter/kicker. This year's class also features one five-star recruit, two three-star recruits and three two-star recruits.

Morgan Alexander · Nickel · 6-2 · 215 · Paducah, Ky./McCracken HS

Alexander is a three-year letterwinner for the Mustangs, where he was a three-year starter on offense and defense. In 2013, Alexander was a first-team All-West Kentucky Conference selection and following his senior year he was chosen to play in both Best of the Blue Grass and the National Guard Border Bowl All-Star games. In addition, he was the 2014 Kentucky high school state weightlifting champion in the 205-pound weight class.

Noah Banks · OL · 6-6 · 310 · Pensacola, Fla. /West Florida HS

Banks played for West Florida where he helped lead the Jaguars to a district title and a trip to the regional semifinals. To begin his senior season, he was named to the All-Panhandle Preseason Elite Team and following the season was an All-Area selection and was chosen to play in the 2014 Subway High School All-Star football game. He is a three-star rated recruit by 247sports.com and a two-star rated recruit by Scout.com.

Chase Boling · LB · 6-2 · 235 · Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic HS

Boling was a four-year letterwinner for the Knights where he helped lead them to four district titles, four region titles and four state semi-final appearances. In 2013 he had a breakout junior year; he posted 82 tackles for 13.5 total yards for loss, five hurries, 4.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries and two interceptions. He continued his growth in his senior season with 121 tackles, two interceptions and five fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown. He is a three-time All-City selection and a third team All-State honoree in 2014.

Matthew Christian · QB · 6-3 · 205 · Opelika, Ala./Opelika HS

Christian was a three-year starter for the Dawgs where he racked up a 25-8 record as a starter. In 2014, he was 118-for-164 for a total of 1,972 yards and 25 touchdowns and just one interception. He also ran the ball 64 times for a total of 214 yards and is Opelika's all-time leading passer. After leading the Bulldogs to an area title, he was chosen as a first-team All-Area selection and a second team All-State selection. In addition, he was a first-team All-State selection in baseball last season where he hit. .442 with 33 RBIs, 19 doubles, 10 stolen bases and three home runs.

Braxton Couch · S · 5-11 · 180 · Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic HS

Couch was a four-year letterwinner for the Knights where he helped lead them to four district titles, four region titles and four state semi-final appearances. He was chosen as an All-City selection in 2013 and 2014 and was also chosen to play in the National Guard Border Bowl following his senior year. In his final two seasons at Lexington Catholic, he amassed 167 tackles, 13.0 sacks, 28 tackles for loss and two interceptions.

Wes Drewery · LS · 6-3 · 230 · Franklin, Tenn. /UAB

Drewery is transferring to Murray State after spending his last season at UAB, which cut its football program in November. Originally from Franklin, Tennessee, Drewery prepped at Centennial High School. In 2013, he was named to the 11-AAA All-District team, on top of being named as the district's offensive lineman of the year.

Jensen Feggins · WR · 6-2 · 200 · Bowling Green, Ky. /Warren Central HS

Feggins played senior season at Warren Central, after beginning his prep career at Highlands HS. In 2011 and 2012, he helped guide the Blue Birds to a Kentucky state title. After the 2013 season, he received first-team All-Conference, All-County, All-Region, All-Area and All-State honors. In one season at Warren Central, he broke the school's reception record in just eight games and ended with 96 catches for 1,100 yards and 11 scores. Following his senior year, he was chosen to play in the National Guard Border Bowl All-Star game.

Colin Frickey · DE · 6-3 · 240 · Clearwater, Kan. /Butler CC

Frickey prepped at Clearwater High School before spending the past year at Butler CC. In 2014, he racked up 44 tackle for an average of 4.4 per game. In addition, he had two sacks for 12 yards of loss and six tackles-for-loss for a total of 21 yards.

Ben Luper · OL · 6-5 · 280 · Springfield, Mo. /Fort Scott CC

Before playing the 2013 and 2014 seasons at Fort Scott, Luper attended and played at Lighthouse Christian High School. Luper played on an offensive line that produced the 17th most rushing yards in the NJCAA last season. The Greyhound line allowed its backs to rush for 1,899 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2014. For his work, Luper also earned 2014 KJCCC All-Conference honors.

Griffin Martin · DE · 6-2 · 250 · Elba, Ala./Elba HS

Martin is a two-year letterwinner for the Tigers who helped them to a 14-1 season and an appearance in the state title game in his senior season. After recording 25 total tackles in 2013, he upped the ante in 2014 with 88, including 13 sacks and three fumble recoveries. He was chosen to attend several elite prospect camps and was listed in the 2014 Prep Football report by recruiting insider Tom Lemming.

Rhett Morrison · P/K · 6-3 · 190 · Muscle Shoals, Ala./Muscle Shoals HS

Morrison played two years for the Trojans and was a part of their 2013 area championship and state runner-up squads. Over his two-year career, he converted on 106 of 109 extra point attempts. In 2014, he raised his punting average 3.4 yards from 38.7 to 42. 1 and placed 14 punts inside the 20-yard line. Morrison was a two-time All-Area selection, a 2014 6A All-State honoree and was chosen to play in the annual Alabama/Mississippi All-Star game.

Brant Newman · OL · 6-2 · 286 · Germantown, Tenn./Memphis University School

Newman is a four-year letterwinner for the Owls, where he helped them to win three region titles. In both 2013 and 2014, following the season, he received All-Region honors for his work. In addition to football, Newman is a four-year letterwiner in lacrosse where he hopes to win his fourth state title in four years this spring.

Jake O'Mara · QB · 6-4 · 215 · Maysville, Ky./Mason County HS

O'Mara is a four-year letterwinner for the Royals, where he currently sports a 3.9 GPA. He helped Mason County to back-to-back district titles in 2012 and 2013, as well as back-to-back state quarterfinal appearances. He amassed over 4,000 passing yards in his career to go along with 32 touchdowns via the pass and 24 via the run.

Toby Omli · S · 6-0 · 200 · Brookeville, Kan. /Butler CC

Before arriving at Butler, Omli played high school ball at Ell-saline High School. Omli was a big part of the Grizzlies' defense last season finishing fifth on the team with 70 tackles for 6.4 per game. He also had one tackle-for-loss for three yards, a forced fumble and a pass break-up. For his efforts, Omli was named as 2014 KJCCC All-Conference selection.

Silas Owens · DE · 6-4 · 240 · New Market, Ala./Buckhorn HS

Owens is a three-year letterwinner for the Bucks, where he was a two-time All-Region selection. In 2013, Owens totaled 43 tackles, 20 solo, and four sacks to go along with two forced fumbles. In 2014, he improved even more tallying 56 total tackles, 37 solo, 1.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and touchdown. For his efforts his senior year he was named All-Tennessee-Valley and second team Class 7A All-State.

Zeke Pike · QB · 6-6 · 250 · Edgewood, Ky./Louisville

One of the most decorated players in the history of Dixie Heights High School, Pike comes to Murray State after a year each at Auburn and Louisville. The former five-star rated recruit by 247sports.com was the No. 1 rated player in Kentucky by Scout.com and the 14th-ranked pro-style quarterback in the nation by 247sports.com. He finished his career with the Colonels at 381-for-677 for 5,816 yards and 48 touchdowns with 1,800 rushing yards and 33 rushing touchdowns. Following his senior year, Pike was selected to play the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Zeke joined the Racers at Mid-term.

Orrin Ragland · WR · 6-1 · 186 · Gadsden, Ala./Gadsden City HS

Ragland played two seasons at Gainesville High School (Georgia) before finishing his career at Gadsden City in 2014. In 2012, he helped lead the Red Elephants to a state title and in 2013 he had eight receiving touchdowns and averaged 43.8 all-purpose yards per game. In track his junior season, he set three records in the Hall County Championship in the 100-meter, 200-meter and the triple jump with performances of 11.49, 23.42 and 43-feet, five inches, respectively.

Drew Rutland · TE · 6-5 · 215 · Memphis, Tenn./First Assembly Christian School

Rutland is a four-year letterwinner for the Crusaders where he earned All-District honors in each of his last three seasons and All-Metro honors in his final two. Rutland capped his FACS career by being named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Division II Class A All-State team. He finished his career with 46 receptions for 714 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Marquez Sanford · Athlete · 5-11 · 170 · Macon, Ga./Westside HS

Sanford was a three-year letterwinner for the Seminoles where he helped lead them to 26 wins, a region title and two playoff berths. In his final two seasons with Westside, the two-star rated athlete by Rivals.com racked up eight interceptions, four of which he ran back for touchdowns. In 2013, he totaled 69 tackles and followed that up in 2014 with two receiving touchdowns, a punt return for a touchdown, two forced fumbles and a fumble return. He was a two-time All-Region selection and in 2014, he earned All-State honors.

Kwan Stallworth · OL · 6-4 · 295 · Lithonia, Ga./M.L. King HS

Stallworth was a four-year letterwinner for the Lions where they went 35-13 over his four seasons. The three-star rated recruit by 247sports.com began his prep career by being named to the U.S. Air Force Freshman All-American team and was a three-time All-Region honoree. In 2013, he was selected to play in the Georgia Rising Senior Bowl and in 2014 earned Georgia All-State honors.

AJ Taylor · DE · 6-2 · 260 · Chicago, Ill./IMG Academy

Tylor was a two-year letterwinner for the Ascenders, after playing his first two seasons at St. Rita of Cascia HS. He helped lead his team to a 19-3 record in his two years at IMG and is rated as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com. In his two seasons at St. Rita, he averaged 22 tackles, five sacks and 2.5 forced fumbles per season. In 2013 at IMG, he upped his game to 39 tackles with 10.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. Taylor continued to progress in 2014, racking up 62 tackles, 23 of which were for loss, 10 sacks and three forced fumbles. In addition, he plays basketball for the Ascenders where he averages 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

Collin Travis · DE · 6-5 · 230 · Benton Ky./Marshall County HS

Travis is a one-year letterwinner for the Marshalls, where he featured in nine games in his first and only season and also excels in the classroom with a 3.53 GPA. In addition to prowess on the football field, Travis is a key member of Marshall County's basketball team where he is currently averaging 18 points and 13 rebounds per game.

Ryan Tyler · LB · 6-3 · 215 · Indianapolis, Ind./Arizona Western

After a standout prep career at Indianapolis' North Central High School, Tyler played last season at Arizona Western. In one season with the Matadors, he racked up 58 total tackles, 24 of which were solo. In addition, he had four sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception.

Drake VanHooser · DE· 6-0 · 245 · Princeton, Ky./Caldwell County HS

VanHooser was a four-letterwinner for the Tigers and helped lead them to two district titles and a state semi-final appearance. He was a two-time All-Western Kentucky Conference first-team selection and was selected to the 2013 Paducah Sun All-Region and All-Kentucky New Era teams. In 2014, he posted 75 tackles, 19.5 of which were for loss, 4.5 sacks and two blocked punts.

Chris White · OL · 6-3 · 310 · Daphne, Ala./Daphne HS

White played for the Trojans where he helped lead them to a 7-4 record last season. The two-star rated recruit by Rivals.com and 247sports.com began his senior season as a second team pre-season All-State selection, however after the season was named first-team All-State by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. He was also chosen to play in the annual Alabama/Mississippi All-Star game after his final season. White is currently enrolled in Murray State, as he graduated high school early this past December.

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