MOBILE, AL–National Signing Day arrived for Appalachian State Football with a southern Alabama twist.
Twenty-three student-athletes from the Class of 2018 signed with head coach Scott Satterfield’s program Wednesday, three days before the Mountaineers (8-4) play Toledo (11-2) in the Dollar General Bowl.
This is the first year with a December signing period, which comes before the February period that still exists, and this month’s three-day signing window began a day after Appalachian State’s team landed in Mobile, AL.
According to 247Sports, with 10 three-star prospects, Appalachian State currently has the Number 2 ranked recruiting class in the Sun Belt Conference. Four of the signees won state championships as high school upperclassmen, and three more reached state finals.
“We’re really excited about this class,” Satterfield said. “Not only is it a good group of football players, but they’re great people. We feel like we addressed all our needs by signing someone at every position. This will end up being one of our largest classes ever, and we believe it’s strong in both quantity and quality.”
Appalachian State had one quarterback, one running back, two receivers, two tight ends, four offensive linemen, four defensive linemen, six linebackers and three defensive backs sign Wednesday. That group was made up of five players from the state of North Carolina, seven from Georgia, five from Florida, two from South Carolina, two from Tennessee, one from Alabama and one from New Jersey.
Seven signees are expected to enroll early and attend Appalachian State during the spring semester: quarterback Stephon Brown, linebacker Tyler Bird, cornerback A.J. Beach, offensive lineman Luke Burnette, linebacker Trey Cobb, tight end Trey Ross and receiver Richard Tucker.
Appalachian State’s current team, which won a share of the Sun Belt championship for the second straight season, has seniors at three of the four starting linebacker spots, at quarterback, at both spots on the right side of the offensive line and at tight end.
The Mountaineers addressed the upcoming departures at linebacker by signing, in alphabetical order, Bird of North Paulding (Ga.) High School, Cobb of Ware County (Ga.) High School, Logan Doublin of Largo (Fla.) High School, Zareon Hayes of Dillon (S.C.) High School, Brock Mattison of Buford (Ga.) High School and Jay Person of Bradley Central (Tenn.) High School.
At quarterback, with three scholarship freshmen developing this year behind four-year starter Taylor Lamb, App State added the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Brown from Glenn High School outside of Winston-Salem. A Shrine Bowl selection, he finished his prep career with 108 touchdown passes and more than 10,100 passing yards thanks to a senior year in which he had 2,790 passing yards, 840 rushing yards and 43 total touchdowns as the leader of a 10-2 team.
In addition to Burnette, who projects as an offensive tackle after excelling as a tight end for Sun Valley High School in Monroe, App State signed offensive linemen Anderson Hardy of Sanderson High School in Raleigh, Shrine Bowl participant Josh Headlee of Watauga High School in Boone and Cooper Hodges of Baker County (Fla.) High School.
Appalachian State stayed local and pushed into the northeast at tight end by signing Ross from Randleman High School outside of Greensboro and Henry Pearson of Paramus Catholic in New Jersey. Tucker of Chapman (S.C.) High School and Braden Collins of Farragut (Tenn.) High School signed as receivers and the Mountaineers added 6-2 running back Camerun Peoples out of Clay Central High School in eastern Alabama. He rushed for 1,672 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior.
Defensively, in addition to the linebackers, App State signed linemen Jordon Earle of Forest Hill (Fla.) High School, Hansky Paillant of Miramar (Fla.) High School, Harrison Taylor of Eagle’s Landing (Ga.) Christian Academy and Chris Washington of Newberry (Fla.) High School. In the secondary, the Mountaineers signed safety Kaleb Dawson of Colquitt County (Ga.) High School, safety Mike Price of Stockbridge (Ga.) High School and Beach, who will have two years of eligibility following his transfer from Georgia Military College.
Ross was the first Appalachian State recruit to sign, making it official at 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, and the class had grown to 17 signees by 9:15 a.m.
CLASS OF 2018 SIGNEES
A.J. Beach – CB
Smyrna, Ga. (Georgia Military College)
BIO: Played nine games in 2017 after totaling two interceptions in 11 games during the 2016 season, when he earned NJCAA All-American honors as a return specialist … Had 632 return yards (391 on kickoffs, 241 on punts with one touchdown) in 2016 … Attended Milton High School in Georgia … First name is Adorian … Current App State seniors Tee Sims and Zy Letman, as well as 2016 senior Dezmin Reed, also attended Georgia Military.
Tyler Bird – OLB
Acworth, Ga. (North Paulding)
BIO: Playing for a Class 7A program about an hour northwest of Atlanta, led North Paulding with 102 tackles as a senior and also rushed for a team-high six touchdowns … Played for an eight-win team coached by Scott Jones, and the eight wins were the second-highest single-season total in program history … Credited with 82 tackles (51 solo), 10 tackles for loss, five pass breakups, three fumble recoveries, two caused fumbles and two sacks as a junior. Also had a rushing touchdown that season … Rated a two-star prospect by 247Sports.
Stephon Brown – QB
Winston-Salem, N.C. (Glenn)
BIO: Played in the 2017 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and rushed for a touchdown in North Carolina’s victory over South Carolina … Finished his prep career with 108 touchdown passes and more than 10,100 passing yards. After throwing for 435 yards and four TDs in two starts as a freshman, Brown eclipsed 9,700 passing yards while throwing for 104 touchdowns in his final three prep seasons … Had 2,790 passing yards, 840 rushing yards and 43 total touchdowns (28 passing, 15 rushing) for a 10-2 team as a senior at Glenn, which posted double-digit wins for the first time in a decade … With Antwon Stevenson serving as the offensive coordinator before being Brown’s head coach for the last three seasons, the Bobcats improved from 3-8 to 5-6 to 8-4 to 10-2 … Grew from 6-1 to 6-5 during his prep career … Threw for more than 3,400 yards with 43 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions as a junior … Passed for more than 3,500 yards and 33 touchdowns as a sophomore … Served as team captain during his senior season … Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports.
Luke Burnette – OT
Monroe, N.C. (Sun Valley)
BIO: Projects as an offensive tackle after excelling as a tight end and defensive end for coach Tad Baucom at Sun Valley … Had 31 catches for 490 yards and five touchdowns as a senior in 2017, when he was named All-Southern Carolina Conference … Caught 23 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns as a junior. Also was credited with 57 tackles (27 solo) and seven sacks that year … Finished prep career with 75 catches for 1,070 yards and nine touchdowns … Rated a two-star prospect by 247Sports and Rivals.
Trey Cobb – OLB
Waycross, Ga. (Ware County)
BIO: Earned three letters at Ware County and finished his career with 175 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 18 sacks and five forced fumbles … Posted 107 tackles, four sacks and one interception during his senior season, when he averaged 9.7 stops per game for coach Franklin Stephens. Also had nine catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns on offense … Credited with 11 sacks as a junior … Also lettered in track and field … Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports.
Braden Collins – WR
Knoxville, Tenn. (Farragut)
BIO: Had more than 2,000 receiving yards on 126 catches in his prep career … Scored 24 total touchdowns in his career … Had 57 receptions for 793 yards and seven TDs as a senior while playing on a 9-3 team for coach Eddie Courtney … Tied his own school record of 13 catches in a game against Hardin Valley in 2017 … Posted at least 100 receiving yards in a single game eight times in his career, including a 200-yard game on eight catches (three touchdowns) as a senior … As a junior, caught 98 passes for 1,242 yards with a program-record 16 touchdowns … Helped lead Farragut to 14-1 record and a state championship as a junior, scoring two touchdowns with 177 receiving yards in the state championship game … Also recorded 123 total tackles at strong safety … Region 1-6A Athlete of the Year … Tabbed a three-star prospect by 247Sports.
Kaleb Dawson – FS
Moultrie, Ga. (Colquitt County)
BIO: Credited with 95 tackles (60 solo) and one interception over 13 games as a senior … Helped Colquitt County reach the state Class 7A title game by winning four playoff games on the road. Packers went 11-4 in 2017 for coach Rush Propst … Had 75 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery as a junior in 2016, when Colquitt County reached the Class 7A quarterfinals during an 8-5 season … Rated a two-star prospect by 247Sports.
Logan Doublin – ILB
Clearwater, Fla. (Largo)
BIO: Set a school record with 156 tackles as a senior and had 408 for his career … Also had two sacks, six tackles for loss and one interception in 2017 … Largo finished an 8-3 season with a loss in a Class 6A regional semifinal playoff game, and Doublin had 18 tackles to go along with a sack for coach Marcus Paschal’s team … Played in the 23rd annual Pinellas All-Star Football Classic earlier this month and had a sack for the South team’s defense … Credited with 128 tackles, five tackles for loss and one interception at middle linebacker as a junior after totaling 124 tackles in his first two varsity seasons as an outside linebacker at Largo, which is about 20 miles from St. Petersburg, Fla. … Named second-team all-state within the 6A classification by FloridaHSFootball.com in 2016 … Earlier in prep career, was a center fielder on Largo’s baseball team … Rated a two-star prospect by 247Sports and Rivals.
Jordon Earle – DL
West Palm Beach, Fla. (Forest Hill)
BIO: Helped lead Forest Hill to its first playoff berth since 1996, as the Falcons went 9-2 for coach Jude Blessington … A standout defensive lineman, Earle also had 40 pancake blocks for an offense that rushed for more than 3,000 yards … As a junior, made the Palm Beach Post’s all-area second team as an offensive guard and was also a standout wrestler, winning a regional title and placing fifth at the state level during a 53-3 season …. Rated a two-star prospect by 247Sports … A top-25 area prospect in the Palm Beach Post’s rankings.
Anderson Hardy – OT
Raleigh, N.C. (Sanderson)
BIO: Cap-7 Conference all-league performer as a senior tackle … Helped pave the way for three consecutive 1,200-yard backs at Sanderson, which had records of 9-4 in 2016 and 9-4 in 2017 to post the best two-year run in the history of a school that opened in 1968. Program won its second and third playoff games in school history while hosting postseason games for the first time in 2016 and 2017. Only other nine-win season occurred in 1998 … Played for coach Ben Kolstad … Rated a two-star prospect by 247Sports.
Zareon Hayes – OLB
Dillon, S.C. (Dillon)
BIO: Led the Wildcats to an undefeated 15-0 record and an SCHSL Class AAA state championship as a senior. Had a 15-yard touchdown run and a team-leading 82 rushing yards in the title game … also won a state championship in 2016, leading Dillon to a 13-2 record … Played in the 2017 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and had five tackles for the South Carolina team … Coached by Jackie Hayes at Dillon … Attended same high school as fellow App State defender Jermaine McDaniel Jr., a true freshman in 2017 … Received a three-star rating from 247Sports.
Josh Headlee – OL
Boone, N.C. (Watauga)
BIO: Standout lineman for Watauga offense that rushed for 4,311 yards (8.2 yards per carry) with two sophomores who gained more than 1,400 yards … Was also the co-defensive player of the year in the Northwestern 3-A/4-A Conference after posting 56 tackles, seven tackles for loss and one sack … Represented North Carolina in the 2017 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and helped the Tarheels rush for 303 yards … Watauga went 10-3 for coach Ryan Habich and had a 9-4 record in 2016 … Rated a two-star prospect by 247Sports.
Cooper Hodges – OL
Glen St. Mary, Fla. (Baker County)
BIO: Standout lineman and fullback for a team that went 13-2 and reached the Class 5A state final for coach Jamie Rodgers. It was the first championship game appearance in the 72-year history of Baker County’s program … A blocking back, Hodges played a big role in the Wildcats rushing for seven touchdowns in their state semifinal win … As a junior for Baker County, which is about 30 miles west of Jacksonville, Fla., Hodges helped the Wildcats go 9-2 … Rated a two-star prospect by 247Sports.
Brock Mattison – OLB
Duluth, Ga. (Buford)
BIO: Helped lead Buford to a 11-2 record and a top-four finish in the GHSA 5A playoffs during his senior season … Had 46 tackles, 12 quarterback hurries, 3.5 sacks, two caused fumbles and two deflected passes as a senior … The Wolves posted five shutouts and allowed seven points or less in two other games … Returned from injury to post 40 tackles, seven tackles for loss and two sacks in the second half of his junior season for a 13-2 team … Received All-Region 6A honors as a sophomore at Northview High School after posting 63 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 10 sacks … coached by John Ford at Buford and Chad Davenport at Northview … From the same hometown as Appalachian State running back Terrence Upshaw … Listed as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.
Hansky Paillant – DL
Sunrise, Fla. (Miramar)
BIO: Named the South team’s outstanding defensive player in the 21st annual Broward County All-Star Classic earlier this month … Had 63 tackles, eight sacks, three pass deflections, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and one punt block as a senior, when he made the first-team defense for the Broward County 6A-8A football team produced by the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale … Attended same high school as current App State defensive back Shemar Jean-Charles … Rated a two-star prospect by 247Sports.
Henry Pearson – TE
Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J. (Paramus Catholic)
BIO: Caught 28 passes for 393 yards and five touchdowns as a senior … Had two 100-yard receiving games, including a two-touchdown effort that involved an 80-yard score … Also had 99 tackles (64 solo tackles), three sacks, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles as a senior. Was a second-team linebacker on the All-Non Public football team from NJ.com … As a junior, had 27 catches for 392 yards and four touchdowns as Paramus Catholic won the Non-Public Group 4 championship … Played for coach Dan Sabella … Was also a lacrosse standout in high school, as he scored 44 goals during his junior year … Tabbed as a three-star prospect by 247Sports.
Camerun Peoples – RB
Lineville, Ala. (Clay Central)
BIO: Rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns in a playoff win before Central closed an 8-4 season with a second-round loss the following weekend … Had a game with 326 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries as a senior … Played for coach Kris Herron … Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports.
Jay Person – OLB
Cleveland, Tenn. (Bradley Central)
BIO: Served as captain during his senior season for a 10-3 team that reached the Class 6A state quarterfinals and was coached by Damon Floyd. … Named the Region 2-6A Defensive Player of the Year and a 6A All-State performer after posting 107 tackles (53 solo), 25 tackles for loss and 14 sacks … Finished his prep career with 270 tackles, 54 tackles for loss and 24 sacks as a three-year starter … Played in the 2017 Toyota East West Football All-Star Classic … Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports.
Mike Price – SS
Ellenwood, Ga. (Stockbridge)
BIO: Had 75 tackles (48 solo), three interceptions and one forced fumble to help lead Stockbridge to an undefeated regular season and a Class 5A state quarterfinal as a senior … Coached by Kevin Whitley, the Tigers finished 13-1 … Named to the All-Region 4-AAAAA team … Finished his prep career with 138 total tackles, 87 solo tackles, five interceptions and four tackles for loss … Returned an interception 58 yards for a touchdown during his junior season, when he had 58 tackles and two interceptions for a 13-1 team … Received a two-star rating by 247Sports.
Trey Ross – TE
Sophia, N.C. (Randleman)
BIO: Had more than 1,000 receiving yards in two years at the varsity level … Posted 41 catches for 675 yards and six scores as a senior for an 11-2 team coached by Shane Handy. Season included a pair of two-TD games with 91 and 144 yards apiece … Had 21 catches for 380 yards and two touchdowns as a junior for an 8-4 team … Averaged 16.5 yards per catch and 51.9 yards per game in 2017 … Rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports.
Harrison Taylor – DL
McDonough, Ga. (Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy)
BIO: Helped lead Eagle’s Landing to a 36-game winning streak over three seasons that included three Georgia Class A Private championships … Credited with 7.5 tackles (3.0 for loss) and two sacks in the 2017 state championship game … Named the All-Region 5A defensive player of the year … Led a defense that allowed just 72 points during his senior season, including wins by a cumulative score of 201-3 in four playoff games … Coached by Jonathan Gess … Tabbed a three-star prospect by 247Sports.
Richard Tucker – WR
Campobello, S.C. (Chapman)
BIO: Finished prep career as Chapman’s all-time leader in catches (220), receiving yards (3,607) and receiving touchdowns (50), breaking some records held by App State alumnus Anthony Smith, who played for the Mountaineers from 1989-92 … Had 65 catches for 1,164 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior, as he led the Panthers to a 14-1 record. Their only loss came in the SCHSL 3A state championship game … Hauled in 38 catches for 743 yards as a junior … Recorded 158 kick return yards in 2016 and finished his prep career with 807 … A two-time All-Region III 3A selection and two-time all-area honoree … Named to the 2016 HSSR-SCHSL all-state team … Rated a two-star prospect by 247Sports.
Chris Washington – DL
Newberry, Fla. (Newberry)
BIO: A four-year letterwinner as a linebacker, defensive tackle, defensive end and fullback at Newberry … Notched 74 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles for his 8-2 team as a junior in northern Florida … Named first team all-area on defense in 2016. Also received Class 1A all-state honorable mention as a junior … Coached by Richard Vester … Tabbed a two-star recruit by 247Sports.
-Information Provided Courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics Strategic Communications-