December 20, 2013. Head coach Scott Satterfield announced on Thursday that six newcomers — two junior-college transfers and four early high-school graduates — will join Appalachian State University’s football program next month. The group of six mid-year enrollees includes quarterback J.P. Caruso (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens), offensive lineman Tobias Edge-Campbell (Raeford, N.C./Hoke County), defensive back Jordan Ford (Calhoun Falls, S.C./Calhoun Falls Charter School/Monroe College), defensive back A.J. Howard (Hamilton, Ga./Harris County), wide receiver Montez McGuire (Beech Island, S.C./North Augusta/Georgia Military College) and inside linebacker Devan Stringer (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville).
All six begin classes and participating in team activities at Appalachian State on Jan. 13. Ford and McGuire have two seasons of eligibility remaining while Caruso, Edge-Campbell, Howard and Stringer have their full complements of four seasons of eligibility.
“I’m proud to officially announce the first six members of our first FBS signing class,” Satterfield said. “It’s a talented group that includes two players that will immediately bring collegiate playing experience to our young team in Jordan Ford and Montez McGuire. It is a huge benefit to get all six — particularly the four early high-school graduates — here in the spring so they can get acclimated both in our program and in the classroom and compete in spring practice. That experience really gives our program a leg up when the fall rolls around. This is a great start to what we think is shaping up to be a top-notch class that we’ll complete in February.”
J.P. CARUSO (QB, 6-1, 207, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens)
Rated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com … threw for 2,169 yards and 21 touchdowns over his final two seasons at Palm Beach Gardens H.S. … amassed 1,123 passing yards, eight touchdown passes, 78 rushing yards and a touchdown run as a senior in 2013, leading his squad to a district championship and the Florida 8A state semifinals … was named first-team all-conference after his 82 completions, 1,123 passing yards and eight touchdown passes all nearly doubled his closest counterpart … passed for 1,046 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior to lift his team to a regional-quarterfinal appearance … broke every passing record at Palm Beach Gardens, which were previously held by former Florida and Marshall star and Cincinnati Bengal Eric Kresser (who has also worked with Caruso as a personal quarterback coach) … rated as football-rich Palm Beach County’s top pocket passer by Palm Beach Post… coached by Rob Freeman … chose Appalachian State over Air Force, Florida Atlantic and Wake Forest.
TOBIAS EDGE-CAMPBELL (OL, 6-2, 295, Raeford, N.C./Hoke County)
Rated as a two-star prospect by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com … played both offensive and defensive line as a prep at Hoke County, earning all-conference recognition at nose tackle as a senior … selected to play for North Carolina in Saturday’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas … coached by Milton Butts … chose Appalachian State over Charlotte, Furman, Florida A&M and North Carolina A&T.
JORDAN FORD (DB, 6-2, 185, Calhoun Falls, S.C./Calhoun Falls Charter School/Monroe College)
Rated as a two-star prospect by 247Sports.com … was limited to just seven games in two seasons at Monroe College (New Rochelle, N.Y.) but made the most of his time on the field with 24 tackles, eight pass breakups, an interception and a tackle for loss … was a four-year letterwinner at Calhoun Falls Charter School, where he earned all-conference and all-area recognition as a senior … also earned three letters in basketball and two in track and field … coached at Monroe by Terry King and at Calhoun Falls by Mike Craigo … chose Appalachian State over Bowling Green, Temple and Idaho.
A.J. HOWARD (DB, 5-11, 180, Hamilton, Ga./Harris County)
Rated as a two-star prospect by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com … two-way player amassed 162 tackles and eight interceptions that he returned for more than 200 yards and one touchdown on defense and 83 receptions for over 800 yards and four touchdowns during his prep career … was a first-team all-region and all-Bi-City honoree … earned Harris County’s Iron Man award as a junior and senior … invited to participate in Georgia North-South all-star game … also lettered in basketball and track and field … coached by Tommy Parks … chose Appalachian State over Western Kentucky.
MONTEZ McGUIRE (WR, 6-1, 212, Beech Island, S.C./North Augusta/Georgia Military College)
Rated as a two-star prospect by 247Sports.com … caught 42 passes for 652 yards and five touchdowns in 19 games over two seasons at Georgia Military College … played in all 12 games as a sophomore in 2013, hauling in 27 receptions for 433 yards and four touchdowns to help lead GMC to an 11-0 regular season, No. 1 national ranking and appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship game (where it lost its only game of the campaign to No. 2-ranked East Mississippi C.C.) … had multiple catches in 6-of-12 games as a sophomore, including a eight receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns (all career highs) vs. juco national power Nassau C.C. … was selected to play in South Carolina North-South all-star game after high-school career at North Augusta H.S. … high-school teammate of Appalachian State sophomore OL Parker Collins … coached at Georgia Military by Bart Williams and at North Augusta by Dan Pippin … chose Appalachian State over South Alabama.
DEVAN STRINGER (ILB, 5-11, 195, Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville)
Rated as a two-star prospect by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com … recorded 152 total tackles (84 solo, 68 assisted), four sacks, six tackles for loss, five interceptions (which he returned for a total of 119 yards), two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery as a senior in 2013 … helped lead Gainesville to a 12-2 record, including an 8-0 region record and regional championship, and an appearance in the Georgia AAAAA state semifinals as a senior … was named the 2013 Region 8-AAAAA Defensive Player of the Year following the impressive senior campaign … coached by Bruce Miller … chose Appalachian State over Georgia Southern and Jacksonville State.