Arkansas State’s first recruiting class under Anderson, who met with the media at a 3 p.m. press conference at the A-State Football Facility, consists of 20 high school players, four junior college transfers and one NCAA FBS transfer. The class features five players from Arkansas, Alabama and Texas, four from Mississippi, two from California and one from Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Tennessee.
“We’re excited about this class and what these players are going to bring to our team, both immediately and long-term,” said Anderson. “There were some areas on our team where we wanted to focus our attention, and I feel like this class will address those needs to help us accomplish our goals. Throughout this recruiting process, as we got to know each individual better, we learned that these are young men with a lot of character who come from quality families. This is a group that will not only contribute to our competitive success, but also in the community and classroom.”
The Red Wolves signed five defensive backs and defensive tackles, the most among any position, and 15 of the 25 players inked are expected to play on the defensive side of the ball. Also among the signees are three linebackers and two defensive ends. Including four offensive linemen, three running backs, two wide receivers and one quarterback, A-State signed 10 offensive players.
While the 2014 class rankings are not final, Arkansas State’s class could possibly finish rated the highest in the Sun Belt Conference for the second time in the last three years considering it entered National Signing Day among the league’s top-three teams by Rivals.com, Scout.com, ESPN.com and 247Sports.com
Among the 25 newest Red Wolves are 13 players rated at least three stars by one or more of the major recruiting sources, 14 who were named high school all-state and four who gained collegiate all-conference honors in some capacity. Additionally, 10 A-State signees are ranked among the top 60 players in their respective home state and 13 rated among the top 150 players in the country at their position by either Scout, Rivals, ESPN or 247Sports.
A-State’s five midyear signees available to participate in spring practices are junior linebacker Carderious Dean, junior offensive lineman Kyle Harris, sophomore linebacker A.J. Turner and freshman cornerback Blaise Taylor.
The Red Wolves are coming of their third consecutive Sun Belt Conference championship season, which ended with their second straight GoDaddy Bowl victory. Including back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2011 and 2012 and eight more in 2013, the Red Wolves have recorded 28 victories for their most over a three-year span since winning 29 from 1985-87 as an NCAA I-AA (now FCS) member. The Red Wolves’ 28 total wins over the last three seasons also ranks tied for the 20th most in the nation over that time period.
2014 ARKANSAS STATE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASS
1. Charles Alexander: 6-4, 300, Jr., DT, Pittsburg, Calif. (Los Medanos (Calif.) Community College)
2. D.J. Armstead: 5-11, 185, Fr., CB, Florence, Ala. (Florence)
3. Christian Beard: 6-4, 270, Fr., OL, Waco, Texas (Midway)
4. Jhamahl Bell: 6-3, 295, Fr., OL, Warren, Ark. (Warren)
5. Brandon Byner: 5-11, 177, Fr., RB, Bessemer, Ala. (Bessemer City)
6. Caleb Caston: 6-2, 210, Fr., DE, Pascagoula, Miss. (Pascagoula)
7. Jarrod Chandler: 6-2, 205, Fr., DE, Barton, Ark. (Barton)
8. *Carderious Dean: 6-3, 235, Jr., LB, Byhalia, Miss. (Itawamba (Miss.) Community College)
9. Charles “Fudge” Gaskins: 5-11, 175, Fr., CB, Tallahassee, Fla. (Amos P. Godby)
10. Charles Grant: 5-11, 180, Fr. S, Mesquite, Texas (Mesquite)
11. *Kyle Harris: 6-4, 280, Jr., OL, Lindale, Ga. (Itawamba (Miss.) Community College)
12. Terrance “Tank” Hollingsworth: 5-9, 195, Fr., RB, Berry, Ala. (Berry)
13. Marcus Hudson: 6-4, 265, Fr., DT, Manor, Texas (Manor)
14. Daniel Keith: 6-5, 275, Fr., OL, Florence, Ala. (Florence)
15. Khari Lain: 5-10, 185, Fr., DB, Tyrone, Ga. (Sandy Creek)
16. Blake Mack: 6-3, 200, Fr., WR, Lonoke, Ark. (Lonoke)
17. Chuks Ota: 6-2, 285, Fr., DT, Jonesboro, Ark. (Jonesboro)
18. Daryl Rollins-Davis: 5-9, 175, Fr., RB, Knoxville, Tenn. (Fulton)
19. Kyle Strickland: 6-5, 245, Fr., DT, Brandon, Miss. (Brandon)
20. E.J. Sutton: 6-3, 275, Fr., DT, Schertz, Texas (Samuel Clemens)
21. James Tabary: 6-2, 195, Fr., QB, New Orleans, La. (Holy Cross)
22. *Blaise Taylor: 5-9, 170, Fr., CB, Auburn, Ala. (Auburn)
23. Tyler Trosin: 5-11, 180, Jr., WR, Folsom, Calif. (American River (Calif.) College)
24. *A.J. Turner: 6-2, 210, So., LB, Lepanto, Ark. (University of Arkansas)
25. Nehemiah Wagner: 6-0, 170, Fr., CB, Mesquite, Texas (Horn)
*midyear signee available for spring practice
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