Johnson City, Tenn. -- East Tennessee State University football head coach Paul Hamilton and his staff announced today that 18 players have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Buccaneer football program for the 2001 season.
"I feel weve addressed the immediate needs for our football team for next fall," Hamilton said. "We have continued to build depth throughout our football program. We are extremely pleased with the talented local players that decided to stay home and be part of ETSU football. That has always been a goal of our staff since we came to ETSU. I also feel that the addition of I-A and junior college transfers will give us an opportunity to continue to strengthen our football program over the next several years."
The 18-player class includes 11 freshmen and seven transfers. Among the incoming freshmen are several local prep stars. Adonis Johnson (Dobyns-Bennett HS/Kingsport, Tenn.) earned All-State honors and was the Tennessee Sports Writers Offensive Back of the Year in 2000. His teammate, Gerald Sensabaugh, made 42 catches for 480 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
Tight end Adam Morgan (Tennessee HS/Blountville, Tenn.) earned All-Northeast Tennessee honors while leading a rushing attack that set a school record for yards. Wide receiver Marcus Bragg (Morristown East HS/Morristown, Tenn.) compiled over 1,500 receiving yards during his final two seasons. Johnson Citys Corey Jones (Science Hill HS) earned All-Northeast Tennessee honors after making 77 tackles as a linebacker during his senior season.
Offensive linemen Nathan Anderson (Salem HS/Salem, Va.) and Jamie Owenby (Belton-Honea Path HS/Belton, S.C.) both earned All-State honors in 2000. Defensive backs Primus Glover (Effingham County HS/Springfield, Ga.) and Jacobe Jones (Lexington HS/Lexington, S.C.) will also join the squad. Glover earned All-State honors while Jones was a two-time All-Region selection last season. Linebacker Daren Wilson (Georgetown HS/Georgetown, S.C.) made 131 tackles as a senior, including nine tackles for loss and three sacks. His teammate, wide receiver Brian Matthews, caught 22 passes for 474 yards and eight touchdowns.
Four of the seven transfers are already on campus and will participate in spring drills. Running back Ahmad Ashkar (Leavenworth, Kan.), linebacker Marco Bryant (Morganton, N.C.), defensive lineman Zach Fussell (Cocolova, Tenn.) and quarterback Jatavis Sanders (Stone Mountain, Ga.) are already attending ETSU. Jatavis' brother, Kerrick Sanders (Stone Mountain, Ga.), is a defensive back that is currently attending N.C. State but will join the Bucs next year.
Two transfers from Los Angeles Valley College -- Justin Reiner and Marlo Vinson -- are linebackers that will attend ETSU during the 2001-02 school year.
The Bucs open spring practice on March 28 and the annual spring game will be played on April 21. ETSU opens the 2001 season on September 1 at Pittsburgh.
2001 Recruiting Class
* Nathan Anderson Fr. 6-3 285 OL Salem High School/Salem, Va.
* Ahmad Ashkar R-Fr. 5-11 205 RB/DB Nebraska/Immaculata Prep High School/Leavenworth, Kan.
* Marcus Bragg Fr. 6-3 190 WR Morristown East High School/Morristown, Tenn.
* Marco Bryant Jr. 6-2 225 LB North Carolina/Morganton High School/Morganton, N.C.
* Zach Fussell R-Fr. 6-4 275 DL Mississippi/Evangelical Christian High School/Cocolova, Tenn.
* Primus Glover Fr. 6-3 185 DB Effingham County High School/Springfield, Ga.
* Adonis Johnson Fr. 5-8 175 RB Dobyns-Bennett High School/Kingsport, Tenn.
* Corey Jones Fr. 6-0 220 LB Science Hill High School/Johnson City, Tenn.
* Jacobe Jones Fr. 6-0 185 DB Lexington High School/Lexington, S.C.
* Brian Matthews Fr. 6-2 195 WR Georgetown High School/Georgetown, S.C.
* Adam Morgan Fr. 6-8 230 TE Tennessee High School/Blountville, Tenn.
* Jamie Owenby Fr. 6-3 270 OL Belton-Honea Path High School/Belton, S.C.
* Justin Reiner Jr. 6-0 240 LB Los Angeles Valley College
* Kerrick Sanders Jr. 5-11 185 DB N.C. State/Stone Mountain High School/Stone Mountain, Ga.
* Jatavis Sanders Jr. 6-0 178 QB N.C. State/Stone Mountain High School/Stone Mountain, Ga.
* Gerald Sensabaugh Fr. 6-2 185 WR Dobyns-Bennett High School/Kingsport, Tenn.
* Marlo Vinson Jr. 6-3 227 LB Los Angeles Valley College
* Daren Wilson Fr. 6-2 212 LB Georgetown High School/Georgetown, S.C.
NATHAN ANDERSON * 6-3, 285 * Offensive Lineman * Salem HS/Salem, Va.
Served as captain during senior season at Salem High School ... earned All-State honors ... led team in pancake blocks ... helped lead team to three consecutive state championships ... benches 350, squats 425 and dead lifts 675 ... ranked No. 2 in Virginia in wrestlings heavyweight division.
AHMAD ASHKAR * 5-11, 205 * Running Back/Safety * Nebraska/Immaculata Prep/Leavenworth, Kan.
An invited walk-on at Nebraska that transferred to ETSU last year ... earned All-State honors as a senior ... two-time All-League honoree ... earned Kansas City All-Metro and Kansas Shrine Bowl honors ... set school records for touchdowns, total yards and all-purpose yards ... earned four varsity letters for head coach Todd Leonard at Immaculata Prep ... rushed for 2,018 yards and 36 touchdowns ... compiled 3,000 all-purpose yards in 11 games ... led team to 8-3 record and berth in State semifinals.
MARCUS BRAGG * 6-3, 190 * Wide Receiver * Morristown East HS/Morristown, Tenn.
Made 45 catches for 753 yards during senior season ... scored seven touchdowns ... compiled over 1,500 receving yards in final two seasons ... timed at 4.5 in the 40 ... played for head coach and father Walt Bragg ... Walt Bragg coached at ETSU from 1981-86 ... high school teammate of Buc standout wide receiver Cecil Moore.
MARCO BRYANT * 6-2, 225 * Linebacker * North Carolina/Morganton, N.C.
Redshirted freshman season at North Carolina ... played defensive back at Morganton High School for head coach Tim McMahon ... earned All-Conference and All-Region three times ... made 38 solo and 43 assisted (81 total) as a senior ... also recorded seven tackles for loss, including four sacks ... made 166 tackles, nine sacks and seven interceptions during final two years at Morganton ... led squad to 9-4 record and second round of the playoffs in 1997.
ZACH FUSSELL * 6-4, 275 * Defensive Lineman * Mississippi/Cocolova, Tenn.
Transferred from Ole Miss ... A four-year letterwinner for head coach Jim Heinz at Evangelical Christian High School ... earned Tennessee Mr. Football for defensive linemen ... earned All-State and All-Metro honors ... earned distinguished Christian Athlete award ... led team to 1999 Division II-A State Championship and undefeated 13-0 record.
PRIMUS GLOVER * 6-3, 185 * Safety * Effingham County HS/Springfield, Ga.
Earned Georgia All-State honorable mention honors at linebacker ... served as team captain during senior season ... earned best defensive back in the County following junior and senior seasons ... as a sophomore, earned High School Football Player of the Week.
ADONIS JOHNSON * 5-8, 175 * Running Back * Dobyns-Bennett HS/Kingsport, Tenn.
Earned Tennessee Sports Writers Association 2000 Offensive Back of the Year ... earned All-State and All-Northeast Tennessee honors ... rushed for 1,808 yards and 31 touchdowns during senior season ... led Dobyns-Bennett to a 12-2 record and a state semifinal berth in 2000 ... earned Knoxville News Sentinel Player of the Year in 1999 ... rushed for 3,648 yards on 403 carries (9.05 yards/rush) in prep career ... scored 354 points (58 touchdowns) at D-B ... played for head coach Graham Clark.
COREY JONES * 6-0, 220 * Linebacker * Science Hill HS/Johnson City, Tenn.
Earned All-Northeast Tennessee honors ... made 77 tackles, including one for loss during senior season ... had two pass breakups and two fumble recoveries in 2000 ... served as team captain for head coach John Bowles ... also started at center.
JACOBE JONES * 6-0, 185 * Safety * Lexington HS/Lexington, S.C.
Earned All-Region honors a s a junior and senior ... earned All-Midland honors in 2000 ...played for head coach Jimmy Satterfield ... led team in interceptions as a senior ... led team in tackles final two seasons ... earned most valuable defensive back in 1999 and 2000 ... played in the North/South All-Star game in 2000.
BRIAN MATTHEWS * 6-2, 195 * Wide Receiver * Georgetown HS/Georgetown, S.C.
Earned All-Region and All-County honors as a senior ... caugh 22 passes for 474 yards (21.5 yards/catch) ... made eight touchdown receptions ... had 26 tackles and four interceptions on defense ... for his career, he made 87 tackles and had seven interceptions as a free safety ... earned three varsity letters for Coach Cribb.
ADAM MORGAN * 6-8, 230 * Tight End/Defensive End * Tennessee HS/Blountville, Tenn.
Earned Second Team All-Northeast Tennessee honors ... earned All-State honorable mention honors ... a two-time All-Conference honoree ... caught 10 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns ... a three-year starter ... helped team set school record for rushing yards in a season ... led team to second round of state playoffs in 2000.
JAMIE OWENBY * 6-3, 270 * Offensive Lineman * Belton-Honea Path HS/Belton, S.C.
Played on the South Carolina Shrine Bowl team ... a four-year letterwinner for head coach Wayne Green ... a two-time All-Region honoree ... earned All-State honors ... served as a team captain durin g senior season ... led team to 12-1 record and the third round of the AAA playoffs in 2000.
JUSTIN REINER * 6-0, 240 * Linebacker * Los Angeles Valley College
KERRICK SANDERS * 5-11, 185 * Defensive Back * North Carolina State/Stone Mountain, Ga.
Did not appear in any games for North Carolina State last season ... played at New Mexico Military Institute for two years ... made six interceptions and 28 pass break-ups ... recorded 55 tackles (33 solo) ... invited to the National JUCO All-Star Game after leading team to a 9-2 record and a bowl win ... played for head coach Bill Harris at Stone Mountain High School ... made two interceptions during senior season ... timed at 4.4 in the 40.
JATAVIS SANDERS * 6-0, 178 * Quarterback * North Carolina State/Stone Mountain, Ga.
Appeared in one game for N.C. State, as a wide receiver in 2000 ... played in five games as a freshman (1999) ... completed 9-of-17 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown ... was 4-of-5 for 103 yards and one touchdown against Georgia Tech ... started three years for head coach Bill Harris at Stone Mountain High School ... passed for over 2,200 yards and rushed for over 1,500 yards during prep career ... threw for six touchdowns as a senior and nine touchdowns as a junior ... earned All-Metro and All-County honors.
GERALD SENSABAUGH * 6-2, * Wide Receiver * Dobyns-Bennett HS/Kingsport, Tenn.
Earned All-Big East defensive back in 2000 ... made 42 catches for 480 yards during senior season ... scored seven touchdowns ... made 10 receptions for 166 yards and one touchdown as a junior ... played for head coach Graham Clark ... voted team captain by teammates in 2000.
MARLO VINSON * 6-3, 227 * Linebacker * Los Angeles Valley College
DAREN WILSON * 6-2, 212 * Linebacker * Georgetown HS/Georgetown, S.C.
Earned defensive player of the year at Georgetown ... a three-time All-Region honoree ... made over 130 tackles during senior season ... recorded nine tackles for loss, including three sacks in 2000 ... led team to second round of the state playoffs ... ranked No. 2 in the state in wrestling ... earned Defensive Player of the Year following sophomore season.