Johnson City, Tenn. - The ETSU athletic department announced the signing of 19 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play football for the Bucs. The 2000 Recruiting Class will become part of the ETSU program in the fall of 2000.
Outside linebacker Lamar Beam (Shelby, N.C.), tight end Scott Brumet (Pioneer, Tenn.), linebacker Corey Carter (Greenwood, S.C.), safety Ocasio Coefield (Ft. Myers, Fla.), running back Terry Copeland (Knoxville, Tenn.), linebacker Mike Cornegay (Fayetteville, N.C.), offensive tackle Matt Cox (Gray, Tenn.), quarterback Dashannon Gamble (Ladson, S.C.) and Bobby Guarino (Kennasaw, Ga.) will join the East Tennessee State program.
In addition, tailback Jason Nixon (Coeburn, Va.), receiver Andrew Nuckolls (Tunnel Hill, Ga.), Andrew Rhinehart (Elizabethton, Tenn.), defensive tackle Gary Rivers (Nashville, Tenn.), receiver/kicker Scott Salmons (Smyrna, Tenn.), safety Austin Smiley (Memphis, Tenn.), inside linebacker Donta Talford (Rock Hill, S.C.), wide receiver Tony Tiller (Lithonia, Ga.), wide receiver Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) and offensive tackle Matt Winegar (Kingsport, Tenn.) will also become part of the football team this fall.
The 2000 recruiting class breakdown by state: Tennessee - 8 * Georgia - 4 * South Carolina - 3 * North Carolina - 2 * Florida - 1 * Virginia - 1.
"I think that this class has the possibility to be the best recruiting class that we have had since I have been the Head Coach at East Tennessee State," said Paul Hamilton. "As I look at the young men that are going to be joining our football program, first I want to commend Coach Billy Taylor for his outstanding job of organizing recruitment from the standpoint of our position needs.
"What excites me about this class is that athletically we have kids up and down the board that can run, kids that are quick and kids that can jump. These young men are really the kind of skill people that we need to play with year in and year out to give us a chance to move to the next level in this conference.
"Individually, Lamar Beam the linebacker that we signed from North Carolina has a chance to be a special player. Lamar was offered by just about everybody in our conference and is a great addition to our program. Terry Copeland, from here in Knoxville, is an outstanding running back. Corey Carter is a young man who scored 41 touchdowns last fall and broke the All-Time record for touchdowns in South Carolina. Andrew Nuckolls led the State of Georgia in touchdowns this past season and has great speed. I was very pleased with Andrew Rhinehart from Elizabethton. He has a chance to play in the slot position for us and we are enthused about his athleticism and very proud to have him in our football program.
"I think that we really helped ourselves at the linebacker position. In addition to Beam, Donta Talford from South Carolina was the captain of the Shrine Bowl Team. Bobby Guarino is a linebacker who has long jumped 22 feet while Mike Cornegay was the Most Valuable Player in the Northa Carolina State Championship game. I also think that we enhanced the receiver position with the addition of Tony Tiller and Tim Turner, a pair of athletic players who can really run. Scott Salmons, from here in Tennessee is another good receiver, who may see time as a kicker. He had a number of punts over 50 yards and kicked 27 of 37 kickoffs through the endzone.
Once again, I am very enthused about the kind of kids that we signed. Athletically, we were able to get the kind of kids that we are going to need to take the next step in the Southern Conference."
East Tennessee State 2000 Football Signees
Lamar Beam * 6-3 * 220 * Shelby, N.C./Crest HS * Outside Linebacker
Was named the Defensive Lineman of the Year and team Most Valuable Player last season at Crest High... finished the year with 37 solo tackles... 18 quarterback hurries... nine sacks... one forced fumble... one fumble recovery... earned All-Conference Honors... one of the best defensive ends in North Carolina... intelligent football player... outstanding student... runs a 4.7 40-yard dash.
Scott Brumet * 6-6 * 240 * Pioneer, Tenn./Scott County HS * Tight End
Gained more than 5,000 yards of total offense in four years... accounted for 1,880 of total offense and 19 touchdowns during senior season... rushed for 614 yards on 123 carries with eight rushing touchdowns... completed 81 passes for 1,259 yards during senior season... as an outside linebacker, he made 15 tackles for loss, two sacks and five interceptions... earned All-State honors at linebacker in 1999... earned All-East Tennessee in 1997, 1998 and 1999... during junior and senior seasons was the offensive MVP of Region 2-3A... ran a 4.7 in the 40... also excels in basketball and baseball.
Corey Carter * 6-1 * 190 * Greenwood, S.C./Ninety-Six HS * Fullback/Linebacker
Led South Carolina with 41 touchdowns (37 rushing, 2 punt returns, 1 interception return, one receiving) in 1999... those 41 touchdowns set a school record for head coach Mike Doolittle... rushed for 2,270 on 293 carries (7.75 yards/carry) during senior season... as a linebacker, led the team with 111 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and eight sacks... was the 1999 Region 3-2A Player-of-the-Year ... earned South Carolina Sports Report Player-of-the-Year honors in 1999 ... also earned South Carolina Prep Football All-State Defense honors in 1999 ... earned All-Region and All-Lakeland Area honors during junior and senior seasons... ran the 40 in 4.6 seconds... led team to a 13-2 record during senior year ... earned All-Region honors in basketball.
Ocasio Coefield * 6-3 * 220 * Ft. Myers, Fla./Kansas University * Safety
Transferred to ETSU at semester... appeared in all 12 games for Kansas last season... will have two years of eligibility remaining... was an All-State Honoree at both wide receiver and safety in high school... as a senior, recorded 51 unassisted tackles and 60 assisted tackles... intercepted six passes and returned one interception for a touchdown.
Terry Copeland * 5-8 * 190 * Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School * Running Back
Ran for 4,961 yards on 491 carries (10.1 yards/carry) for head coach Ray Stackley at the Webb School... rushed for 56 touchdowns... caught 15 passes for 385 yards (25.7 yards/catch) and had six receiving touchdowns... earned All-State and All-East Tennessee in 1997, 1998 and 1999... was a Mr. Football finalist in 1998 and 1999... earned Knoxville Sophomore-of-the-Year in 1997... clocked at 4.5 in the 40... led team to state semifinals in each of his final three seasons... team finished 8-4 in 1999.
Mike Cornegay * 6-0 * 200 * Fayetteville, N.C./Douglas Byrd HS * Linebacker
Led Douglas Byrd High to State Title Game... was named Defensive Player of the Game... finished the season with 180 total tackles... seven sacks... four interceptions... forced five fumbles... made two fumble recoveries... earned first team All-Conference Honors... team was 41-6 while he was a member of the team... 4.65 speed.
Matt Cox * 6-3 1/2 * 280 * Gray, Tenn./Daniel Boone HS * Offensive Tackle
Led Daniel Boone to nine wins this past season... team advanced to the third round of the State Playoffs... was a two-year starter... earned First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Northeast Tennessee... was also an Honorable Mention All-State honoree... played on both sides of the ball.
Dashannon Gamble * 6-0 * 187 * Ladson, S.C./Stratford HS * Quarterback
Passed for 1,469 yards and 11 touchdowns during senior season... rushed for 682 yards and 15 touchdowns as the quarterback... gained 2,151 yards of total offense... as a defensive back, made two interceptions... earned First Team All-Region 6-4A... earned First Team South Carolina Low Country at quarterback... earned team MVP honors during senior season for head coach Ray Stackley... led team to Division 1-4A State Championship and a 15-0 record in 1999... clocked at 4.65 in the 40... team was ranked #6 in the Dick Butkus poll, #22 by USA Today and #27 in the Fox Sports Fab 50 poll.
Bobby Guarino * 6-1 * 230 * Kennasaw, Ga./North Cobb HS * Inside Linebacker/Fullback
Made 114 tackles in eight games last season... had eight pressures of quarterback, seven sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two pass knockdowns... was a three-year starter... part of a State Playoff team as a sophomore and junior... also played at fullback... made 49 carries for 245 yards and four touchdowns... had 17 receptions for 179 yards and one touchdown... was also the long snapper... runs a 4.7 40-yard dash.
Jason Nixon * 6-2 * 230 * Coeburn, Va./Coeburn HS * Tailback
Rushed for 3,940 yards during his high school career... had 1,000+ seasons as a sophomore and junior... played in seven games last season and gained 801 yards on 132 carries... scored 52 career touchdowns including 25 as a junior... earned first team All-Conference Honors as a junior and senior... was an All-Region Honoree as a junior.
Andrew Nuckolls * 5-10 * 170 * Tunnel Hill, Ga./Northwest Whitfield HS * Slot Back
Rushed for 1,735 yards on 242 carries (7.2 yards/carry) during senior season... averaged 157.7 yards/game... owns 11 school records, including all-time rushing leader and most touchdowns scored... scored 31 touchdowns during senior season which set the Georgia state high school record for TDs in a season... earned All-Region honors for North Georgia... also earned Tri-Cities Player-of-the-Year honors.
Andrew Rhinehart * 5-11 * 175 * Elizabethton, Tenn./Elizabethton HS * Tailback/Outside Linebacker
Rushed for 1,826 yards last season... caught five passes for 111 yards... completed three of four passes... all three of the passes were for touchdowns... scored 134 total points... as an outside linebacker, finished the season with 57 tackles and two fumble recoveries... earned All-Conference, All-East Tennessee and honorable mention All-State Honors... was selected to the Elite-11 Team by the Johnson City Press... led Elizabethton High to the State semifinals and a 12-2 record last season... 4.6 in the 40-yard dash... was a two-year starter... also returned punts and kickoffs.
Gary Rivers * 6-2 * 250 * Nashville, Tenn./Bennett HS * Defensive Tackle
Led Page High School with 90 tackles as a linebacker and defensive guard... earned All-Region Player of the Year Honors... was also selected the All-Mid State team... made three Tackles for a Loss versus Class 5A Centennial... intercepted a pass and had five knockdowns versus Marshall County... led team to a 10-0 regular season record this past season... team advanced to second round of State Playoffs in 1999... as a sophomore and junior Page County advanced to the State Semifinals.
Scott Salmons * 6-3 * 195 * Smyrna, Tenn./Smyrna HS * Wide Receiver/Outside Linebacker
Led Smyrna High to a 6-4 record last season... made 25 catches for 661 yards and eight touchdowns as wide receiver last season... as an outside linebacker finished the season with 39 tackles, three sacks and one fumble recovery... also an outstanding kicker... had 29 punts for a 44.7 yard average... had 13 punts over 50 yards... was named Most Versatile in the Region... earned All-County, All-Mid State and All-State honors as a punter... kicked 27 of 37 kickoffs into the end zone... 4.6 40... good size, speed, had a chance to go to Division IA as a kicker, but wants to play wide receiver.
Austin Smiley * 5-9 * 170 * Memphis, Tenn./Kirby HS * Tailback/Free Safety
Rushed for 450 yards on 97 carries as an option tailback last season at Kirby High... best game was versus Whitehaven when he gained 138 yards on 12 carries... averaged 15.7 yards on kickoff returns... rushed for two touchdowns... started on both offense and defense as a senior... earned honorable mention All-Region Honors... team was 7-3 last season and 9-4 his junior year... runs a 4.5 40-yard dash.
Donta Talford * 6-1 * 210 * Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern HS * Inside Linebacker
Finished the 1999 season with 39 solo tackles, 65 primary tackles and 86 assists... forced one fumble and recovered five fumbles... six quarterback hurries... had four tackles for a loss... two sacks and one interception... was an All-Region and first team All-State Honoree... captain of the South Carolina Shrine Bowl Team... led team to berth in the State Playoffs... runs very well, 4.5 in the 40-yard dash... very aggressive... tremendous potential... intelligent football player.
Tony Tiller * 6-1 * 185 * Lithonia, Ga./Stephenson HS * Wide Receiver/Defensive Back
Started first 25 games of program history... started at quarterback during first three seasons of high school... completed 147 passes for 1,742 yards and 12 touchdowns... played at wide receiver during senior season... made nine catches for 92 yards... as a defensive back, had 22 solo tackles and eight assisted tackles... made four interceptions and had two pass break-ups... earned All-County honors... earned Second Team honors from the Dekalb Extra and the Dekalb Neighbor... ran a 4.5 in the 40... also earned a varsity letter in basketball.
Tim Turner * 6-1 * 175 * Marietta, Ga./Marietta HS * Wide Receiver
Led Marietta High to an 8-3 record and a berth in the State Playoffs last season... made 14 catches for 372 yards and two touchdowns... averaged 21.3 yards on kickoff returns... earned first team All-County and honorable mention All-Region Honors... very athletic... also a member of the baseball and track team... was the Regional 400 meter champion last spring... has 4.5 speed.
Matt Winegar * 6-5 * 275 * Kingsport, Tenn./Sullivan North * Offensive Tackle
Runs the 40 in 4.8... member of the All-State team last season as senior at Sullivan North... three-year starter... earned All-Conference honors as a sophomore and junior.