There were no surprises for Chattanooga head coach Russ Huesman and his staff on National Signing Day, as the Mocs received all 15 letters of intent that they were expecting.
“Going to sleep last night we kind of had a feeling who was going to sign with us,” Huesman said. “It turned out that everybody that we felt like would fax back scholarship papers did. That’s a good thing. We’ve had a surprise or two in the past on signing day, so it’s a good thing that all these guys hung in there.
“We felt like this class filled our needs; we got some really, really good football players just like everbody in the country will say right now. It’s a great day for everybody. This is the future of your program, and we feel really good.”
Chattanooga’s 2013 signing class
* Indicates an early enrollee
*Channing Smith/OL/6-4/280/Kermit, W.Va. (Marshall University)
Transfer from Marshall, where he spent the last two seasons … 2011 graduate of Pike County Central High School in Pikeville, Ky … two-time all-state offensive lineman … led the Hawks to a 12-2 record as a senior … played for head coach John Chapman … all-district in baseball and basketball.
Huesman on Smith:
“We’re excited to have Channing. He actually went through spring practice as (Marshall’s) starting center. I think the thing we like about him is that he can play multiple positions. I think he can be a tackle, guard or center for us. He’s a nice size offensive lineman. Again, he comes from a really good family, an athletic family. His dad is a basketball coach and a football coach. So we’re very excited to have Channing. He’s looked very good so far in the weight room, and we’re anxious to get him out there on the field in spring practice.”
*Hunter Townson/OL/6-4/280/Ider, Ala. (Ider HS)
Three-time all-county offensive lineman who enrolled at UTC in January 2013 after graduating from Ider High School in Ider, Ala. … played for head coach Brent Tinker … all-state as a junior as a defensive end … also lettered in baseball and basketball … member of the senior Beta Club and top-10 in his class.
Huesman on Townson:
“Hunter is enrolled in school here, going to class, he graduated high school early. Hunter committed to us a while back. I knew he wanted to graduate early. I knew he wanted to get somewhere in the spring. This guy had multiple offers elsewhere and made the decision to come to Chattanooga. Decided to stay local, wanted to be here, wanted to see his family and friends watch him play. I think he’s going to be a future star for us, an All-Conference kind of guy. Him having the opportunity to get in here early in the spring will really help him out. It’s nice when you can get the really, really good local players. I think Hunter is adjusting well, and we’re thrilled to have him.”
Tyler Roberson/QB/6-4/210/Martinez, Ga. (Augusta Christian)
All-state quarterback from Augusta Christian School in Martinez, Ga. … posted a 13-0 record and won the 2012 South Carolina Independent Schools AAA State Title … Augusta Council Independent Player of the Year with 19 TDs and 2,017 passing yards … had 1,018 yards and 14 TDs on the ground … played for head coach Keith Walton … four-year starter with a 33-15 record … threw for over 5,700 yards and 49 TDs in his career … also lettered in basketball and golf.
Huesman on Roberson:
“Tyler was in our camp too. He is a big, athletic quarterback. With him and Alejandro both, we were looking for guys that could throw it. I think when you watch Tyler on film, you’ll know, he cannot only throw it, but he’s got phenomenal athletic ability. He’s a great kid. We were very, very excited about him when he was in our camp. When came for the official visit, there was no question that he was the type of quarterback that we were looking for. He held off a few of our competitors towards the end there in the Southern Conference and hung tough with us. Again, I think Tyler is going to be a great addition to our football program.”
Jacob Revis/OL/6-2/290/Dayton, Tenn. (Rhea County HS)
All-state offensive lineman from Rhea County High School in Dayton, Tenn. … two-star prospect according to Rivals.com and Scout.com … three-time all-district for head coach Doug Green … district offensive lineman of the year as a sophomore … member of the 2012Chattanooga Times Free PressDynamite Dozen … also lettered in track & field … earned Rhea County Academic Champions honors …older brother, Kevin, is a senior offensive lineman for the Mocs … plans to major in Exercise Science.
Huesman on Revis:
“I think a lot of people know about Jacob here. Excellent, excellent, excellent high school football career. He comes from a great family. We have Kevin on the team, and Kevin is as good as we’ve had at that position, not only as a player, but a person in the program. We feel Jacob is going to be just the same. He can play. Great leverage, great pad level. I think if he was two inches taller he would’ve been recruited by everybody. Fortunately for us, he chose Chattanooga. I think with the connection, it helped us. I think he’s going to be a really good player. Again, we get the Revis family with us for another four or five years, and that makes us feel real good.”
Derrick Craine/RB/5-10/205/McDonough, Ga. (Union Grove HS)
Two-star running back according to Rivals.com … member of theAtlanta Journal ConstitutionAll-State team … 2012Henry Daily HeraldOffensive Player of the Year … 2,105 rushing yards with 26 TDs on 273 carries as a senior for head coach Paul Burgdorf … led the Razor to a 10-2 record, tying a program mark for wins … selected to play in the Georgia East-West All-Star game … Honor Roll … also lettered in baseball.
Huesman on Craine:
“Derrick was also in our camp, and we really liked him. I think the thing we really like about Derrick is the toughness he brings to that position. He’ll fit in nicely with a one-back system. I think he can do all those things. He’s got really good speed, he can make you miss. But I think the one thing about him is that he’s a strong runner. I just love his mental outlook on football, his toughness. He’s football 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s kind of what we were looking for in that position. We were only taking one there this year, and we identified him early on, liked him, and made the decision. Thank goodness Derrick decided to come here.”
Jerkerious Scott/WR/6-0/195/Dawson, Ga. (Terrell County HS)
All-region offensive player of the year at Terrell County High School in Dawson, Ga. … played for head coach William Huff … two-time team captain and team MVP … all-district as a junior … played quarterback where he rushed for over 1,100 yards and for 600 yards … made 72 total tackles on defense … also lettered in baseball, basketball and track & field … member of the National Honor Society … all-district in baseball and all-region in track as a junior … fourth in the state in the 100M and fifth in the state in the 200M.
Huesman on Scott:
“Jerkerious played DB, but most of highlights were on the offensive side of the ball. I’ve always said when I recruit secondary people, like a DB, that I want somebody that has the ball in their hands, and this guy was electric. He was a really, really good defensive player, and there’s no question he can play safety for us or at any level. But I think the thing that excited me was his speed, his fluidness, had the ball in his hands, he was a playmaker. I think he’s another one of those that is a sleeper.”
Logan Tiechmann/OL/6-4/270/Brentwood, Tenn. (Brentwood HS)
Two-star offensive lineman according to Rivals.com … all-stateat Brentwood High School in Brentwood, Tenn. … played for head coach Mark Pemberton … led the Bruins to the state playoffs all four years, including back-to-back appearances in the quarterfinals … 2012 district lineman of the year … Tennessee Mr. Football Finalist … two-time all-district … also lettered in track & field.
Huesman on Tiechmann:
“Logan Teichmann is going to be good. Big bodied guy that can move. He had really, really great high school career. The connection started with Jack, his dad. Jack and I played together here at Chattanooga a long time ago. It’s always nice when you can get former football player’s sons because you know they had a great experience here, and they want their sons to have the same experience here. We think Logan is going to be really good. I think the thing about him is that he’s very athletic, big framed, big bodied guy. He’ll play offensive tackle for us. He had some opportunities to go elsewhere at the FBS level, and Logan chose Chattanooga. For him to pick us over the other places he picked says a lot about our program and our university just because of the connection he had. We’re excited to have Logan, and he’ll be a really good player here.”
Malcolm Colvin/TE/6-2/215/Fort Valley, Ga. (Peach County HS)
Two-star tight-end prospect according to Rivals.com … First Team All-Sun NewsandMacon TelegraphAll-Middle Georgia Teams as a senior at Peach County High School in Fort Valley, Ga. … had six catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns … played for head coach Chad Campbell … led PCHS to the state quarterfinals with an 11-2 record as a senior … played in the state title game as a junior when PCHS went 12-3 … threw the discus for the track team as a sophomore and junior.
Huesman on Colvin:
“Malcolm was in our camp too. We’ve had quite a few guys in our camp, and he was very, very impressive. He could run. Physical looking guy that played both sides of the ball, but we recruited him as a tight end. We love the speed, we love the athleticism. We’re really excited to have him. Again, we had him in camp, and we were really impressed with him, not only as a player, but also as a person. We think he’ll be a great addition for us.”
Alejandro Bennifield/QB/6-2/215/Hampton, Ga. (Lovejoy HS)
Two-star quarterback prospect according to Rivals.com … two-time all-region at Lovejoy High School in Hampton, Ga. … played for head coach Al Hughes … guided Lovejoy to the 6A championship game with 2,576 yards and 32 TDs as a senior … led the Wildcats to a 14-1 record and the 4A state title game as a junior when he threw for 1,500 yards and 18 TDs … also lettered in basketball and track & field.
Huesman on Bennifield:
“Alejandro was in our camp this summer. We loved him. Unbelievable arm strength, great leadership, his team was in the state championship game. He came in the summer, and I think he fell in love with this place. We fell in love with him. What a great addition for us. He was one of our first commitments, and hung in there a long time with us with a lot of people looking at him, and trying to get him to change his mind. We feel like he can spin it, and we are excited to have Alejandro.”
Lucas Webb/DB/6-1/190/Northport, Ala. (Tuscaloosa County HS)
Two-time Outstanding Defensive Back Award winner at Tuscaloosa County High School in Northport, Ala. … played for head coach Lee Gibson … three-time Iron Cat Award winner … named team captain as a senior … led the Wildcats to a 9-3 mark as a senior in 2012 … earned the school’s Outstanding Senior Award for 2012-13.
Huesman on Webb:
“Lucas we watched on film. Very, very athletic. He’s got a big range. He’s a safety. We’re looking for him to play free safety for us. He comes from a great football family. Dad played linebacker at Alabama. We just think Lucas has not come close to tapping his abilities. We think he has the potential to be a really, really good player for us. He can run, he’s rangy, and comes from an athletic family. We’re very, very fortunate to have him, and I think he’s going to be a very good player.”
T.J. Jenkins/LB/6-2/210/Tampa, Fla. (Plant HS)
Two-star linebacker prospect according to Rivals.com … standout player at Plant High School in Tampa, Fla. … played for head coach robert Weiner … led the Panthers to the 2011 8A Florida state title as a junior … PHS went 10-2 during his senior season in 2012 … also lettered in baseball.
Huesman on Jenkins:
“T.J. is a linebacker. We watched him on film. No question, slam dunk. We offered immediately after watching him. Coach Fuller went down to Florida, and did a great job of recruiting T.J. The one thing I want to say about T.J., not only can he play, but he’s a man of his word. He made a commitment to Chattanooga and Chattanooga Football, and never wavered one bit. He had a FBS school come in late with a big time relationship with his high school, and T.J. said no, hung in there with us, and made a commitment. I can’t wait to see him again so I can hug him. Great kid, and again, from a super family. I think he’s going to be an excellent player for us, and we’re so happy to have him.”
D.J. Prather/DE/6-4/235/Calhoun, Ga. (Gordon Central HS)
All-state defensive lineman from Gordon Central High School in Calhoun, Ga. … member of theChattanooga Times Free PressDynamite Dozen … played for head coach Chad Fisher … two time all-county and all-region selection … all-county in basketball and all-state in track & field.
Huesman on Prather:
“D.J. was another one that was in our camp, and I think this guy is a future star. If he works and does what we think he can do, he can be as good as we’ve had here at the position, and we’ve had a lot of good ones. He’s got a lot of ability, I watched him play basketball, and he’s fluid. D.J. had a Conference USA school come in, tried to steal him late in the recruiting process. He hung in there, said no, and he made a commitment to Chattanooga and Chattanooga Football. I’ve already had the opportunity to hug him. When they can hang in there like that with us, with a late push from FBS schools, that says a lot about him as a person and his family. I just think he’s going to be an excellent addition to our football program.”
Taylor Reynolds/DT/6-3/270/McCalla, Ala. (McAdory HS)
Honorable mention all-state as a senior at McAdory High School in McCalla, Ala. … played for head coach David Powell … led the team to the Alabama 5A state title game with a 14-1 record as a senior … named all-west first team and to the all-metro team … posted 88 tackles, five sacks and seven TFLs … listed as one of the top defensive line recruits in Alabama by Scout.com … four-year letterwinner on the baseball team.
Huesman on Reynolds:
“I think Taylor maybe the biggest sleeper in this group. When he was recruited, he had some scholarship offers from other people. He’s 6’3″-6’4″, 260 pounds. I think he’s going to be a great, great player. I watched him practice baseball. He’s fluid, he can run. We’re excited to have him. He came in on an official visit on the first weekend of January, and he was the only prospect in here. We really bonded with him and his family. I think getting him from Alabama was huge for us, and we’re thrilled to have him.”
Xavier Borishade/WR/5-10/170/Kennesaw, Ga. (North Cobb HS)
All-state receiver from North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Ga. … named First Team Class 6A All-State by the Georgia Sports Writers Association … played for head coach Shane Queen … had 55 catches for 1,108 yards and 13 TDs as a senior … Cobb County Receiver of the Year … played in the Cobb County All-Star game … guided NCHS to a playoff win for the first time since 1959, advancing to the state semifinals for the first time in school history with a 10-3 record … same high school as current Moc Derrick Lott … earned the Captains Award
Huesman on Borishade:
“Xavier came in the middle of January. We like him from day one. We think he’s going to be a great inside receiver for us. He can run. Same high school as Derrick Lott, so we’ve had some nice success there. Great kid, great family. We are excited to have him in the program. I think he can do a lot of things in the return game. Like I said, inside slot receiver, great hands, and excellent speed.”
Davis Howell/WR/6-2/190/Knoxville, Tenn. (Christian Academy of Knoxville)
All-American receiver from Christian Academy of Knoxville in Knoxville, Tenn. … named 2012 Medium Schools All-American by MaxPreps.com … national prep career record holder with 358 catches … led the nation in 2012 with 143 catches … totaled 1,947 receiving yards and 22 TDs as a senior … three-time all-state for head coach Rusty Bradley … two time state champion with a 28-2 record last two seasons … played in the Tennessee East-West All-Star game.
Huesman on Howell
“Davis we’ve known about for a long time. Obviously a lot of people in the state of Tennessee have known about him. He broke the national high school record for receptions, and I think receiving yards. Again, he brings a toughness and work ethic to the position. Anybody that has that many catches, and has done that many things on the football field, I think will be a tremendous college football player. Again, great work ethic, great family. I was very impressed with his mom and dad when they came on the official visit. We’re excited to have him. I think he’ll do great things here.”
David Morgan/LB/6-2/215/Chattanooga, Tenn. (Cleveland HS)
Two-time all-district at Cleveland High School in Cleveland, Tenn. … played for head coach Ron Crawford … played in the Tennessee East-West All-Star game following his senior year … CHS Linebacker of the Year … also lettered in basketball and soccer …older brother, Jonathan Adams, is the Director of Operations for Mocs basketball.
Huesman on Morgan
“We’re excited to have David. What a great young man. Really, really good football player. We’ve seen him, and been around him for a long time. I think he’s going to be a great addition for us. He brings something to the table. He’s a bigger type of linebacker for us, and anytime you can get those 215s, 220s coming out of high school, that helps you. David is from a very athletic family. When you’ve got those blood lines, when your mom played college basketball, your father played college football and your brother is a former college basketball player, normally those genes are there, and you’ll be really good.”
Michael Murphy covers UTC athletics for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelNooga.