MTSU National Signing Day Recap

Nashville, TN, United States / The Game Nashville
MTSU National Signing Day Recap

From Sidelines, MTSU’s Student Run Newspaper

By Jordan Mayton

The first Wednesday of February marks National Signing Day for college football.

Middle Tennessee signed 24 commits for the 2015 season, including cornerback Dontavious Heard and running back I’Tavius Mathers.

Heard was originally scheduled to be an early enrollee, but did not qualify academically. Heard will look to enroll for the summer semester.

Mathers is a transfer from Ole Miss that will have to sit out the 2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Coach Stockstill and his staff’s recruiting efforts culminated Wednesday into what they hope is one of the best classes in school history.

Desmond Anderson, Freshman – Running Back

Gettys D. Broome High School, Spartansburg, South Carolina

Height: 5’9, Weight: 170 lbs.

Rivals – NR

247 Sports – ★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/CcscU

A true running back with breakaway speed, Anderson may not see the field immediately, but given time the Spartansburg-native will be given plenty of opportunities to make an impact for the Blue Raiders.

Anderson rushed for 2154 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2014.

Held offers from: Coastal Carolina

Peter Bailey, Junior – Defensive End

Hinds C.C., Raymond, Mississippi

Height: 6’4, Weight: 245 lbs.

Rivals – ★★

247 Sports – ★★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/C8JTq

A powerful edge rusher with great pursuit, Bailey has the potential to see the field early and often in 2015 with the departures of Leighton Gasque and Shubert Bastien.

The defensive end picked up 61 tackles and six and a half sacks last season.

Held offers from: California, Florida Atlantic, Georgia St., Illinois, Kansas St., Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss

Matt Bonadies, Freshman – Kicker/Punter

Buford High School, Buford, Georgia

Height: 6’1, Weight: 190 lbs.

Rivals – ★★

247 Sports – NR

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/CykqL

Bonadies is versatile, as he can punt and kick. The powerful, accurate specialist will have the opportunity to see the field early with the graduation of Sean O’Kane.

Held offers from: N/A

Chandler Brewer, Freshman – Offensive Guard/Tackle

Central High School, Florence, Alabama

Height: 6’6, Weight: 296 lbs.

Rivals – ★★

247 Sports – ★★★

ESPN – ★★★

http://www.hudl.com/v/DABi3

A versatile offensive lineman, Brewer combines his size and skill to get running backs past the second level. He may be on the bench during his freshman season, but the talented trenchman will make an impact for Middle Tennessee in the future.

Held offers from: Arkansas St., Georgia St., Memphis, Southern Miss, Texas St., Troy

Martez Durrah, Freshman – Safety

East Hamilton High School, Ooltewah, Tennessee

Height: 6’1, Weight: 181 lbs.

Rivals – ★★

247 Sports – ★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/1sLnP

Durrah is a ball hawking defensive back that can play either cornerback or safety. He has great pursuit and may touch the field early in his career with the vacancies at cornerback and nickelback.

The former Chattanooga-commit collected 65 tackles, four forced fumbles and both an interception and fumble recovery that went for touchdowns in 2014.

Held offers from: Chattanooga

Josh Fannin, Freshman – Offensive Center/Guard

Mill Creek High School, Hoschton, Georgia

Height: 6’3, Weight: 290 lbs.

Rivals – ★★★

247 Sports – ★★★

ESPN – ★★★

http://www.hudl.com/v/E0gmh

Fannin is a great run blocker with division one size. He can play anywhere on the interior offensive line, but his natural position is at center.

Held offers from: Army, Georgia St., Marshall, Old Dominion, South Alabama, Southern Miss

DeAndre Ford, Freshman – Offensive Tackle

Creekside High School, Fairburn, Georgia

Height: 6’6, Weight: 315 lbs.

Rivals – ★★

247 Sports – ★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/Cx1jd

Ford is a monstrous offensive tackle that thrives at beating his opponents at the point of attack. His size will help him see the field in his collegiate career.

Held offers from: Georgia St.

Ruben Garnett, Freshman – Running Back

Aquinas High School, Hephzibah, Georgia

Height: 5’8, Weight: 178 lbs.

Rivals – ★★★

247 Sports – ★★★

ESPN – ★★★

http://www.hudl.com/v/DN8iP

A homerun threat every time he touches the ball, Garnett combines his ability to break tackles with his blue chip speed to elude defenders. Look for him to make an impact early in his career.

Garnett ran for 2033 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2014, while also hauling in 17 receptions for 377 yards and five touchdowns.

Held offers from: Air Force, Appalachian St., Cincinnati, Duke, Georgia St., Louisiana Lafayette, Marshall, Miami (OH), Old Dominion, Southern Miss

Dontavious Heard, Junior – Cornerback

Phoenix C.C., Phoenix, Arizona

Height: 6’1, Weight: 195 lbs.

Rivals – ★★★

247 Sports – ★★★

ESPN – NR

Heard has the size and skill to be an elite corner at the C-USA level. He brings length to a position that severely lacked it last season, as Jared Singletary and Shon Akins are both under 5-foot-9. With the departure of Shon Akins, Khari Burke and Chris Sharpe, Heard should be able to come in and contribute right away.

Playing on both sides of the ball for Phoenix Community College, Heard caught four passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns, while also collecting 32 tackles and nine pass breakups.

Held offers from: Colorado, Idaho, Iowa St., Memphis, North Texas

Malik Manciel, Freshman – Defensive Tackle

Florence High School, Florence, Alabama

Height: 6’2, Weight: 265 lbs.

Rivals – ★★★

247 Sports – ★★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/CzUit

Manciel is a powerful defensive end with the versatility and frame to play defensive tackle. He can meet running backs in the whole or pressure the quarterback in the backfield when his number is called.

Held offers from: Arkansas St., Louisiana Lafayette, Southern Miss, Texas St., Western Kentucky

Trae Meadows, Freshman – Safety

Dudley High School, Greensboro, North Carolina

Height: 6’1, Weight: 190 lbs.

Rivals – ★★

247 Sports – ★★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/1tK2q

With great ball skills and pursuit, Meadows makes every game a rough day for the receiver he’s assigned to. Kevin Byard and Xavier Walker seemed to have locked down the starting safety roles, but expect Meadows to roll in and make plays.

Meadows put together a 73-tackle, six-interception season in 2014.

Held offers from: Army, Charlotte, Navy

Chris Melton, Freshman – Safety

Lee County High School, Leesburg, Georgia

Height: 6’1, Weight: 195 lbs.

Rivals – ★★

247 Sports – ★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/DDCCb

Chris Melton is a lengthy safety with the speed and strength to take down running backs in the open field. His elite pursuit and special teams ability should help him touch the field early in his career.

Held offers from: Air Force, Southern Miss

JoVante’ Moffatt, Freshman – Cornerback

Union City High School, Union City, Tennessee

Height: 6’0, Weight: 180 lbs.

Rivals – NR

247 Sports – ★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/Dgn6G

JoVante’ Moffatt has excellent pursuit and excels at finding the ball in the air. He likely would benefit from a red shirt, but has all the ability to make a great corner.

Moffatt racked up 34 tackles, three forced fumbles and four interceptions, while winning a state championship with Union City.

Held offers from: Western Kentucky

Trae Philpots, Freshman – Defensive End

Creekside High School, Fairburn, Georgia

Height: 6’3, Weight: 235 lbs.

Rivals – NR

247 Sports – ★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/AaBez

A speedy defensive end that can also power through smaller offensive linemen, Philpots finds the backfield with ease. He has the pass rushing skill to see the field early in his career.

Held offers from: UMass, Miami (OH)

Tyshun Render, Freshman – Tight End/Defensive End

Westlake High School, Atlanta, Georgia

Height: 6’4, Weight: 225 lbs.

Rivals – ★★

247 Sports – ★★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/Cd1qH

Philpots can high point balls when he’s on offense and hit the quarterback when he’s on defense. He’ll likely play along the defensive line, given the offense the Blue Raiders run.

Playing on both sides of the ball, Render caught eight passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns, and picked up 54 tackles, 15 TFLs and seven sacks on defense.

Held offers from: Georgia St., Western Kentucky

Jonathan Roth, Freshman – Defensive End

Fulton High School, Knoxville, Tennessee

Height: 6’5, Weight: 267 lbs.

Rivals – ★★

247 Sports – ★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/ANEVQ

While he played defensive end in high school, Roth could find himself playing defensive tackle for the Blue Raiders. His sheer size, makes him a force to be reckoned with on a defensive line.

Roth picked up 38 tackles and two and a half sacks last season.

Held offers from: Navy

Isiah Upton, Freshman – Athlete

East Nashville Magnet School, Nashville, Tennessee

Height: 6’2, Weight: 173 lbs.

Rivals – ★★★

247 Sports – ★★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/Cdbdc

The local product can do a little bit of everything. He has a knack for seeing an open field and running his way to the endzone. However, he is equally as good at finding his receivers open downfield.

Playing in only eight games, Upton passed for 1128 yards and 12 touchdowns, also rushing for 977 yards and 15 touchdowns on 71 carries.

Held offers from: Army, Georgia St., Marshall, Old Dominion, South Alabama, Southern Miss

John Urzua, Freshman – Quarterback

North Gwinett High School, Suwanee, Georgia

Height: 6’3, Weight: 172 lbs.

Rivals – ★★

247 Sports – ★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/CggHq

Urzua is your typical pocket passer. He excels at hitting his receivers in stride and fitting footballs in tight windows. He has all the talent he needs to make a run at the second string quarterback spot.

In 2014, Urzua completed 194 of his 317 passes for 3142 yards with 34 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

Held offers from: Western Kentucky

Vernon Walker, Freshman – Safety

Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Florida

Height: 6’1, Weight: 195 lbs.

Rivals – ★★

247 Sports – ★★★

ESPN – NR

http://www.hudl.com/v/Cd1qw

Walker is a safety with great cover skills. He makes a name for himself by jumping routes and intercepting passes, but never shies away from making big hits.

Held offers from: Akron, Tulane

Terrelle West , Freshman – Athlete

Clay-Chalkville High School, Pinson, Alabama

Height: 5’9, Weight: 183 lbs.

Rivals – ★★★

247 Sports – ★★★

ESPN – ★★★

http://www.hudl.com/v/DPFTX

Though West is listed as an athlete, he should find himself in the running back rotation for his Blue Raider career. The Pinson, Alabama-native has great open field speed and knack for breaking tackles in the backfield.

West ran for 1071 yards on 116 carries for 12 touchdowns in 2014.

Held offers from: Arkansas St., Cincinnati, Mississippi St., South Alabama, Southern Miss, Western Kentucky

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