Middle Tennessee head football coach Rick Stockstill announced today the signing of 24 players to scholarship agreements on National Signing Day.
“We filled our needs with 12 defensive players, 11 offensive guys and a punter,” added Stockstill. “We went into this being able to sign 21 and then we had some spots open up and we were able to bring in 24. I wish we would have signed another linebacker but I am very pleased with this class because we are bringing in some talented guys.
“We have a great product to sell at Middle Tennessee. We graduate 97 percent of our players, go to bowl games, and play on television basically each week. You can do it all at Middle Tennessee which makes getting a class like this a lot easier.”
The Blue Raiders inked players from eight different states with nine coming from Georgia, five from Tennessee, three from Mississippi, two from Florida and Alabama, and one each from South Carolina, Illinois and Michigan. Overall, 18 signees come from the high school ranks, five are junior college transfers, and one is a four-year transfer.
Stockstill and his staff signed 11 players on offense. The Blue Raiders added four linemen, three wide receivers, three running backs, and a quarterback.
Defensively, the Blue Raiders stocked up on linemen and secondary help among the 12 players signed. The staff inked three defensive ends, three cornerbacks, three safeties, two linebackers and a defensive tackle.
“We needed an experienced pass rusher and Peter Bailey gives us that. Defensive end was an immediate need as was cornerback where I thought we added some length, size and speed.”
Middle Tennessee also signed a punter in Matt Bonadies who is rated among the best in the nation.
The Blue Raiders, who return 16 starters next year, will begin spring practice on March 20 with the Blue-White Spring Game set for April 18. Mat drills will get underway on Feb. 16.
Running Back, 5-10, 174, Fr.
Pacolet, SC (Broome HS)
High School: Lettered in football, basketball, and track at Broome High School … Named the Region 3-AAA Player of the Year in 2014 while also earning all-state honors … Voted the team’s Offensive Player of the Year as a senior … Was among the state’s rushing leaders with over 2,100 yards and 28 touchdowns (10.7 yards a carry) … Named the Spartanburg Herald Journal and the WSPA Channel 7 Player of the Week against Chester High School when he returned a punt for a touchdown and rushed for 349 yards and six touchdowns … Crowned the state long jump champion in 2014 … Was all-state in track in 2013 and 2014 while earning all-region honors in 2012, 2013, and 2014 … Played football for Coach Jett Turner.
Personal: Desmond Ronnell Anderson … Parents: Demetrius and Anita Anderson … Born: 4/28/97 … Cousin Charone Peake is a wide receiver at Clemson.
PETER BAILEY (@_JustDoIt22)
Defensive End, 6-4, 255, Jr.
Kissimmee, FL (Hinds CC)
Hinds CC: Rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports … Earned first team all-state honors after collecting 61 tackles, seven TFLs, 6.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 2014 … As a freshman he turned in 38 tackles, including two sacks, nine TFLs and a forced fumble … Named to Who’s Who among student’s in American Community and Junior Colleges.
High School: Played at Osceola High School.
Personal: Peter A. Bailey … Parents: Peter Bailey Sr. and Kimberly Cone … Born: 12/17/93.
NICK BEASLEY (@HumbleBeas_11)
Safety, 6-2, 205, So.
Canton, MS (Copiah-Lincoln CC)
Copiah-Lincoln: Redshirted in 2013 and started in 2014 at Copiah-Lincoln … Registered 44 tackles, a sack and one interception in 2014 … Had 11 tackles in win over Jones County.
High School: Lettered in football, baseball, and basketball at St. Joseph Catholic … Ended his career with 216 total tackles, 14 interceptions, six fumble recoveries and three fumbles … As a senior he had 72 stops and five interceptions, while adding 66 tackles as a junior to go with five interceptions … Also rushed for 733 yards on 64 carries and nine touchdowns his last two years combined … As a junior he tallied 1,163 receiving yards on 57 catches and 12 scores, then had 19 receptions for 535 yards as a senior.
Personal: Nicholas Brandon Beasley … Parents: Stan and Melba Beasley … Born: 5/22/95.
MATT BONADIES (@matthewbonadies)
Punter, 6-1, 195, Fr.
Buford, GA (Buford HS)
High School: A three-year starter for Buford High School where he was part of three straight state championships … 2014 Class AAA first team all-state … Owns the school scoring record, longest made field goal (48) and best average kickoff yardage … Selected as one of two kickers for the 2013 Georgia Rising Seniors Junior Bowl, recognized as 2012 Region Specialist of the Year, 1st Team All Region, 2013 2nd Team All-State, Gwinnett All-County Team Kicker, Class AAA 1st Team Offense Kicker in the State of Georgia, National Kickoff Champion Class of 2015 (Chris Sailer), Georgia Nike Camp Kickoff Champion (Chris Sailer), Georgia Nike Camp Finalist (Chris Sailer), 2013 Vegas Event Last Man Standing Field Goal Champion Class of 2015 (Chris Sailer), and 1st Place Punter Class of 2015 (Kornblue Kicking) … As a senior he made 5 of 7 field goals, had a punting average of 47.8 yards and 88 percent of his kickoffs were touchbacks … Hit a 43-yard field goal to help Buford win the 2012 state championship over St. Pius, and hit a 48 and 42-yard field goal in the third round of the playoffs that season … Also lettered in soccer at Buford … Played football for Coach Jess Simpson.
Personal: Matthew Gregory Bonadies … Parents: Gregory and Debbie Bonadies … Born: 12/23/96.
CHANDLER BREWER (@CBrew_97)
Offensive Line, 6-6, 310, Fr.
Florence, AL (Florence HS)
High School: A three-year letterman and starter in football … Helped lead Florence High School to an 11-3 record and a spot in the semifinals of the state championship his senior year while earning second team all-state honors by the ASWA … Was also first team all-region in 6A … Earned honorable mention all-state recognition as a junior … Garnered first team all-region and all-county honors in 2012 and 2013 … Played for Coach Jason Wallace.
Personal: Chandler Wade Brewer … Parent: Darrell and Sue Anne Brewer … Born: 6/12/97.
KHALIL BROOKS (@khalil_brooks7)
Cornerback, 5-11, 185, Fr.
Atlanta, GA (Benjamin E. Mays HS)
High School: Lettered in football and track at Benjamin E. Mays High School … Earned first team all-region honors as a senior after registering 92 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries … Had 76 tackles as a junior on way to earning second team all-region honors … Was a state participant in the 4×100 in track … Member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society and Top 10 Percent.
Personal: Khalil Hasaan Brooks … Parent: Mary Brooks … Born: 7/7/97.
Wide Receiver, 6-0, 175, Jr.
Taylorsville, MS (Jones County JC)
Jones County: A two-year starter at Jones County … Had 50 receptions for 851 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore (17.0 yards a catch) on his way to earning first team all-state and first team all-region honors … Finished runner-up in the Player of the South voting … Registered 20 catches for 346 yards and a touchdown as a freshman.
High School: As a senior at Taylorsville High School, he had 84 receptions for 1,857 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging 22.1 yard a catch … Earned first team all-state honors and played in the North-South Mississippi All-Star game.
Personal: Rodregus Deshad Ducksworth … Parent: Mary Ducksworth … Born: 9/3/93.
MARTEZ DURRAH (@coo_as_koolAid)
Safety, 6-1, 182, Fr.
Chattanooga, TN (East Hamilton HS)
High School: Lettered in football, basketball and track at East Hamilton High School … As a senior he tallied 65 tackles, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries for touchdowns and an interception … Voted first team all-region and all-area … Was rated No. 6 on the Times-Free Press Preseason Dynamite Dozen Team … Had 37 tackles, including seven TFLs as a junior … Played for Coach Ted Gatewood.
Personal: Martez DeShean Durrah … Parents: Joseph Durrah and Nicole Bradley … Born: 5/31/96 … Nickname: Tez.
JOSH FANNIN (@JoshFannin78)
Offensive Line, 6-3, 310, Fr.
Hoschton, GA (Mill Creek HS)
High School: Four-year letterman in football and wrestled for two years at Mill Creek High School … Started two years in football … Named first team all-county and first team all-region his junior year and helped lead his team to a state quarterfinal appearance as a sophomore … Competed in the National Underclassmen All-American Game in Myrtle Beach, SC … Played for Coach Shannon Jarvis.
Personal: Joshua Ryan Fannin … Parents: John and Natalie Fannin; Paula Fannin (mother) … Born: 1/24/96.
DEANDRE FORD (@TheReal_Ford)
Offensive Line, 6-6, 340, Fr.
Chicago, IL (Creekside (GA) HS)
High School: Lettered three years in football, wrestling and basketball at Joliet Catholic Academy in Chicago then lettered in football his only season at Creekside High School … Earned first team all-state, all-region and all-county honors in 2014 … Posted 60 pancakes and allowed just one sack in helping lead Creekside to the second round of the state playoffs … Played for Coach Olten Downs.
Personal: DeAndre Nathaniel Ford … Parent: Kevin and Shannon Ford … Born: 9/16/97.
RUBEN GARNETT (@RubeG_D1)
Running Back, 5-9, 175, Fr.
Hepzibah, GA (Aquinas HS)
High School: Rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports and Rivals … Was the 2014 FFN All-CSRA Offensive Player of the Year after compiling over 2,000 rushing yards (27 touchdowns) and earned Class A first team all-state honors … Rushed for 1,928 yards and 22 touchdowns, and was tabbed the Player of the Year and first team all-state by the Georgia Sports Writers Association as a junior … Finished his career with 5,465 all-purpose yards and 62 touchdowns to go with 171 tackles, 12 TFLs, five interceptions, and six fumble recoveries on defense … Played for Coach James Leonard.
Personal: Ruben Cornelius Garnett … Parent: Pamela Garnett … Born: 9/24/96.
MYLES HARGES (@MylesHarges)
Linebacker, 6-2, 220, Jr.
Grenada, MS (Itawamba CC)
Itawamba: A two-year starter at Itawamba … As a sophomore he turned in 73 tackles, 12 TFLs, seven sacks and two pass breakups … Earned second team all-state accolades and first team all-region recognition in 2014 … Finished with 52 tackles, five TFLs, and two sacks as a freshman.
High School: An all-state performer at Grenada High School where he registered 95 tackles, nine sacks, and 15 TFLs as a senior.
Personal: Myles Harges … Parent: Johnnie and Latonia Johnson … Born: 6/16/94.
DONTAVIOUS HEARD (@D_heard3times)
Cornerback, 6-1, 190, Jr.
Atlanta, GA (Phoenix College)
Phoenix College: As a sophomore he played cornerback and also saw some time at wide receiver for Phoenix … Finished with 32 tackles and nine pass breakups on defense and had four receptions for 82 yards and two touchdowns on offense … Was a backup free safety and started one game at receiver in 2013 before ending season with a hand injury in early October … Attended Iowa Western in 2012 and redshirted.
High School: Attended Martin Luther King High School in Atlanta, GA where he lettered in football.
Personal: Dontavious Heard … Grandparents: Boyd and Catherine Heard … Born: 11/15/92.
MALIK MANCIEL (@Manciel93)
Defensive Tackle, 6-3, 265, Fr.
Detroit, MI (Florence (AL) HS)
High School: Rated a three-star recruit by Rivals … Registered 99 tackles his senior year at Florence High School to go with 29.5 TFLs, 7.5 sacks, nine pass breakups and 19 pressures … Named Class 6A first team all-state in 2014 … Ended his career with 231.5 tackles, 67.5 TFLs, 19 sacks, 30 pressures, 10 pass breakups, three blocked field goals, and an interception … Played for Coach J.B. Wallace.
Personal: Malik Rashod Manciel … Parent: Mechelle Manciel … Born: 2/15/97.
I’TAVIUS MATHERS (@I_Train5)
Running Back, 5-11, 190, r-Jr.
Murfreesboro, TN (Blackman HS)
2014: Played in 12 games and had one start … Was third on the team in rushing with 290 yards to go with three touchdowns … Also added six catches for 49 yards … Rushed for a season-high 57 yards each in wins over Louisiana and Memphis … Had 48 yards on the ground and a touchdown against Auburn, while adding 38 rushing yards against LSU.
2013: Played in 12 games with one start at running back … Led the team with 563 rushing yards … Fourth on team with three rushing TDs … Also caught 10 passes for 83 yards … Earned second letter … vs. Southeast Missouri (9/7/13): Saw his first action of the year and rushed four times for 56 yards and his second career TD … at Texas (9/14/13): Rushed four times for 14 yards … at 1 Alabama (9/28/13): Rushed twice for 8 yards … at Auburn (10/5/13): Rushed four times for 28 yards and caught a pass for -1 yards … vs. 9 Texas A&M (10/12/13): Carried the ball eight times for 31 yards and caught a pass for 21 yards … vs. 6 LSU (10/19/13): Rushed 12 times for 51 yards and caught a pass for no gain … vs. Idaho (10/26/13): Set career highs in rushing attempts (14) and yards (138), highlighted by a 64-yard TD jaunt … vs. Arkansas (11/9/13): Made his first career start and rushed 12 times for 44 yards … vs. Troy (11/16/13): Rushed eight times for 59 yards, including a 45-yard run … vs. 8 Missouri (11/23/13): Rushed seven times for a team-high 66 yards, including a 45-yard TD, and had two catches for 14 yards … at Mississippi State (11/28/13): Ran the ball seven times for 10 yards … Music City Bowl vs. Georgia Tech (12/30/13): Gained 58 rushing yards on 13 carries and posted career highs in receptions (5) and receiving yards (49) … Did not play in the season opener while recovering from an ankle injury … Spring 2013: Received the Eli Manning Award, presented to the most improved offensive player of the spring.
2012: Played in every game as a backup RB and on special teams … On the season, had 208 rushing yards on 27 carries with one TD and returned three kicks for 20 yards … Earned first letter … vs. Central Arkansas (9/1): Rushed four times for 20 yards in his college debut … vs. UTEP (9/8): Rushed for 26 yards on just three carries and caught a three-yard pass … vs. 12 Texas (9/15): Ran three times for 18 yards … at Tulane (9/22): Ran six times for 28 yards and caught a pass for 6 yards … at 1 Alabama (9/29): Rushed once for 8 yards … vs. Auburn (10/13): Ran once for 4 yards and returned a kick for 14 yards … at 6 Georgia (11/3): Two rushes for eight yards … vs. Vanderbilt (11/10): Rushed once for no gain … vs. 24 Mississippi State (11/24): Returned a kickoff for no gain … BBVA Compass Bowl vs. Pitt (1/5): Led the Rebels with a season-high 96 rushing yards on just six attempts, including a 62-yard TD in the fourth quarter … Also returned one kick for 6 yards … Member of the 2012 signing class.
High school: Named The Tennessean’s Player of the Year as a junior and senior and was named to the publication’s Dream Team in 2011 … Named district and county MVP in 2011 … Earned Tennessee Gatorade and Old Spice Player of the Year honors his junior year … A SuperPrep All-Region selection and rated the No. 8 player in Tennessee … Earned Tennessee Class AAA Mr. Football honors … Listed No. 84 on Mobile Press-Register Super Southeast 120 list … Rated the No. 20 running back in the nation and the No. 7 player in Tennessee by Rivals.com … Listed as the No. 35 running back in the nation by Scout.com … Rated the No. 42 running back in the nation and No. 20 player in the state by ESPN.com … Rushed for 2,253 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior after rushing for 2,614 yards and 29 TDs as a junior … Team finished 8-4 his senior year and advanced to the state playoffs … Coached in high school by Philip Shadowen.
Personal: I’Tavius Von Tez Mathers … Parents: Ira Mathers Jr. and Gale Jones … Born: 11/19/93 … Major: Liberal Studies.
CHRIS MELTON (@CJ_So_300)
Linebacker, 6-1, 205, Fr.
Leesburg, GA (Lee County HS)
High School: Lettered in football and track for four years at Lee County High School … 2014 first team all-region and first team all-Albany Herald … 2013 second team all-region … Had 85 tackles, seven pass breakups and five blocked kicks in 2014 while collecting 87 stops, four pass breakups and six blocked kicks in 2013 … Played for Coach Dean Fabrizio.
Personal: Christopher Chanton Melton … Parents: Christopher Melton Sr. and Denice Preston … Born: 1/12/97.
JOVANTE MOFFATT (@Jovante_Moffatt)
Cornerback, 6-0, 190, Fr.
Union City, TN (Union City HS)
High School: Lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track at Union City High School … Helped lead Union City to back-to-back state championships in 2013 and 2014 … Tabbed first team all-state, all-region and all-district as a senior while also grabbing Defensive Player of the Year honors … Played in the TACA East-West All-Star game … Credited with 50 solo stops, six interceptions, and three forced fumbles to go with 890 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns his senior year … Voted the Defensive Player of the Game at the 2013 and 2014 state championship games … Also had four interceptions as a junior … Played for Coach Darren Bowling.
Personal: Jovante Dominique Moffatt … Legal Guardian: Priscilla Moffatt (aunt) … Born: 12/25/96.
TRAE PHILPOTS (@jamaltjp)
Defensive End, 6-4, 225, Fr.
Fairburn, GA (Creekside HS)
High School: Lettered in football, basketball and baseball at Creekside High School … In 2014, led Creekside with 64 tackles, 18 sacks and 22 TFLs … Earned all-state and all-region honors as a senior … Played for Coach Olten Downs.
Personal: Trae Jamal Philpots … Parent: Gary Philpots and Ida Mae Philpots … Born: 5/7/97.
TYSHUN RENDER (@TyshunR_Iam)
Defensive End, 6-4, 220, Fr.
Newnan, GA (Westlake HS)
High School: Lettered in football and basketball at Westlake High School … Helped lead Westlake (10-2) to a region championship in 2014 after collecting 55 tackles, nine sacks and 17 TFLs … Earned first team all-region honors as a defensive lineman and second team accolades as a tight end … Played for Coach Bryan Love.
Personal: Tyshun Scott Render … Parents: Scotty and Lorrie Render … Born: 3/28/97.
JONATHAN ROTH (@JoRothh)
Offensive Line, 6-5, 280, Fr.
Knoxville, TN (Fulton HS)
High School: Was part of three straight 4A State Championship teams while ending his career with 36 consecutive wins at Fulton High School … Earned Class 4A first team all-state honors by the TSWA in 2014 … Also named all-PrepXtra, all-region, and all-district … Played in the TACA East vs West All-Star game … As a junior he tallied 45 tackles, three sacks, caused five fumbles and recorded eight TFLs in earning all-state and all-region honors … Played for Coach Rob Black.
Personal: Jonathan Sexton Roth … Parents: Jamie and Sofia Roth … Born: 4/18/97.
ISIAH UPTON (@IsiahUpton2)
Wide Receiver, 6-0, 185, Fr.
Nashville, TN (East Nashville Magnet HS)
High School: Rated a three-star recruit and the No. 44 player in the state by 247Sports … Career numbers were 4,823 yards passing, 44 touchdown passes, 2,327 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns … Earned TSWA first team all-state honors in 2013 and 2014 … Was two-time all-city, all-district, all-midstate, and all-metro … Played nine games his senior year before suffering a season-ending knee injury … Through nine games he accounted for 2,098 yards and 27 touchdowns … As a junior, he had 2,950 yards of total offense to go with 25 touchdowns in leading East Nashville to a 9-3 record and second round of the 3A playoffs … Lettered four years in football and basketball … Played for Coach Brian Waite.
Personal: Isiah Upton … Parents: Roger Evan and Yolanda Upton … Born: 2/15/97.
JOHN URZUA (@johnurzua9)
Quarterback, 6-3, 170, Fr.
Suwanee, GA (North Gwinnett HS)
High School: 2014 second team all-state, first team all-region and voted the Gwinnett County Quarterback of the Year … Completed 194 of 317 passes for 3,142 yards and 34 touchdowns his senior year for North Gwinnett … In 2014 season opener against No. 1 McEachern he tossed seven touchdowns (third most in Georgia football history), completed 38 of 48 passes, and threw for 498 yards to lead the upset win … Also had 353 yards passing and seven touchdowns in win over Duluth … As a junior he filled in for the starter and completed 48 of 74 passes for 660 yards and six touchdowns … Had a total of 40 touchdown passes for his career … Lettered four years in football … Played for Coach Bob Sphire.
Personal: John A. Urzua … Parents: Alejandro Urzua and Lindsey Page … Born: 4/29/97.
VERNON WALKER (@taz_rich)
Safety, 6-0, 175, Fr.
Orlando, FL (Dr. Phillips HS)
High School: Rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports … Lettered in football and track at Dr. Phillips High School … Named third team Class 8A all-state in 2014 by the Associated Press … Also on the all-Sentinel team … Played for Coach Rodney Wells … Nickname is “Taz”.
Personal: Vernon Lewis Walker … Parent: Vernon Walker … Born: 9/20/96.
TERELLE WEST (@terellewest_)
Wide Receiver, 5-10, 185, Fr.
Pinson, AL (Clay-Chalkville HS)
High School: Rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports … Ended his career as Clay-Chalkville’s all-time leading rusher with 3,53 yards … Named second team all-state by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 2014 after helping lead Clay-Chalkville to a state championship and rushing for 1,428 yards and 19 touchdowns … Against Niceville (Fla.) on ESPNU he rushed 12 times for 116 yards and a touchdown and had ESPN SportsCenters No. 1 Play of the Day when he ran over a safety on his 44-yard touchdown run … Was selected to play in the 2014 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game … As a junior he rushed for 1,181 yards and had a 9.2-yard per carry average (130 attempts) … He rushed for 903 yards on 101 carries as a sophomore … Also lettered in basketball … Played football for Coach Jerry Hood.
Personal: Terelle Lee West … Parent: Angel Wedgeworth … Born: 1/15/97.