Savannah State 2016 Football Signing Class - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah State 2016 Football Signing Class

Tigers Announce 2016 Recruiting Class

SAVANNAH, Ga.- Savannah State University head football coach Earnest Wilson III is pleased to announce the Tigers 2016 signing class, which includes 15 student-athletes who have signed National Letters of Intent.

In addition to two mid-year enrollees, SSU added 13 newcomers on National Signing Day.

The class is comprised of players from four different states. The class includes 10 players from Florida, two from Georgia and Ohio and one from Alabama.

The group consists of three offensive linemen, three linebackers, two wide receivers, two defensive backs, two running backs, two defensive linemen and one quarterback.

One of the jewels of the signing class may be Deshawn Smith (5-9, 195), a running back from Brooksville, Fla.

Smith played at Nature Coast High School where he led the nation in rushing yards and touchdowns and was runner-up from national Player of the Year by Parade Magazine. He was named the 2015 Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Football; named to the MaxPreps 2015 First-Team All-American; was named the 2015 All-USA Florida Football Offensive Player of the Year; named the 2015 All-Big County Preps Offensive Player of the Year; and named Class 5A Player of the Year. Listed as a three-star running back by 247sports, Smith recorded 241 rushes for 3,715 yards for an average of 15.4 yards per carry and 285.8 yards per game with 60 rushing touchdowns; went 3-for-4 for 17 yards and a touchdown throwing the ball; caught 10 passes for 321 yards for an average of 32.1 yards per carry and five touchdowns; recorded 67 touchdowns and 408 points in a single season, which is the most in Florida high school history; has recorded the third most rushing yards in a season and 10th most rushing yards in Florida high school history.

The other running back signed was Octavious James (5-10, 190) from Palmetto High School in Palmetto, Fla. James finished the 2015 season with 1,010 total yards with 13 touchdowns and played in the FACA All-Star game. He was named to the All-Area, All-Conference and Second-Team All-State.

Offensive linemen signed were Tajavious Jackson (6-4, 300) out of Space Coast High School in Cocoa, Fla.; Marquez Martin (6-2, 255) from Griffin High School in Griffin, Ga.; and Awni Alshafei (6-4, 285) from Celebration High School in Orlando, Fla.

Jackson graded out 85 percent with 12 pancake blocks, played in the Space Coast All-Star game and was named to the All-District, All-Conference and Academic All-State teams while Martin was named to the First-Team All- Region Division B and was an All-State honorable mention and recorded a touchdown with 16 tackles and a sack as a defensive line substitute.

Linebackers signed were Kamaury Avery (6-0, 230) from Wadley, Ala. and Desmond Young (6-2, 220) from Ironton, Ohio. At Wadley High, Avery finished his senior season with 72 rushing attempts for 730 yards and 13 touchdowns with 75 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles and was named the Area Defensive MVP. In his career, he has rushed for 4,800 yards with 90 touchdowns and recorded 480 tackles. At Ironton High, Young recorded 190 tackles, including 17 tackles for loss, three sacks and four forced fumbles and was named First-Team All-District and was an All-State Honorable mention. He was also named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference Team.

Wide receivers signed were Czar Beneby (6-6, 190) from Boynton Beach, Fla. and Derrick Harvey (6-2, 210) from Akron, Ohio. Beneby attended Boynton Beach High School where he finished with 47 receptions for 678 yards and eight touchdowns in his senior season. He was named to the First-Team All-Conference, Second-Team All-Area and honorable mention in All-State … was selected to play in the Florida-Georgia All-Star game. At Buchtel High, Harvey recorded 28 catches for 728 yards and seven touchdowns averaging 26 yards per catch in senior season. He recorded school records of a 90-yard touchdown reception and 206 receiving yards in a game. On defense, recorded 36 tackles, including one tackle for loss, four interceptions and six pass breakups. He was named First-Team All-Conference, All-District and was an All-State honorable mention. He was also named the conference Offensive Player of the Year and conference game MVP.

Defensive backs Travon Rumph (5-10, 190) and Roddre Hardwick (6-1, 180) were also signed. Rumph played at Manatee High in Bradenton, Fla. while Hardwick played at Apopka High in Apopka, Fla. Rumph recorded 29 total tackles with three interceptions, one pass defection and one force fumble and was named to the First-Team All-Area, County and Conference teams and received All-State Honorable mention. Hardwick won two of three state championships and was an Academic Scholar Recipient.

Quintin Sanders (6-3, 287) will play on the defensive line. The Camilla, Georgia native who played at Mitchell County High School recorded 86 solo tackles, 66 assisted tackles for 152 total tackles with 12 tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his career. He also played in the Florida-Georgia All-State game, was an Albany Herald Honorable mention and was named by Georgia Football Magazine as the No. 2 Defensive Tackle in the state.

Blake Dever (6-4, 215) was signed as a quarterback. At Wellingtion High School in Wellington, Fla., Dever completed 141-of-257 attempted passes for a 55 percent completion percentage for 2,784 passing yards with 31 touchdowns and seven interceptions and was ranked No. 1 in Class 8A. He recorded 214 rushing yards and four touchdowns, played in the Florida-Georgia game and was an attendee for the Outback Bowl high school game. He was ranked No. 6 passer in yards and No. 4 passer in touchdowns in the state of Florida. He was named to the All-County and All-Conference teams and was an All-State Honorable mention. He was also named the Landrover/ESPN Player of the Week on Sept. 4, 2015, U.S. Marines “Friday Night Rivals” Player of the Game on Sept. 18, 2015 and Palm Beach Post Player of the Week on Oct. 21, 2015. His father, Jeff, played football at the University of Miami, Fla.

The Tigers’ mid-year recruits include:

Antonio Cintron (6-2, 210), a Linebacker from Ed White High School out of Jacksonville, Florida. At Ed White, he had 74 tackles, including 16 tackles for loss, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles. Cintron also played in the North/South All-Star game.

Andrew Colvin (6-2, 295) is the second mid-year recruit for the Tigers. The defensive lineman comes to SSU from Fork Union Military Academy in Gainesville, Fla. 

Both Cintron and Colvin are currently enrolled at SSU.   

Savannah State University

2016 Football Recruits

Awni Alshafei (Offensive Lineman)

6-4, 285, Orlando, Fla./Celebration HS

Offers- Florida A&M, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Kamaury Avery (Linebacker)

6-0, 230, Wadley, Ala./Wadley HS

Stats/Honors -  HS: Finished his senior season with 72 rushing attempts for 730 yards and 13 touchdowns with 75 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles … was named the Area Defensive MVP … in his career, he has rushed for 4,800 yards with 90 touchdowns and recorded 480 tackles.

Czar Beneby (Wide Receiver)

6-6, 190, Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach HS

Stats/ Honors -  HS: Finished with 47 receptions for 678 yards and eight touchdowns in his senior season … was named to the First-Team All-Conference, Second-Team All-Area and honorable mention in All-State … was selected to play in the Florida-Georgia All-Star game.

Offers- Bethune-Cookman University, Wingate, and Stetson University

Blake Dever (Quarterback)

6-4, 215, Wellington, Fla./Wellington HS

Stats/Honors -  HS: Completed 141 of 257 attempted passes for a 55 percent completion percentage for 2,784 passing yards with 31 touchdowns and seven interceptions … ranked No. 1 in Class 8A … recorded 214 rushing yards and four touchdowns … played in the Florida-Georgia game and was an attendee for the Outback Bowl high school game … ranked No. 6 passer in yards and No. 4 passer in touchdowns in the state of Florida … was named to the All-County and All-Conference teams and was an All-State Honorable mention … was named the Land Rover/ESPN Player of the Week on Sept. 4, 2015, U.S. Marines “Friday Night Rivals” Player of the Game on Sept. 18, 2015 and Palm Beach Post Player of the Week on Oct. 21, 2015 … his father, Jeff, played football at the University of Miami, Fla.

Offers- Idaho, Florida A&M, Southeast Louisiana, North Texas, Northern Iowa, and South Dakota

Roddre Hardwick (Defensive Back)

6-1, 180, Apopka, Fla./Apopka HS

Stats/Honors -  HS: Won two of three state championships and was an Academic Scholar Recipient.

Derrick Harvey (Wide Receiver)

6-2, 210, Akron, Ohio/Buchtel HS

Stats/Honors -  HS: recorded 28 catches for 728 yards and seven touchdowns averaging 26 yards per catch in senior season … recorded school records of a 90-yard touchdown reception and 206 receiving yards in a game … on defense, recorded 36 tackles, including one tackle for loss, four interceptions and six pass breakups … was named First-Team All-Conference, All-District and was an All-State honorable mention … was named the conference Offensive Player of the Year and conference game MVP.

Tajavious Jackson (Offensive Line)

6-4, 300, Space Coast Cocoa, Fla.

Stats/Honors -  HS: Graded out 85 percent with 12 pancake blocks … played in the Space Coast All-Star game … was

named to the All-District, All-Conference and Academic All-State teams.

Offers- Fordham, Florida A&M, and Florida Tech

Octavious James (Running Back)

5-10, 190, Palmetto, Fla./Palmetto HS

Stats/Honors -  HS: Finished with 1,010 total yards with 13 touchdowns and played in the FACA All-Star game … Was named to the All-Area, All-Conference and Second-Team All-State.

Offers- Southern Utah, and Army

Marquez Martin (Offensive Lineman)

6-2, 255, Griffin, Ga./Griffin HS

Stats/Honors - HS: Was named to the First-Team All-Region Division B and was an All-State honorable mention … recorded a touchdown with 16 tackles and a sack as a defensive line substitute.

Offers- Georgia Southern, Lenoir Rhyne, and Furman

Travon Rumph (Defensive Back)

5-10, 190, Bradenton, Fla./Manatee HS

Stats/Honors -  HS: Recorded 29 total tackles with three interceptions, 1 pass defection and one force fumble … named to the First-Team All-Area, County and Conference teams and received All-State Honorable mention.

Offers- South Dakota State, Western Illinois, Nebraska-Kearney

Quintin Sanders (Defensive Lineman)

6-3, 287, Camilla, Ga./Mitchell County HS

Stats/Honors -  HS: Recorded 86 solo tackles, 66 assisted tackles for 152 total tackles with 12 tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his career … played in the Florida-Georgia All-State game … was an Albany Herald Honorable mention … was named by Georgia Football Magazine as the No. 2 Defensive Tackle in the state.

Offers- Tulane, University of Louisiana Lafayette, Florida A&M, and Valdosta State

Deshawn Smith (Running Back)

5-9, 195, Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast HS

Stats/Honors -  HS: Led the nation in rushing yards and touchdowns and was runner-up for national Player of the Year by Parade Magazine … was named the 2015 Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Football and named to the MaxPreps 2015 First-Team All-American … was named the 2015 All-USA Florida Football Offensive Player of the Year and 2015 All-Big County Preps Offensive Player of the Year … named Class 5A Player of the Year and is a 3-star running back by 247 sports … recorded 241 rushes for 3,715 yards for an average of 15.4 yards per carry and 285.8 yards per game with 60 rushing touchdowns … went 3-for-4 for 17 yards and a touchdown throwing the ball … caught 10 passes for 321 yards for an average of 32.1 yards per carry and five touchdowns … recorded 67 touchdowns and 408 points in a single season, which is the most in Florida high school history … has recorded the third most rushing yards in a season and 10th most rushing yards in Florida high school history.

Offers- Kent State, Marshall, Charleston Southern

Desmond Young (Linebacker)

6-2, 220, Ironton, Ohio/Ironton HS

Stats/Honors -  HS: Recorded 190 tackles, including 17 tackles for loss, three sacks and four forced fumbles … was named First-Team All-District and was an All-State Honorable mention … was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference Team.

Mid-Year Recruits

Antonio Cintron (Linebacker)

6-2, 210, Jacksonville, Fla./Ed White HS

Stats/Honors -  HS: In his senior season, he had 74 tackles, including 16 tackles for loss, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles … played in the North/South All-Star game.

Andrew Colvin (Defensive Tackle)

6-3, 295, Gainesville, Fla./Fork Union Military Academy

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