SAVANNAH, Ga.-The Savannah State Tigers announce the signing of 25 recruits in head football coach Erik Raeburn’s first recruiting class.
The class includes 23 recruits out of high school and two mid-year transfers.
In a position breakdown, there are: six offensive linemen, five defensive backs, three defensive linemen, three wide receivers, two tight ends, two running backs, three linebackers and one quarterback.
Of the players signed, 18 are from the state of Georgia, five are from Florida, two from Virginia and one from South Carolina.
Three local players signed were: Mekhi Cooper (6-0, 195), a linebacker from Savannah’s Memorial Day School where he was a member of three state championship teams; Harvey King (6-4, 275), an offensive lineman from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; and Jamichael Baldwin (5-9, 165), a wide receiver who grew up in Savannah but spent the last couple of years playing for his father at Rockdale county High School in Conyers.
Of the six offense lineman signed, two are mid-year transfers.
Michael Johnson (6-7, 325) and Jacob Martin (6-4, 285) both come to SSU from Fork Union Military Academy.
Other offensive linemen signed were King, Maurice Jones (6-3, 315), Dylan McCloud (6-3, 280) and Christian Pennington (6-3, 305).
Defensive backs coming to SSU are Milton Woodward IV (6-1, 190), Ismail Abdul-Qawee (5-11, 188), Deonta Clark, Jr. (6-0, 215), Chukwudifu Ogbonna (6-2, 180) and Antonio Spooney, Jr. (6-0, 195).
Micah Thomas (6-4, 250), Aaron Robinson (6-4, 235) and Devon Holmes (6-2, 275) were the defensive lineman that signed.
Wide Receivers Baldwin, D’Andre Snead (6-3, 190) and Ronnie Stevens (5-10, 175) plan on making many receptions as does tight ends Stavion Stevenson (6-3, 220) and Jontae Baker (6-2, 220).
Rounding out the new signees are running backs Cedric Cole (5-10, 210), Jaylen McCloud (6-1, 195), linebackers Josh Thomas (6-3, 222) and Tyqueze Johnson (6-2, 210) and quarterback Dvonn Gibbons (6-2, 205).
Raeburn, who was hired in June 2016, posted a 3-7 record in his first season as head coach at SSU.
Savannah State University
2017 Football Recruits
Ismail Abdul-Qawee (Strong Safety)
5-11, 188, Loganville, Ga./ Grayson HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Recorded 54 solo tackles, 34 assisted tackles and led team with 88 total tackles, including nine tackles for loss with one interception, six pass deflections, one force fumble and four blocked punts … member of the 2016 Class 7A State football championship team … was named to the Gwinnett Daily Post All-County Team and 7A All-Region Team … also ran track with personal bests – 100 meters (10.78), 200 meters (21.94) … member of the 2015 State Champion 4x100 Team (40.93) – County Record and was a two-time All-County and a two-time All-Metro (Track and Field)
Jontae Baker (Tight End)
6-2, 220, Valdosta, Ga./ Valdosta HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Finished with 34 receptions for 426 yards and seven touchdowns … Member of the 2016 Class 6A State football championship team … was named to the Recruit GA First Team All-State, and 6A All Region Team
Jamichael Baldwin (Wide Receiver/Athlete)
5-9, 165, Conyers, Ga./ Rockdale County HS
Stats/ Honors - HS: Finished with 50 rushes for 344 yards for an average of 6.9 yards per carry and three touchdowns, 27 receptions for 455 yards and four touchdowns, finished with 1823 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns … was named to first Team All-Area Team, Region 7A Returner of the Year and 7A All-State Team … led state in returning kicks
Deonta Clark Jr. (Strong Safety)
6-0, 215, Covington, Ga./ Newton HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Recorded 74 total tackles, including eight tackles for loss and two sacks with one interception, six pass deflections, and one blocked punt … was named 7A first Team All-Region, The Covington News first Team All-County … also ran track with a personal best – 100 meters (10.83sec)
Cedric “CJ” Cole (Running Back)
5-10, 210, Kennesaw, Ga./ North Cobb HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Finished with 190 rushes for 1,094 yards for an average of 5.8 yards per carry and seven touchdowns and recorded 15 receptions for 216 yards and one touchdown … was named All-Cobb County Offensive Team … selected to play in The Elite Junior Bowl Game in 2015
Mekhi Cooper (Linebacker)
6-0, 195, Savannah, Ga./ Memorial Day School
Stats/Honors - HS: Recorded 85 total tackles, including three forced fumbles and four sacks with two interceptions, and scored four touchdowns … was named First Team All-Region, First Team All-State, First Team Defense – All Savannah …won three Georgia State Championships
Dvonn Gibbons (Quarterback)
6-2, 205, Stone Mountain, Ga./ Stephenson HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Completed 50 percent (81-for-161) of his passes for 1,390 passing yards with 16 touchdowns … recorded 157 rushing yards and three touchdowns
Devon Holmes (Defensive Lineman)
6-2, 275, Valdosta, Ga./ Lowndes HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Recorded 62 total tackles, including 17 tackles for loss, four sacks and two fumble recoveries … was named 7A Region Defensive Player of the Year, 7A Second Team All-State
Maurice “Woodie” Jones (Offensive Lineman)
6-3, 315, Atlanta, Ga./ Maynard Jackson HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Named 6A All-Region in his junior and senior years
Tyqueze Johnson (Linebacker)
6-2, 210, Jackson, Ga./ Jackson HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Recorded 47 total tackles with six tackles for loss, one forced fumble, two interceptions and one interception returned for a touchdown … was named 3A First-Team All-Region … Two-star rated prospect by 247Sports
Harvey King (Offensive Lineman)
6-4, 275, Hilton Head Island, S.C./ Hilton Head Island HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Graded out 94 percent with 17 pancake blocks and gave up one sack … was named to Beaufort Gazette All-Area First-Team
Dylan McCloud (Offensive Lineman)
6-3, 280, McDonough, Ga./ Ola HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Was named to class 5A honorable mention All-State, 2x First-Team All-Region,
First-Team All-County, 2x team captain and a four-year starter
Jaylen McCloud (Running Back)
6-1, 195, Jacksonville, Fla./ Bolles School
Stats/Honors - HS: Finished with 186 rushes for 1,497 yards for an average of 8.0 yards per carry and
19 touchdowns … was named to class 4A First-Team All-State
Chukwudifu “Chu” Ogbonna (Defensive Back)
6-2, 180, Marietta, Ga./ Wheeler HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Recorded 44 solo tackles including two forced fumbles, four interceptions and seven pass deflections … was named to class 7A Second-Team All-Region and was a two-year starter
Christian “Zai” Pennington (Offensive Lineman)
6-3, 305, Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood HS
Aaron Robinson (Defensive Lineman)
6-4, 235, Stockbridge, Ga./ Stockbridge HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Recorded 42 total tackles including 12.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery … was named to class 5A All-Region Team … Two-star rated prospect by 247Sports
D’Andre Snead (Wide Receiver)
6-3, 190, Columbus, Ga./ Jordan HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Finished with 40 receptions for 806 yards and seven touchdowns … was named to class 2A First-Team All-State, 2A First-Team All-Region
Antonio Spooney Jr (Defensive Back)
6-0, 195, Jacksonville, Fla./ Mandarin HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Recorded 35 solo tackles including one forced fumble, three interceptions
Ronnie Stevens (Wide Receiver)
5-10, 175, Jacksonville, Fla./ Fletcher HS
Stavion Stevenson (Tight End)
6-3, 220, Athens, Ga./ Cedar Shoals HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Finished with 35 receptions for 478 yards and eight touchdowns … recorded 87 total tackles including five sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery … was named to Athens All-Area First-Team, 2015 Athens All-Area Honorable Mention … a two-year starter on the Cedar Shoals basketball team and was named the Athens Banner Player of the week
Josh Thomas (Linebacker)
6-3, 222, Carrollton, Ga./ Carrollton HS
Stats/Honors - HS: During his junior year, he recorded 24 solo tackles, 21 assisted tackles and 45 total tackles with two sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles … was named 5A All-Region as a junior … acquired seven Division I Football Bowl Subdivision offers as a junior … Two-star rated prospect by 247Sports
Micah Thomas (Defensive Lineman)
6-4, 250, Hampton, Ga./ Dutchtown HS
Stats/Honors - HS: Recorded 12 solo tackles, 39 assisted tackles and 51 total tackles with 3.5 sacks … was named class 5A honorable mention all-state, 5A first team all-region, first team all-metro … Named team captain, played in Florida vs Georgia all-star game
Milton Woodward IV (Defensive Back)
6-1, 190, Sandy Springs, Ga./ Riverwood International Charter School
Stats/Honors - HS: Recorded 49 total tackles with one forced fumble, two interceptions and seven pass deflections … was named to the Northside Neighbor Super 7, a two-time Class 5A All-Region, voted team MVP, Winner of Team Academic Award and named team captain
Michael Johnson (Offensive Lineman)
6-7, 325, Fork Union Military/William Fleming HS, Roanoke Va.
Jacob Martin (Offensive Lineman
6-4, 285, Fork Union Military/Zama American HS/Pensacola, Fla.
(From Savannah State Athletic Department)