Middle Tennessee State University head football coach Rick Stockstill announced Wednesday the signing of 20 players to scholarship agreements on National Signing Day.
"We initially could sign 19 student-athletes in this class but another scholarship opened up when we learned recently that Preston Bailey would have to take a medical and end his playing career,” Stockstill said. “We also have a couple more players in similar situations that could open a couple more scholarships but we will address that at a later date.
“As for the class itself, I thought we addressed our needs on both sides of the ball but unfortunately we lost two wide receivers today and a defensive lineman two days ago to power conference schools. That was disappointing but I am very excited about the quality of this class and can’t wait for them to get on campus.”
The Blue Raiders inked players from seven different states with 10 coming from Georgia, three each from Florida and Alabama, and one each from Tennessee, California, Mississippi, and North Carolina.
Overall, 17 signees come from the high school ranks, including Jeremiah Bryson who sat out last year after transferring from Pittsburgh. The class also has two junior college transfers and wide receiver Anthony Amos who played with the Blue Raiders last year and was recently put on scholarship.
Stockstill and his staff addressed the loss of five starters on offense by signing 11 players on that side of the ball. The Blue Raiders added five offensive linemen, two running backs, two receivers, one tight end, and a quarterback. The offensive linemen average 6-foot-5, 302 pounds.
“I really like the size of our offensive linemen and we have a tight end who could be a very special player,” Stockstill said. “Our quarterback is a winner with excellent credentials and the running backs have bright futures.”
The Blue Raiders brought in three defensive linemen, three defensive backs and two linebackers.
"I like what we did by bringing in some big bodies up front who are athletic,” Stockstill said. “They are very hard to find. (Raynard) Felton could grow into a lineman and our linebackers are athletic, have good size, and play with toughness. Our secondary guys give us size, speed, and athleticism.”
MTSU Athletics also signed a long snapper who is highly regarded.
“(William) Eads came to our camp and we evaluated him then,” Stockstill added. “His high school uses the same protection scheme as we do so it should be an easy transition.”
The Blue Raiders, who return 11 starters next year, will begin spring practice on March 17 with the Blue-White Spring Game set for April 14 at Floyd Stadium.
2012 MIDDLE TENNESSEE SIGNING CLASS
NAME POS HT WT CL HOMETOWN/HS/JC
Anthony Amos WR 5-11 185 r-Sr. Fayetteville, NC/Westover HS
T.T. Barber LB 6-1 215 Fr. Colquitt, GA/Miller County HS
Darious Bennett DT 6-1 287 Fr. Columbus, GA/Carver HS
Chris Brown S 6-1 180 Fr. Donalsonville, GA/Seminole County Middle HS
Jeremiah Bryson RB 5-8 179 r-Fr. Smyrna, TN/Smyrna HS
Josh Chester OL 6-3 290 Fr. Warner Robins, GA/Northside HS
William Eads LS 6-0 205 Fr. Hoover, AL/Hoover HS
Raynard Felton DE 6-4 240 Fr. Jacksonville, FL/Ribault HS
Demetrius Frazier CB 5-10 180 Fr. Brunswick, GA/Brunswick HS
Austin Grammer QB 6-2 200 Fr. Tuscaloosa, AL/American Christian Academy
Marcus Henry WR 6-0 187 So. Courtland, MS/South Panola HS/NW Miss. CC
Shaquille Huff DT 6-1 300 Fr. Covington, GA/Eastside HS
Alex Jauregui OT 6-7 305 Fr. Atlanta, GA/Peachtree Ridge HS
Nick Nunez OL 6-4 285 Jr. Salinas, CA/North Salinas/Hartnell College
Jordan Parker RB 6-1 195 Fr. Lawrenceville, GA/Collins HS
Terry Pettis TE 6-5 215 Fr. Fairburn, GA/Langston Hughes HS
Hunter Rogers OL 6-7 310 Fr. Safford, AL/John T. Morgan Academy
Iman Smith LB 6-1 215 Fr. Oldsmar, FL/Pinellas Park Senior HS
Anfornee Stewart DB 6-1 198 Fr. Duluth, GA/Duluth HS
Adam Stickel OL 6-5 320 Fr. Kissimmee, FL/Osceola HS