Troy State signs 19 future players to scholarships

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 5, 2003

National Signing Day proved to be a fruitful experience for Troy State.

Nineteen players signed letters of intent to play for the Trojans, including three from the state of Alabama.

"I'm excited about what we were able to do," Troy State head coach Larry Blakeney said. "We have a lot of high-caliber young men coming to Troy."

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Blakeney said he felt the recruits all would be contributors to the Trojans. He said he felt the Trojans were able to address some needs.

"I hesitate to call any of them steals," Blakeney said. "But I think all these players can turn out to be extremely good."

Of the 19 players who signed with Troy State, seven were from Georgia, six from Florida, three from Alabama and one each from Mississippi and Oklahoma.

All three Alabama signees are from schools within driving distance of Troy State. Rod Burden, a four-year starter from Charles Henderson, was signed as a wide receiver. Ced Brooks from Enterprise comes to Troy State as a linebacker and Dacquain Bryant from Northview High School in Dothan signed as a defensive back.

"I'm very excited to get some local players," Blakeney said.

Burden is the first player from Charles Henderson to sign with Troy State since Julius Pittman did so in 1988.

"I told Rod Burden I need him to play a lot and perform well," Blakeney said. "I want to develop a line of players from Charles Henderson who can come here and do well and play for their hometown folks."

A majority of Troy State's attention was focused on replacing the seniors lost from last year's team.

Including the six players signed during the early signing period in December, this year's recruiting class included five offensive linemen, four wide receivers, four defensive linemen and five defensive backs. The Trojans also signed three linebackers.

Part of the negative recruiting campaign the Trojans had to fight against was the lack of a conference and lack of bowl possibility.

However, Blakeney seemed to think the conference situation would be resolved soon.

"These kids will be able to be compete for a league title in the early part of their careers," Blakeney said. "I have to believe that. This conference situation will be resolved soon. We will hear something very soon."