Troy signs 23 student-athletes on National Signing Day

Published 10:43 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Head coach Larry Blakeney may be 64 years old but he’s still go a little “get up and go” about him.

Heading into his 22nd season leading Troy’s football team Blakeney wanted to make sure he did all he could on the recruiting trail. After a 3-9 campaign, it was needed.

At the Signing Day press conference Blakeney spoke of his week-long recruiting road trip that took him from Gulf Shores to Jacksonville, Orlando, Kansas, Atlanta before finally heading back home.

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The Trojans saw 23 high school athletes sign National Letters of Intent to play football for Troy next season. Among those to sign were a couple of area athletes.

Daleville High School’s Brandon Burks and Elba’s Michael Lindsey were among the first to send in their paperwork. Burks, a running back who rushed for over 400 yards and seven touchdowns in a game earlier this season, is a player Troy will look to in the future.

“I think he’ll come in and give us some help,” Blakeney said. “How soon I don’t know.”

Lindsey is fresh of a 2A state championship run with the Tigers and while Blakeney stopped short of saying he could be the next Jerrel Jernigan, the coach sees flashes of the former Trojan great in Lindsey.

“He is a dynamic player,” Blakeney said of Lindsey. “I anticipate (Lindsey) having that kind of ability.”

Troy also signed quarterback Brandon Silvers from Gulf Shores High School. Silvers was rated by ESPN as the No. 27 quarterback in the nation. Silver, 6-3, 195, threw for over 1,400 yards and six touchdowns last season on a .500 squad.

“He’s a lot more athletic than we anticipated,” offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield said. “Our whole staff was fired up about him. He’s the kind of quarterback you want to get.”

Silvers also held offers from South Alabama and Middle Tennessee State.

Two of the biggest signings, both in size and impact, came from defensive tackle Xavier Melton and defensive back Zach Miller. The pair attended Butler Community College in Kansas last season and helped lead the team to an 11-1 record and No 2 ranking in the NJCAA rankings.

Melton, 6-4, 305, signed with Purdue out of high school before transferring to Butler. Melton recorded just 13 tackles last season but 6.5 of those were sacks.

Miller was named first team All-American thanks, in part, to his team-high eight interceptions. He also recorded 54 tackles on the season.

The Trojans were also excited about offensive linemen Antonio Garcia, Tyler Lassiter and Luke Lawrence.

“Lawrence is a really good runner blocker,” Edenfield said. “He is a physical, physical football player. He’s not the tallest of biggest in size but he is aggressive.”

Overall, 13 of the 23 signees play of the defensive side. The Trojans signed six defensive backs, three defensive ends, two linebackers and two defensive tackles. Troy lost all four defensive ends from their travel roster last year.

For a full list of recruits as well as video interview with Troy coaches visit