Troy coaches are pleased with incoming talent as football team add 21 to 2013 signing class
Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, February 6, 2013
College football fans across the country were glued to TV sets, computers and social media sites on Wednesday to find out what future star their favorite team landing as high school football players nationwide signed their National Letters on Intent.
Troy signed 21 student-athletes on what is college football’s version of the NFL Draft. The new signees join the three mid-year additions to finalize the 2013 recruiting class.
“I think the players we got today filled our needs,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said. “We are excited about the caliber of talent coming in and hope they can contribute sooner rather than later.”
Linebacker Sam Lebbie and defensive back Keion Payne headlined the Trojans’ signing class. Lebbie, a product of Hyattsville, Md., signed with West Virginia out of high school in 2012 but failed to qualify academically. After spending last year at the Atlanta Sports Academy, Lebbie was again highly recruited but landed with the Trojans after forming a relationship with new Troy secondary coach Dustin Landry.
“I recruited him while I was with another school,” Landry said. “We have kept in contact and it worked out to get him here. He is an outstanding athlete and I can’t wait to see what he can do next season.”
Scout rated Lebbie as the No. 6 middle linebacker in the nation in 2012 as a four-star recruit.
Payne comes to Troy from Hutchinson Community College after spending a season at the University of Miami. Payne was also a highly touted athlete out of high school. Scout ranked him the No. 19 cornerback nationally.
One of Troy’s major areas of concern heading into the 2013 season is at the running back position. Troy offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield fells the team addressed those needs with two solid recruits in Josh Anderson and Jordan Chunn.
Anderson, from South Paulding High School (Ga.), is hailed as the No. 3 fullback prospect in the country by ESPN and Edenfield says he can play both running back and blocking back for the Trojans.
“He is a 230-pound back that can fill two positions for us,” he said.
Edenfield said Anderson could be compared to recent Troy graduate D.J. Taylor.
The Huntsville Times named Chunn Offensive Player of the Year after accumulating nearly 2,900 yards of total offense. Chunn was also named the Alabama Class 4A Back of the Year.
The Trojans also landed five offensive linemen in Jonathan Boring (6-4, 270), Taylor Edwards (6-4, 290), Xavier Fields (6-4, 335), David Gross (6-6, 295) and Brett Medforth (6-3, 245).
“We had a big need for offensive lineman. We signed some of the biggest guys since we’ve been here,” Edenfield said.
The pickups on the offensive front are made even more impressive after considering the shake up the Trojans dealt with early in the offseason. Offensive line coach and one of Troy’s better recruiters John Schlarman left to take the same position at Kentucky. The Trojans then hired former player Zach Yenser, who bolted for California three days later. New offensive line coach Jim Dye has yet to be officially announced but has been on campus for several weeks and attended Wednesday’s press conference though he did not speak.
“Our offensive line class, we had them all committed before the (2012) season. We lost our O-line coach and hired another. He was gone in three days and it took a little while before we hired another one,” said recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Randy Butler.
“Kenny (Edenfield) and Shayne (Wasden) go on the road and starting hitting these guys. They did a great job hanging on to those people. We didn’t lose a single commitment because of the changes we went through.”
Among the other signees is three-star running back Tim Longmire. From Tallahasee’s Class 5A state champion Godby High School, Longmire considered several offers from bigger school before deciding on Troy. Edenfield said Longmire will likely play inside wide receiver, but will also be used at running back much like the Trojans did with Justin Albert last season. Longmire received offers from Cincinnati, Kentucky, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, South Florida, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan.
Troy will also welcome five players who grayshirted in 2012 – defensive back Rishad Goode, linebacker Terris Lewis, linebacker Mitchell Roland, quaterback Brandon Silvers and defensive end Jamal Stadom.
Zach Moore (LB) – Coffee Co. HS (Ga.)
Clark Quisenberry (WR) – Enterprise HS
Cardell Lue (DB) – Hebron HS (TX)
Taylor Driggers (DL) – Brantley HS
Seth Roberts (DL) – Ariton HS
Jaylen Daniels (DE) – Dooley Co. HS
Dondrell Harris (ATH) Rutherford HS (Fla.)
Jevius Terry (DB) Eagles Landing Christian Academy (Ga.)
Montavious Smoke (DB) Stanhope Elmore
Jonathan Boring (OL) – Lexington (Ky) HS
Antonio Johnson (WR) – Hitchinson CC