Trojans add six new defensive players in signing class

Published 10:56 pm Wednesday, December 23, 2020

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The Troy defense took a step forward during the 2020 season and with the addition of six new players on the defensive side of the ball, the Trojans look to take another step forward during the 2021 season.

The Trojans finished the 2019 season seventh in the Sun Belt Conference in total defense, eighth in scoring defense and last in pass defense, allowing 276 yards per game. In 2020, Trojans improved to fifth in scoring defense, allowing 25 points per game, fifth in total defense and sixth in passing defense.

On Wednesday the Trojans added one defensive tackle, one defensive end and one cornerback, linebacker, safety and bandit in the 2020 recruiting class.

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Defensive end Jamarcus Chapman is one of two Florida State transfers to sign with Troy, joining running back La’Damian Webb.

Chapman elected not to play in 2020 due to COVID-19. He saw action in 2019 when he played in four games for the Seminoles. He was a four-star prospect and the 56th ranked playing in the state of Georgia according to ESPN coming out of high school. Rivals ranked Chapman the 30th best player at his position in the country.

“He played in a big time program in Rome,” head coach Chip Lindsey said. “He was part of a big time defense at Rome that allowed nine points per game. Big time player. We are excited to get him. It was an area of need as far as depth issues.”

Phillip Lee, a Bandit, out of Jacksonville, comes to Troy after playing at First Coast High School.

Lee finished his career with 286 tackles, 57 sacks, four blocked punts, two blocked field goals and five touchdowns. Lee earned first team all-conference as a senior and second team honors as a junior. He is rated the No. 88 weak side defensive end in the country and a three star recruit by 247 Sports Composite. Rivals and ESPN also rated Lee as a three star recruit.

“Really an athletic, long guy who is very physical, which is what we need at that position,” Lindsey said. “He is going to play in the Florida, Georgia All-Star Game. He is a big-time player. We had to hold off some teams from getting him. He stayed with us from day one. People came in and really tried to flip him at the end, but he stayed true to us and we are excited to get him on campus as soon as we can.”

Julian Peterson had 55 tackles and five sacks during his senior season at Pinson Valley.  Rivals rated Peterson a three-star recruit. He helped lead Pinson Valley to two 6A State Championships.

“We really needed a young defensive tackle that could push the pocket some and be a presence there and I think we got that,” Lindsey said. “We are excited about him and looking forward to getting him hear as well.”

Caleb Ransaw, a cornerback out of Sparkman High School, recorded 32 tackles, two interceptions, 25 pass break-ups and returned a kickoff for a touchdown during his time with Sparkman. He is rated one of the top 100 players in the state of Alabama and a three star recruit by 247 Sports Composite and ESPN.

“He did it all for the defense at Sparkman,” Lindsey said. “Committed to us back in the spring and never wavered. Always exciting when you get a guy like that who is locked in. Just loves football and that what we are looking for in a lot of our guys.”

Safety Sterling Roberts is one of two players from the state of Florida. Roberts attended Bradford High School where he was a three star recruit by 247 Sports Composite and ESPN. ranked Roberts a top 40 player in the Jacksonville area.

“This kid is extremely impressive,” Lindsey said. “We needed a young, long safety who could come in and maybe have an impact early. He is guy that I thought fit that mode. He is another guy that stayed true to us. Looking forward to watching him grow as a player.”

Jordan Stringer, a linebacker out of Augusta Georgia, recorded 485 tackles, five interceptions, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries at Laney High School.