JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — Carson-Newman unveiled its 2012 recruiting class Wednesday, as head coach Ken Sparks announced the addition of 56 incoming freshmen student-athletes on National Signing Day.
Ten states are represented in the group of initial signees, which includes 10 players who are already enrolled at C-N for the 2012 spring semester.
"We're very excited a lot of good young men and good football players are trusting us with the next four of their lives," Sparks said. "We're glad to be a part of the process of helping these young men be everything God created them to be. We've got a late start on some, so we've still got work to do on getting more pieces in place."
The signing class isn't short on local talent.
Four Knox-area players signed with the Eagles, including Xavier Harper and Tyler Stewart of Karns, Chris Easterday of Powell, and Christian Steward of Grace Christian Academy.
Stewart was a two-time All-District performer for the Beavers at safety, and was also named to the Knoxville New Sentinel's PrepXtra Second Team. His teammate, Harper, was a three-year starter at running back and defensive back, and garnered All-District honors his sophomore year. Together, they helped lead Karns to its first winning season in 37 years.
Easterday also had a memorable season as Powell advanced to the Class 5A state championship game before losing to Henry County for the title. The offensive lineman was honorable mention All-District the past two years. Steward earned All-Region honors the past three years and was an All-State selection in 2011.
Morristown West has two players represented on the signing list - wide receiver Jerimia Gregg and offensive lineman Seth Fleshman. Gregg was a two-time All-Conference selection and was named the 2011 Lakeway Offensive Player of the Year. Fleshman made the All-Conference team this past season. Both participated in the Border Bowl, which features high school all-stars from Tennessee and Kentucky.
Other area players who signed with the Eagles include William Blount quarterback Hunter Sanders, Grainger County defensive end Jonah Keith Bunch, Happy Valley lineman Travis Lowe, Volunteer running back Devin Rogers, and Tennessee High tight end Bradley Tallman.
Of the ten early enrollees, only one is from Tennessee. Joshua Bunch, a Maryville native, played his prep ball at Kell High School in Georgia before attending Darton College.
Seven of the nine others already on campus came from other collegiate programs: Jamison Johnson (Air Force Academy), Lavelle Larry (Georgia Southern), Anthony Baskin (Louisburg College), David Freeman (Bowling Green State), Miles Freeman (College of San Mateo), Anthony Hooks (Chowen University), and Marcellas Pope (Atlanta Metro).
Dustin Christian from Calhoun (Ga.) and Ed Moore from Lowndes High School in Valdosta round out the early enrollee group.
Carson-Newman has won 21 South Atlantic Conference championships since 1983, claimed five NAIA national championships in the 1980's and has reached the NCAA Division II championship game three times (1996, 1998, 1999).
Sparks is the 12th all-time winningest coach in the history of college football. He will begin the 2012 season one win away from reaching 300 for his career.
2012 CARSON-NEWMAN FOOTBALL SIGNEES
|Casey Akin||WR||6-2||180||Ramer, Tenn./McNairy Central|
|Jonah Keith Bunch||DE||6-2||210||Bean Station, Tenn./Grainger|
|Codi Diamond||DE||6-3||285||Barbourville, Ky./Knoxville Central|
|Jamaal Donald||OL||6-0||255||Memphis, Tenn./White Station|
|Chris Easterday||6-0||265||265||Knoxville, Tenn./Powell|
|Jay Fields||LB||6-2||220||Atlanta, Ga./Whitefield Academy|
|Seth Fleshman||OL||6-1||275||Morristown, Tenn./Morristown West|
|Jeremy Garner||DE/DT||6-1||220||Memphis, Tenn./Ridgeway|
|Quandarious Greer||DB||5-10||170||Lewisburg, Tenn./Marshall County|
|Austin Greene||LB||5-11||225||Morristown, Tenn./Morristown West|
|Jerima Gregg||WR||5-10||180||Morristown, Tenn./Morristown West|
|Judson Haley||LB||5-11||210||Marietta, Ga./Harrison|
|Xavier Harper||RB/LB||5-7||185||Knoxville, Tenn./Karns|
|Frederick Houston||RB||5-8||180||Memphis, Tenn/Memphis Central|
|Samuel Hudson||QB||5-11||170||Clarksville, Tenn./Montgomery Central|
|Taylor Huey||OL/DL||6-2||255||White House, Tenn./White House|
|Carlos Hutton||DB||5-11||165||Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton|
|Impa Kasanganay||LB/DE||6-0||205||Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Providence Senior|
|Cadari Lindsey||OL/DL||6-0||245||Memphis, Tenn./Overton|
|Travis Lowe||OL/DL||6-4||265||Elizabethton, Tenn./Happy Valley|
|Shawn Maddox||DE||6-0||240||Lewisburg, Tenn./Marshall County|
|Drew Manning||LB||5-11||205||Chattanooga, Tenn./Ooltewah|
|Mitchell Marable||DT||6-1||285||Memphis, Tenn./Briarcrest Christian|
|Bryce Martin||LB||6-0||205||Elberton, Ga./Elbert Co.|
|Joshua (Caleb) McAnally||OL||6-0||280||Brewton, Ala./T.R. Miller|
|Cornelious Metcalfe||ATH||6-0||200||Sulligent, Ala./Sulligent|
|Eric Miles||DB||5-8||150||Antioch, Tenn./Antioch|
|Suterryck Montgomery||ATH||5-9||150||Memphis, Tenn./Trezevant|
|Stephan Morgan||LB/DE||5-11||205||Rabun Gap, Ga./Rabun County|
|Khaleel Muhammed||DB||6-0||170||Memphis, Tenn./Cordova|
|Kadeem Murray||OLB||6-0||200||Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson|
|William Nance||OLB||5-11||205||Lewisburg, Tenn./Marshall County|
|Travon Nichols||WR||5-8||190||Hillsborough, N.C./Cedar Ridge|
|Blair Nix Jr.||OL||6-2||275||Bainbridge, Ga./Bainbridge|
|Ben Ogle||K||6-0||190||Greeneville, Tenn/Greeneville|
|John Patrick Riley||OL/DL||6-3||285||Clarksville, Tenn./Montgomery Central|
|Charles Kenneth Roark III||QB||6-3||210||Middlesboro, Ky./Middlesboro|
|Devin Rogers||RB||5-9||180||Church Hill, Tenn./Volunteer|
|Ben Ross||OL||6-0||260||Nashville, Tenn./Hillsboro|
|Matt Rust||WR||6-1||170||Murfreesboro, Tenn./Riverdale|
|Hunter Sanders||QB||6-2||220||Maryville, Tenn./William Blount|
|Matthew (Chris) Saunders||OL/DL||6-2||265||Clarksville, Tenn./Montgomery Central|
|Matthew Sealor||WR||6-1||170||Chattanooga, Tenn./Ooltewah|
|Austin Sigler||OL||6-1||280||Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell|
|Colin A. Smith||WR/DB||6-0||170||Jacksonville, Fla./Paxson School|
|Forrest Cole Stamper||LB||6-0||235||Cherokee, N.C./Cherokee|
|Christian Steward||DL/LB||5-10||210||Knoxville, Tenn./Grace Christian Academy|
|Tyler Stewart||DB||6-0||180||Knoxville, Tenn./Karns|
|James Stone||DE/TE||6-0||200||Chattanooga, Tenn./Ooltewah|
|Bradley Tallman||TE||6-2||260||Bluff City, Tenn./Tennessee High|
|Nicolas Tankersley||K/P||6-1||155||Bradenton, Fla./Manatee|
|Dante Thomas||DB||5-10||175||Dalton, Ga./Dalton|
|De'Andre Thomas||QB||6-0||190||Milledgeville, Ga./Baldwin|
|Malachi Tullis||LB||6-0||220||Antioch, Tenn./Cane Ridge|
|Trashaun Ward||RB||5-9||175||Miami, Fla./Coral Reef|
|Edgar Williams V||LB/DB||5-11||185||Memphis, Tenn./Overton|
|Tyler Wilson||WR||6-0||180||Nashville, Tenn./Stratford|
|Jeremy Wolfe||WR/DB||5-8||140||Cherokee, N.C./Cherokee|
|Case Woodard II||DB||5-11||160||Lithonia, Ga./Arabia Mountain|
|ENROLLED FOR SPRING 2012
|Anthony Baskin||S/KR||6-0||214||Detroit, Mich./South Lyon/Louisburg College|
|Dustin Christian||RB||5-7||170||Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun|
|David Freeman||QB||5-10||200||Detroit, Mich./Wayne Memorial/Bowling Green State|
|Miles Freeman||QB||6-1||195||Sacramento, Ca./Luther Burbank/College of San Mateo|
|Anthony Hooks||DB||5-10||174||Charlotte, N.C./Olympic/Chowan University|
|Joshua Hodge||DE||6-2||282||Maryville, Tenn./Kell/Darton College|
|Johnson Jamison||DE||6-4||260||Greer, S.C./Riverside/Air Force Academy|
|Lavelle Larry||S||6-0||215||Chicago, Ill./Roswell/Georgia Southern|
|Ed Moore||TE||6-3||220||Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes|
|Marcellas Pope||RB||5-7||190||Ellenwood, Ga./Stockbridge/Atlanta Metro|