By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
With the sport of football being over for most teams that are not playing in a bowl game, the rebuilding for next season has already begun. Last Wednesday was the early National Signing Day for college teams and some high school recruits. Players, both committed and non-committed, signed for their desired college program so they can start early in the Spring. The official National Signing Day will be on Wednesday, February 5th.
This is the third football recruiting class under head coach Steve Campbell, who is entering his third season with the South Alabama Jaguars. The Jaguars added 19 recruits, who signed to play for the Jaguars this upcoming season. Of the 19 recruits that signed with the South Alabama Jaguars football program, eight of them are junior college recruits. 10 of the recruits are defensive players and nine of them come from the offensive side of the ball.
24/7 Sports has the South Alabama Jaguars as the 98th best recruiting class of 2020 with 19 signees and one hard commitment at the middle linebacker position. The season before, they were ranked as the 125th best recruiting class. 24/7 Sports has most of the signees as three-star recruits.
In the press conference last Wednesday, head coach Steve Campbell said, “We feel like we meet a lot of our needs at every position.” The Jaguars did lose some key seniors last season at most positions including five contributors at the defensive line, three starters at the secondary, and three contributing offensive linemen.
There were 12 recruits from the state of Mississippi including seven from the junior college level. Three recruits in offensive tackle Hayden Burton, strong-side defensive Jamie Sheriff, and pro-style quarterback Chance Lovertich are from Mississippi Gulf Coast Committee College. All three recruits were a part of a Bulldogs team this season that went 12-0 and won the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship.
Two local players from the Mobile County and Baldwin County to play for their nearby new home. Faith Academy Rams Caullin Lacy and Spanish Fort Toros defensive tackle Carlos Johnson Jr. come into this program with their local pride on their backs to potentially contribute to this Jaguars’ team early.
Tight end Jacob Hooper from Sardis High School (Boaz, Alabama) is the only other signee to come from the state of Alabama. Defensive tackle Zyon Walker, who originally committed to the Jaguars long before signing day, is the only signee from the state of Tennessee (Whitehaven High School in Memphis). Safety C.J. Thompson has a chance to contribute and start immediately after transferring from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (a junior college).
Defensive lineman Zeke Chapman and cornerback Darnell Luter Jr. both transferred from Pearl River Community College in Mississippi to become signees for the Jaguars. Safety Dewayne Betts Jr. transfers from Coahoma Community College in Mississippi to play for the Jags. The Jaguars were able to recruit and sign the 10th highest ranked middle linebacker in the 2020 recruiting class from Northwest Mississippi Community College in middle linebacker Quentin Wilfawn.
The Jaguars signed two recruits from the state of Georgia in wide receiver Nae’Saan Dickerson (Hapeville Charter High School) and quarterback Elijah Gainey (Flowery Branch High School). Wide receiver Christian Wortham (Grenda HS), inside linebacker Latarius Carr (Olive Branch HS), offensive tackle Andrew McMillian (Long Beach HS), guard Christian Sapp (Hancock HS), and wide receiver Yamarcus Banks (Ridgeland HS) round out the early signees for the Jaguars for the 2020 recruiting class.
More recruits will be able to sign on February 5th but these will get to work for South early and get a head start to learning the systems of their position and the University.