Troy football signs 13 new players for 2014

Jill Odom

Sports Editor


Head coach Larry Blakeney announced the signing of 13 new student-athletes to Troy’s 2014 football recruiting class on Wednesday, Feb. 5. The signees will join the six mid-season additions to the team.

The Trojans signed a total of 10 offensive players and nine defensive players. The athletes came from a variety of 10 states, with seven coming from Alabama and others coming from states such as Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

In alphabetical order, the new signees are Rashad Dillard, Andre Flakes, Tajarvis Fuller, Raphael Garner, Vinton Harris, John Johnson, John Knight, Darrin Reddick, Teddy Ruben, Carnell Simon, Emanuel Thompson, Jarvis Williams, and Nyck Young.

The mid-season signees include Jarvis Bentley, Connor Bravard, Seth Calloway, Ethan Hutson, Brett Medforth, and Dontreal Pruitt

Dillard is a defensive lineman from Greer, S.C. and played at Coffeyville Community College. As a sophomore he recorded 34 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks in addition to recovering a fumble at his community college. His senior year in high school he was named the Spartanburg Herald-Journal Defensive Player of the Year after he recorded 134 tackles, 33 tackles for loss, 12.0 sacks and a forced fumble.

Flakes is a wide receiver from Milton, Fla. He finished his high school career with 3,544 all-purpose yards and 32 touchdowns. Flakes played a mix of positions including quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. Defensively, he ended with 78 tackles and 10 interceptions.

Defensive back Fuller transferred from Butler Community College, and is from Ft. Myers, Fla. He led all his community college’s defensive backs with 61 tackles and finished tied for second on the team his sophomore season. Fuller also added a pair of tackles for loss, one interception, one pass breakup and one forced fumble.

From Thomasville, Ala., linebacker Garner totaled 126 tackles and a pair of sacks to go along with two forced fumbles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery during his senior year. For his career, he tallied 210 tackles, 4.0 sacks, three forced fumbles and two interceptions.

Transferred from Dodge City Community College is defensive lineman Harris. All the way from Belleville, Ill., Harris made 30 tackles, 2.0 sacks and 6.0 tackles for loss his sophomore year at Dodge City.

Troy native Johnson is a wide receiver who accumulated 2,474 all-purpose yards as a senior at Charles Henderson High School.  He helped lead the Trojans to the Alabama 4A State Championship Game.

Another Butler Community College transfer is defensive back Knight, who is from Thomasville, Ala. He recorded 31 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, one interception and four pass breakups his sophomore season at Butler.

Defensive back Reddick from Houston, Texas, also attended Butler Community College. During his sophomore season he recorded 39 tackles and an interception, which he returned 78 yards. Reddick also started all 12 games as a freshman under current Troy safeties coach Dustin Landry at Navarro College.

Ruben is a wide receiver all the way from Scottsdale, Ariz., and he attended Scottsdale Community College. His sophomore year at community college he averaged 29.4 yards per kickoff return and 12.5 yards per punt return; he returned two kickoffs and one punt for a touchdown. He also caught 57 passes for 812 yards and eight touchdowns.

From Duluth, Ga., is defensive lineman Simon. He attended Hutchinson Community College and racked up 26 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, three quarterback hurries, a pair of forced fumbles and a pass breakup during his sophomore campaign.

Thompson is a wide receiver from Clayton, Ala. who rushed for 521 yards and 12 touchdowns and threw for 800 yards and five touchdowns in six games at Barbour County High School before an injury cut his season short.

Another player from Greer, S.C., is defensive lineman William. At Antelope Valley College, he made 45 tackles, 23 solo, 4.0 sacks, 13.0 tackles for loss, forced a fumble and broke up a pass in his sophomore season. He also had a tackle for loss in all nine of the games he played.

From Homewood, Ala., wide receiver Nyck Young caught 34 passes for 697 yards and five touchdowns while a sophomore at Victor Valley Community College.

Of the mid-year signees, wide receiver Bentley from Columbus, Ga. led Itawamba Community College with 49 receptions for 502 yards and a touchdown in 10 games.

Quarterback Bravard came all the way from West Des Moines, Iowa, and helped lead Iowa Western Community College to an 11-1 record. He completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 2,555 yards and 23 touchdowns with only nine interceptions and also rushed for four touchdowns.

From Ozark, Ala., defensive lineman Calloway attended Ariton High School and made 137 tackles and a defensive touchdown his senior year.  Also he tallied five forced fumbles, 10 sacks, one blocked field goal and three total touchdowns.

Transferred from Ole Miss, offensive lineman Hutson from Destrehan, La. played in games against Troy, Idaho and Southeast Missouri State.

Offensive lineman Medforth from Sylacauga, Ala. led his team in pancake blocks his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, and averaged seven per game as a senior.

Another quarterback, Pruitt from Laurel, Miss., completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 3,939 yards and 45 touchdowns with just seven interceptions at East Mississippi Community College.

The football team will begin practice on Monday, Feb. 24, and will prepare for the annual T-Day game on Saturday, March 29.

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