The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team wrapped up another outstanding recruiting class with 16 new faces joining the two-time defending Southern Conference Champions. UTC head coach Russ Huesman kept it even with seven on offense, seven on defense and two athletes that can play on either side of the ball.
“We feel really good about this class,” stated Huesman, who led the Mocs to a school-record 10-4 season in 2014, while earning his third SoCon Coach of the Year honor. “I think we met a lot of needs. Where we needed to sign kids this year, we feel really good about them. Obviously, our recruiting area, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, we hit those areas and hit them strong.
UTC picked up eight commitments from Tennessee, five from Alabama and three from Georgia. It is the most commitments Chattanooga has received from Alabama in the Huesman era (since 2009).
This is Huesman’s seventh recruiting class since taking over at his alma mater in December of 2008. It includes three transfers, which is the most for a signing class in his tenure. For the second year in a row, 10 of the incoming freshmen had other FBS offers before choosing the Mocs. Also, for a second year in a row, a program-best 10 incoming student-athletes bring academic honors along with their impressive athletic credentials.
The transfers include junior receiver Drae Bowles from Tennessee, and a pair from UAB in junior tight end Steve Pickren and freshman offensive lineman Hunter Kennedy. All three are eligible to play immediately and are already enrolled at UTC.
“Obviously, the three transfers we feel really good about,” said Huesman. “They are already in school and working very hard. We like what we see, and they will all be great additions for us next year.”
Of the 16 signees, 11 earned all-state honors in their prep careers. That is second only to the 12 all-state performers the Mocs brought in last season. There are five who garnered a two-star ranking from various recruiting services, including Michael Bean (LB – Canton, Ga.), Ke’Von Hall (ATH – Memphis, Tenn.), Kyle Nalls (RB – Fayette, Ala.), Alex Trotter (RB – Chattanooga, Tenn.) and D.J. Williams (DB – Smyrna, Tenn.).
Others will all-state credentials include Taylor Helton (OL – Kingsport, Tenn.), La’Vonte Larry (DB – Jessup, Ga.), K.J. Roper (DB – Knoxville, Tenn.), Jacquez Tyson (ATH – Alcoa, Tenn.) and Malcolm White (OL – Johnson City, Tenn.).
The class is rounded out by three other impact freshmen on the defensive side of the ball, including Khayyan Edwards (DL – Macon, Ga.), Telvin Jones (DL – Irvington, Ala.) and Adrian King (DB – Montgomery, Ala.).
“We had another good year in the state of Alabama and a really good year in the state of Tennessee.” said Huesman. “It is always nice to recruit guys in-state, in your backyard, and we feel good about how we did this year.”
Michael Bean LB 6-1 220 Canton, Ga. (Cherokee HS)
*Drae Bowles (Jr.) WR 6-0 206 Jackson, Tenn. (Tennessee)
Khayyan Edwards DL 6-3 220 Macon, Ga. (Westside HS)
Ke’Von Hall ATH 5-9 170 Memphis, Tenn. (Melrose HS)
Taylor Helton OL 6-5 285 Kingsport, Tenn. (Dobyns-Bennett HS)
Telvin Jones DL 6-3 280 Irvington, Ala. (Alma Bryant HS)
*Hunter Kennedy (Fr.) OL 6-4 285 Troy, Ala. (UAB)
Adrian King DB 5-10 190 Montgomery, Ala. (Lee HS)
Le’Vonte Larry DB 5-9 175 Jessup, Ga. (Wayne County HS)
Kyle Nalls RB 6-1 200 Fayette, Ala. (Fayette County HS)
*Steve Pickren (Jr.) TE 6-5 260 Pell City, Ala. (UAB)
K.J. Roper DB 6-2 190 Knoxville, Tenn. (Fulton HS)
Alex Trotter RB 5-9 175 Chattanooga, Tenn. (McCallie)
Jaquez Tyson ATH 5-10 210 Alcoa, Tenn. (Alcoa HS)
Malcolm White OL 6-6 280 Johnson City, Tenn. (Science Hill HS)
D.J. Williams DB 5-10 170 Smyrna, Tenn. (Smyrna HS)
*Already enrolled at UTC.