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According to Swainsboro Forest Blade, Swainsboro HS ATH Lynquez Blair has signed a letter of intent to play football for Georgia State.
The 5’10, 175lbs Blair did a little bit of everything in 2010 as he played Quarterback, Slot Wide Receiver and Defensive Back in his HS career. He will likely be headed for the defensive side of the ball under the watchful eye of Coach Anthony Midget.
Blair had 44 catches for 886 yards and 9 TDs as a Junior playing WR but shifted to Dual Threat QB in 2010 accounting for 894 yards of offense and 13 TDs. Blair also served as Swainsboro’s primary kick and punt returner.
Lynquez is the 11th signee of the 2011 recruiting cycle and is expected to join the Panthers in June along with the other eight freshman. The Panthers have three scholarships remaining and have entertained several recruits during spring practice so far in the last week. Bill Curry and the Panthers coaching staff have also not ruled using the remaining grants on FBS transfers.
According to South Charlotte Weekly writer Aaron Garcia and just confirmed by his HS coach Bruce Hardin, Providence Day School (Charlotte, NC) WR Mark Young has signed a letter of intent and will join the Georgia State football 2011 signing class.
Young is a 6’5, 200lbs X WR with good hands and very good speed. According to Hardin, he’s been clocked as fast as 4.5 in the 40 yard dash. Young also displays good body control and has very good balance for someone his size.
He looks to have the frame to hold another 10-15lbs without losing speed or flexibility. He is a little raw in his route running and will benefit greatly from extended work with WR coach George Pugh. Young finished his Senior season with 31 catches for 435 yards and 6 TDs.
Providence Day went 8-3 this past season in NCISAA Independent school action and Young had also considered Appalachian State before deciding on the Panthers. He and his family chose Georgia State because of Coach Bill Curry and his staff. He finished his Sr. season with 31 catches for 435 yards and 6 TDs.
According to the AJC’s Chip Towers, former Boise State and North Gwinnett HS QB Mike Tamburo has been accepted and will walk on at Georgia this summer.
Playing time did not seem to be a concern as a change of scenery:
"I’ve been talking to Georgia and to Coach [Mike] Bobo and I just liked everything about the idea of going that. "There’s the football program, the tradition and all that. I know about the all the guys on the depth chart and all that. But that’s not what this is about. I’m just looking for a fresh start."
Tamburo mentioned that he took a long, hard look at Georgia State who now has an immediate need at QB with starter Drew Little being slapped with a four game suspension and back up Star Jackson leaving the program.
"Yeah, yeah, I talked to them," said Tamburo, who accounted for 8,476 total yards and 90 touchdowns while playing for Bob Sphire at North Gwinnett High. "I’ve got a couple of buddies that play there and my little sister (Kristin Tamburo) is going there to play soccer. But there were a lot of things that went into my decision."
I do not believe Tamburo will ever take a snap at Georgia with Sophomore QB Aaron Murray and incoming Freshman Christian LeMay on campus. What will truly be interesting if there happens to be a coaching staff change this December. Could Tamburo be on the move again?
According to the AJC’s Chip Towers, former Boise State and North Gwinnett HS QB Mike Tamburo is transferring to play "closer to home."
"I am planning on transferring but, at this point, I don’t really want to talk about it until it is official," said Tamburo, who accounted for 8,476 total yards and 90 touchdowns while playing for Bob Sphire at North Gwinnett. "I probably should know in the next week or two where I’m doing. But I am planning on transferring somewhere closer to home. I’d rather not get into specifics because I just want to make sure everything works out first."
Tamburo never took a snap for the Broncos and redshirted in 2009. There were even rumblings of a position change to defensive back or wide receiver.
"That’s the goal," he said of sticking at quarterback. "I was helping out on the scout team some doing some receiver duty and doing what I could. But we just switched quarterback coaches and I was going to stay at quarterback. It just wasn’t working out for me there. I wanted to try somewhere else and get a fresh start."
While he will not reveal where he’s going, he’s ruled out the University of Georgia:
"I don’t think they’re too worried if I did want to go to Georgia. "It’s not like I’d be there during fall camp where I’d know the gameplan."
Georgia Southern has a Senior incumbent in Jaybo Shaw and Georgia Tech does not run a Pro Style offense making an announcement to Georgia State all but a foregone conclusion as Tamburo could compete for immediate playing time.
Coach Bill Curry took the stage at the Georgia State National Signing Day Ceremony at the Student Ballroom at the downtown campus last night with a smile on his face.
“We signed nine players who we believe make our team better.”
A breakdown of three junior college transfers and six high school players highlighted the smallest class that coach Curry said he’s ever been a part of. It included two defensive linemen, one linebacker, three defensive backs, one kicker and an offensive lineman. While not the most sexy of classes, Curry said it addressed needs and provided depth.
Curry also said that the Panthers had two “disappointments” which have been reported to be QB Imonni Carswell, who signed with Tennessee State, and DT Jakari Kinnie, who signed with Jacksonville State. The Panthers still have two scholarships to offer and Curry hinted that this is the season that FBS transfer start to make decisions about transferring.
Comment from Curry about each recruit:
Kicker Christian Benvenuto – “Incredible kicker. Immediate impact player. Has gotten stronger and can punt, place kick and kick off.”
CB D’Mario Gunn – “Prefers to be called ‘Phat’. Can play Safety or Corner. Strong, Hard Hitter. Will contribute immediately.” He promptly introduced Gunn and sent him out of the ceremony so he could attend his 6pm class.
DE McClain Head – “Tremendous growth potential. 6’5, 250 lbs. and will likely play at 280 lbs. within two years. Very strong and getting stronger.”
ATH Nick Henderson – “Will likely play Safety for us. Excellent hands. Very quick. Versatile.”
OG David Huey – “Incredible athlete. Played tackle and guard. He’s a real stud. Very strong. Played first base on the baseball team.”
QB Ben McLane – “Coach’s son. Winner. Played behind an inexperienced offensive line as a sophomore and junior. Led Brookwood to a state title as a senior. Strong arm and very accurate. Got much better than when we saw him last.”
LB Qwontez Mallory – “Inside linebacker. Very strong. Has put in a ton of work in the weight room. Is about 235 lbs. now. Always around the ball. Very good hitter.”
DE Roderick Thompson – “Very quick. Very disruptive. Will play at 250 lbs. within two years.”
S Demazio Skelton – “Big, physical safety. Had to send his LOI to his parents in Myrtle Beach so that’s why we are only announcing him now. Hard hitter. Great hands and anticipation. Has the ability to take interceptions back all the way [while Curry said this Skelton’s highlight of a 105-yard INT for a TD played behind him].”
Coach Curry also mentioned that the Panthers return 97 players from the 2010 squad (including walk ons) and he’s eager to find those who are serious about the process. Curry took a poll with the returning players asking if the 6-5 finish was a good season. He did not have a single person who was satisfied with those results. Curry stated, “Recruiting did not get easier with this class, it got harder because people now take us seriously.”
The Panthers are participating in off season workouts and will convene for Spring Practice in March. The Spring game was announced to be Thursday, April 14th at the Georgia Dome to further the GSU tradition of football on Thursday nights in Atlanta.
Thompson committed very early to the Panthers and projects as a 255lbs Strongside Defensive End. At 6’4, he has very good speed, explosive first step and has very good hands.
Huey is a road grader along the offensive line. Played Tackle and Guard in HS and is very impressive on film. Has the frame to hold 305lbs and has gained nearly 20lbs since his Senior season ended.
The Panthers coaching staff did lose 1 commit, as Gadsden City HS (Gadsden, AL) NG Jakari Kinnie has signed his LOI with Jacksonville State.
The Panthers signed Matanzas HS (Palm Coast, FL) Kicker Christian Benvenuto this morning.
Rivals.com rates Benvenuto as the 18th best Kicker and he had legit range to 60 yards. He has an excellent shot to start as a Freshman and is a very good punter as well.
This is signee number 5 this morning and 6th commit of the 2011 cycle with CB D’Mario Gunn already enrolled.
The Panthers add two more this morning as Georgia Military College LB Qwontez Mallory and Whitewater HS DE McLain Head have signed with Georgia State.
Mallory is 6’2, 220lbs OLB prospect who is the second former GMC Bulldog to join the Panthers. His former teammate D’Mario Gunn is already enrolled at GSU for the Spring semester.
Head is a 6’4, 240lbs DE prospect who is a 2nd generation Curry player of sorts. His uncle Tony Head played FB at Georgia Tech in the late 1970s when Coach Curry was an Asst. Coach.
The Panthers expect to sign a total of 11 players to Letters of Intents today and will have a NSD Ceremony at 5pm on campus.
Georgia State coaches were in early this morning and were greeted with 2 National Letter of Intents from Metro Atlanta prospects.
The first arrived at 7:45am from QB Ben McClane of Brookwood HS. He was a 3 year starter for the Broncos and threw for 2,346 yards and 17 TDs this past season.
ATH Nick Henderson of Roswell HS joined him around 8:15am this morning. The 6’0, 200lbs versatile Henderson played TE, WR and S for the Hornets the last 2 years.
These are the first of 11 expected LOIs today.
Georgia State likely put the cap on its 2011 recruiting class today as the AJC’s Chip Towers stated the class now sits at 11 commits.
The Panthers finished the class by grabbing 3 out of state players starting with QB Imonni Carswell of Plantation HS (Plantation, FL). The 6-foot-2, 180-pound dual threat signal caller is a 2 star recruit according to Rivals.com and was previously committed to Tennessee State.
Carswell Senior Highlights
Pearl-Cohn HS (Nashville, TN) OG David Huey will sign with the Panthers tomorrow and fills a tremendous need along the OL. The 6-3, 265lbs product gives the Panthers another big body to develop as they will graduate 5 Seniors along the OL in 2011.
Huey Senior Highlights
Gadsden City HS (Gadsden, AL) DL Jakari Kinnie turned down 5 FBS offers including Kentucky and Maryland to sign with Georgia State. The 6’2, 320lbs run stopper is the perfect fit at the Noseguard position in John Bond’s 3-4 scheme.
Chip has also gotten to the bottom of the Kyle Vorster situation as the Walton HS RB will accept a preferred walk on slot with the Panthers. Also, I recently spoke with a member of the Cerritos CC coaching staff and previously committed DE Fatu Ulale will now sign with New Mexico after visiting this weekend.
Georgia State fans headed into the offseason with the glow of a winning season and very limited holes to fill for 2011. With only starting 3rd Team All America Kicker Iain Vance graduating, the Panthers need to shore up the defensive line to improve against the run, add depth at linebacker and in the defensive secondary.
Coach Bill Curry also expressed an interest in signing a Quarterback to develop. With those needs, the coaching staff also aimed to focus on the Atlanta Metro area and snatch quality players who may have slipped through the cracks.
In Order of Public Committment:
DE Roderick Thompson – Mays HS
CB D’Mario Gunn – Georgia Military College*
ATH Nick Henderson – Roswell HS
K Christian Benvenuto – Matanzas HS (Palm Beach, FL)
DE Fatu Ulale – Cerritos Community College (Cerritos, CA)
S Demazio Skelton – Georgia Military College
DE McLain Head – Whitewater HS
OLB Qwontez Mallory – Georgia Military College
RB Kyle Vorster – Walton HS
QB Ben McLane – Brookwood HS
*Enrolled at Georgia State for Spring Semester.
For more on national signing day from a national perspective, visit here.
According to the AJC’s Chip Towers, Brookwood HS QB Ben McLane has verbally committed to Georgia State today and will sign his LOI on Wednesday.
The 6-2, 215-lb. signal caller was targeted late in the recruiting process and it was no secret that Coach Curry desired a QB in this cycle. McLane was a three-year starter for the Broncos in a very run first scheme. He is an above average athlete, very accurate and can throw the deep ball well. He led Brookwood High School to the Georgia high school state AAAAA title as a senior.
He looks to likely take a redshirt in the fall and compete for a backup role in 2012. He is the 5th high school prospect to commit in this cycle.
2010 Stats: 144 /237 (61%) , 2342 yards and 15 TDs
2009 Stats: Completed 58% of his passes for 1790 yards and 16 TDs
So much for a slow weekend. The Panthers grabbed 4 verbals this weekend and two names that were, for the most part, out of the blue. Let’s take a look at the newest Panthers commits:
RB Kyle Vorster – This guy was a man among boys at Walton HS. His stats are ridiculous: 250 rushes, 1407 yards and 19 TDs in 10 games. He is competing at the AAAAA level so it’s not like he’s playing against weaker teams of the state. I’ve been told that he’s already 210lbs and is in tremendous shape. His father is former South African National Rugby player. This guy can tote the mail.
OLB Qwontez Mallory – "Que" is the 3rd GMC Bulldog in this signing class and he prepped at Doughtery HS in Albany. He arrived at the Milledgeville campus at 215lbs after playing FB and DE in HS. He will likely play OLB for us and could project at 230-235lbs this Fall.
DE McLain Head – "Big Mac" is the 2nd HS DE commit for the 2011 cycle and is 6′4, 240lbs. He projects at 255-260lbs with proper nutrition and college level S&C. He was very productive and another guy who is a high motor guy.
S Demazio Skelton – Was rumored to be a commit back in December but after an unofficial visit and speaking with former teammate D’Mario Gunn who is already enrolled, Skelton pulled the trigger and will be signing with the Panthers on National Signing Day.
How many more will be added this class? My guess is one possibly two by next Wednesday.
Walton HS running back Kyle Vorster visited the Georgia State campus this weekend and attended the Panthers’ 1st ever football banquet. From several reports, he and his parents were impressed enough to give the coaching staff a verbal. The 5’11, 205-lb power RB has not garnered major college interest to this point but has proved he can tote the rock at the AAAAA level.
Vorster finished the 2010 season with 250 rushes, 1407 yards and 19 TDs. Normally stats like those that would have college coaches knocking on the door. To this point, he has no confirmed offers and attempts to reach the Walton HS coaching staff have gone unanswered at this point.
He’s an upright runner but has good power and burst through the line. The Panthers do not have a major need for this recruiting cycle but this recruit would certainly fit into the “best player available” category.
According to Rivals.com, Cerritos Community College Defensive End Fatu Ulale is the 5th committment to the Panthers 2011 signing class. The 6’2, 275lbs Ulale has joined the Panthers and will participate in Spring practice. Ulale is a California native and prepped at Bellflower HS. He will have 3 years to play 2 seasons.
Ulale has major interest from Washington after HS but his academics forced him to go the JUCO route. He is the 3rd Panther with Somoan heritage joining LBs Jake and Louie Muasau.
Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution spoke with Ulale yesterday and Fatu gave his reason for choosing GSU:
I just fell in love with the coaching staff, basically,” Ulale said of choosing to come all the way across the U.S. to play football. “I had a connection with some of the other players there, too, and I feel like I may be able to come in and have an impact.”
Fatu has made incredible strides at Cerritos and enter the Norwalk, CA campus at 245lbs. He will enroll on Tuesday with the rest of the Panthers at 275lbs. With even more emphasis on S&C and proper nutrition, Ulale could project at 285-290lbs by the time he’s a Sr.
2009 Stats: 17 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 QB Hurry
2010 Stats: 38 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 6 TFL, 4 QB Hurries
Jerry Mathis of Rockdale HS in Conyers has verballed to Samford via his Facebook page. "Just Made One Of The Biggest Decisions Of My Life." With that, he posted a picture from his official visit this past weekend donning the Blue jersey of the Bulldogs of Birmingham.
Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution spoke with Mathis and discussed why he choose Samford instead of Georgia State:
“I felt that it was a good move for me and it was the best opportunity for me as far as football and education,” Mathis said. “I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season to face the reigning champions the Auburn Tigers. I was looking into Georgia State but their defensive line filled. The coaches there really wanted me but I guess their timing was a little off. But I feel I made the right decision.”
This is a loss but not a big loss as word is that the Panthers have signed a JUCO DE from California. We discussed his original offer and much more info on Mathis can be found here.
According to today’s Rockdale Citizen, Rockdale County HS Safety Neville Hewitt is now holding an offer from Georgia State. The 6’2, 195lbs Rover also has FBS offers from Memphis and Western Kentucky.
The Panthers will graduate both starting FS Brandon Jones and back up Michael Hall in 2011. This is a critical need for this recruiting cycle. GSU has already has a committment from Roswell HS ATH Nick Henderson who could play Safety or Slot WR in 2011.
The Panther coaching staff have been frequent visitors at the Conyers campus as they were also pursuing 6’4, 270lbs Jerry Mathis. Mathis verballed this afternoon to Samford where he took an official visit this past weekend.
According to the Daytona Beach News Journal, Matanzas HS (Palm Beach, FL) Kicker Christian Benvenuto has verbally committed to the Panthers. Rivals.com lists him as their #14 kicker in the country. Georgia State was his only confirmed scholarship offer with Auburn and Florida known to have invited him as a preferred walk-on. Benvenuto is now the 6th commitment of the 2011 recruiting cycle and 3rd HS prospect to commit publically to the 2nd year program.
Christian took part in University of Florida’s Friday Night Lights last August with big names like RB James Wilder, Jr. (Florida State), QB Philip Ely (Alabama), TE Nick O’Leary and other big names in the state of Florida.
The most amazing thing? He can kick with both feet!
“I punt with my left foot, I’ll roll out and hit the middle of the ball, and it takes off, whichever way it wants to,” the 17-year-old said. “If I kick with my right foot, I can hit it longer. When I punt with my left foot, it probably goes 20 yards in the air. Once it hits, it takes off and goes.”
This was a major need for the Panthers as they did not return a scholarship kicker after 3rd Team All-American Iain Vance will graduate this spring.
In 2009, Georgia State signed Patrick Baker out of Vero Beach, FL and several recruiting sites rated him the #66 Kicker in Country. Baker was booted before Fall practice for violation of team rules.
Got word today that former Myrtle Beach HS and Georgia Military College Defensive Back Demazio Skelton will enroll at Georgia State in May 2011 after completing his course requirements at GMC. “Maze” is a 6’1, 190lbs and has the frame to add 15-20lbs with proper nutrition and weight training.
He would be another tremendous addition to the GSU defensive backfield. Skelton had interest from Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Academics were a major issue coming out of HS.
Like his teammate at GMC D’Mario Gunn, who is now enrolled at GSU and will begin classes on Wednesday. Skelton is a tremendous hitter and has excellent recognition ability. He looks to be another tremendous below the radar guy that again will have FBS coaches why he slipped to an FCS school in Georgia State. Kudos to Coach George Pugh for again finding a diamond in the rough.
According to Rivals.com Chris Nee, Georgia State has offered Pahokee HS (Pahokee, FL) Athlete Joe Eason. The Panthers join Buffalo, Western Michigan, Florida International and Florida Atlantic as Eason’s confirmed scholarships offers.
Eason is a very good leader for the loaded Pahokee secondary (3 DBs on Pahokee’s team have FBS interest) and has played Quarterback, Cornerback and Safety for the Blue Devils in 2010. He will compete in the Outback All-Star Game on January 22nd in Boca Raton.
The Panthers have a shot to pluck him out of ‘The Muck’ as Defensive Back/Special Teams Coach Anthony Midget has stocked the GSU roster with 13 players from the state of Florida.
Eason projects as a Cornerback in the Panthers 3-4 hybrid scheme for DC John Thompson. This offer is a mild suprise as this the seventh confirmed offer for the Panthers coaching staff with 6.5 scholarships to fill for the 2011 cycle.
Rockdale County High School’s Jerry Mathis now holds a Georgia State offer to go along with 6 others (Memphis, Buffalo have offered along with 4 FCS schools). He is 6’4, 265lbs Strongside Defensive End and is continuing to get interest from South Carolina and has mutual interest with Georgia Tech. Mathis has visited the campus multiple times during the 2010 season and grew up a Georgia Tech fan. I believe that if GT offered he’d likely jump at the offer.
So what chances do the Panthers have? A pretty good one, as I do not believe Tech will offer anything other than a preferred walk on slot with two other Defensive Ends currently committed. The Panthers have major need for another body along the defensive line to grab 300 snaps in 2011 and will graduate 2 Defensive Ends after next season. He also played Offensive line for the Patriots and could likely drop 12-15 lbs and add significant muscle.
Does Mathis opt for immediate playing time at a lower division school close to home or does he go with his childhood team and pay his own way? Only 47 days until we find out for sure.
After putting its first season of football in the books on Nov. 18 vs. Alabama, the Georgia State coaching staff faced a bit of a dilemma. The momentum built from a 6-5 season was tremendous and had opened doors that previously were shut. That dilemma was having 55.5 scholarships accounted for and an FCS maximum of 63. Essentially eight scholarships when interest was at an all-time high in the program.
On his Monday call-in show following the Alabama game, Coach Bill Curry, to some close to the program was a mild surprise, essentially gave a position wish list for the December JUCO signing period and February high school period.
Coach Curry detailed the need for help along the defensive line, at safety, linebacker, quarterback (essentially stating that his goal is to sign one in every cycle) and a kicker (only scholarship senior was kicker Iain Vance). He went on to say that the staff has targeted Junior College (JUCO) prospects and hit the high schools hard in Georgia, South Carolina and South Florida.
Georgia State currently has two public commitments and one signee. Cornerback D'Mario Gunn of Georgia Military College and Luella HS in Locust Grove, Ga., signed his letter of intent today and will enroll in January. Defensive end Roderick Thompson from Mays HS in Atlanta and Athlete Nick Henderson from Roswell H.S. in Roswell, Ga.
Here's a very brief glance at each 2011 commit. Ratings, as always, via Rivals.com.
D'Mario Gunn – 6’1, 185 lbs. No Rating. Locust Grove, Ga. Defensive Back. Gunn prepped in Henry County but a lack of academic prowess landed him at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville. After getting his grades right, the DB with mutual interest from Big East, ACC and SEC schools decided to stay at home and play with Georgia State inking his LOI on the first day of the spring signing period. He has the build of a BCS caliber Corner. Above average hips and quick. Very good closing speed and route recognition. Sure tackler and ferocious hitter. Rivals.com has him clocked in the neighborhood of 4.5 in the 40 yard dash. The word steal comes to mind and there are many FBS coaches that will have some explaining to do for not landing this kid.
Roderick Thompson – 6’4, 235 lbs. No Rating. Atlanta. Strongside DE. Thompson is still growing into his body and projects at well over 255lbs with a college level conditioning and nutrition program. He is a player that has had very good coaching and uses technique and leverage well. He has a high football IQ and has above average recognition skills. Thompson chose GSU over several FCS schools including Grambling, William & Mary and FBS Army. He’s a very good student and will provide quality depth immediately along the Panthers 3-4 scheme.
Nick Henderson – 6’1, 210 lbs. 2 Star. Roswell, Ga. Athlete. Henderson is classified as an athlete and for good reason. He was a 3-year starter for the Hornets and started his career as a Free Safety. In the beginning of his Jr. season, the offensive coaches placed him at WR and he was not only the team’s leading WR, he was one of their best blockers. He has very good hands and the film is impressive on the offensive side of the ball. He has an ideal frame and explosion for a high level FCS/low level FBS safety. He is not a track guy but has a burst. He was able to lay crushing blocks on offense and I can only imagine his defensive acumen when he is placed back in his free safety/rover position in the Panthers defense.
2010 Stats: 30 catches, 370 yards, 1 TD.