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.