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.