Jags sign 10 to NLI Wednesday
MOBILE, Ala. – University of South Alabama head coach Steve Campbell needed just over a week to complete the hiring of his first assistant coaching staff. Days later, he's added to the Jaguar roster with the announcement Wednesday that 10 individuals have signed National Letters-of-Intent with the program.
Included in the group are a trio of junior-college transfers — Jordan Beaton (Saucier, Miss.), Travis Reed (Meridian, Miss.) and Roy Yancey (Opelika, Ala.) — and Braden Moody from Vicksburg (Miss.) Warren Central High, who will all enroll in school in January. The foundation for the Jags' 2018 recruiting class also features local products Keith Gallmon (Mobile Christian School) and Jamall Hickbottam (Williamson High), as well as Tyrone Legette (River Ridge, La.), Kade Koler (Madison, Ala.), Maurice Strong (Lake Butler, Fla.) and Keon Voisin (Crestview, Fla.).
Click here for bios on South Alabama's 2017-18 football recruiting class
"With the junior college recruits we were looking to fill some immediate needs, and we were able to do that in several areas; we shored up the defensive line and the secondary, where we had some holes to fill with guys who are injured," Campbell stated. "The high school signees are individuals we pinpointed as great football players who were ready to jump on board and be Jaguars. We wanted to take advantage of the early signing period, and we've been able to do that while getting some really good players who have given us a jump start this recruiting season. We hit the ground running, these are guys we had familiarity with as well as guys we knew we weren't going to be able to get where we were before, individuals we knew would be great natural fits at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.
"These are recruits we believe fit our system who will have great careers here."
Beaton and Yancey are teammates from Jones County (Miss.) J.C., where they helped the Bobcats go 8-2, win the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) South Division championship and finish ninth in the final National Junior College Athletic Association poll this fall. Beaton was credited with 28 tackles, including seven behind the line of scrimmage with five sacks on the defensive line, while Reed collected 18 stops, an interception and a fumble recovery from his cornerback position as both picked up second-team all-league honors. Yancey, a linebacker, received second-team NJCAA All-America honors and was a first-team all-Western States Football League selection this season after posting a team-best 94 total tackles — highlighted by 16½ for loss — for an Arizona Western C.C. team that was third in the final national rankings with a 9-1 mark following an appearance in the national championship game.
Gallmon earned three stars from both Rivals.com and 247Sports.com after finishing with 78 stops and five interceptions as a senior, when the safety helped MCS go 9-4 while advancing to the quarterfinals of the state 3A playoffs. Hickbottam — who received two stars from Rivals.com — made 138 tackles, including 10 behind the line with five sacks, to help the WHS defense allow only 113 points in reaching the state 5A playoffs en route to a 7-4 record. Koler, also an Alabama native, is a linebacker considered a two-star recruit by 247Sports.com after helping Bob Jones HS make four consecutive appearances in the state 7A playoffs while setting the school career record for tackles; that included 126 with eight for a loss this fall.
Legette — a two-star prospect according to Rivals.com and 247Sports.com — has been part of a John Curtis Christian School team that has gone 30-6 over the last three seasons, including advancing to the state Division I championship game this year as the wide receiver hauled in 27 passes for 524 yards and five scores. Moody earned first-team all-state honors as a senior at WCHS, grading out at 88 percent on the offensive line while helping the Vikings go 9-4 after a first-round victory in the state 6A playoffs. Strong posted 31 tackles highlighted by 14 behind the line including eight sacks his final year at Union County High, adding nine quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles from his spot on the defensive line to help the Tigers reach the state 1A playoffs. Voisin intercepted three passes and was credited with 23 total stops from the cornerback slot during the 2017 season, with his efforts aiding Crestview HS in advancing to the quarterfinals of the state 6A playoffs before finishing with a 10-1 overall record.
South's 2017-18 recruiting class will be completed on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
The Jaguars will make their debut under Campbell when they play host to Louisiana Tech on Sept. 1, 2018.