South Carolina State, Wednesday, announced the signing of twenty-two (22) football prospects to national letters of intent (NLI). This year's class has 20 signees from the Palmetto State.
Six offensive lineman, four defensive backs, four wide receivers, two quarterbacks, two kickers, two linebackers, one running back and one defensive lineman make up the 2018 class.
The Bulldogs will have some gaps to fill with the departure of All-American linebacker Darius Leonard and All-MEAC performers in linebacker Dayshawn Taylor, defensive back Jason Baxter, offensive lineman Justin Evans and kicker Tyler Scandrett.
A defensive front is as talented as any team in the conference with returning defensive linemen Paul McKeiver, Shaquille Crouch, Roderick Perry and Tyrell Goodwin. The linebacker corp will be led by Chad Gilchrest and Cornelius Walker, which are expected to fill the void with the departure of Leonard and Taylor.
All-MEAC offensive lineman Robbie Stephenson will be the top returnee and will be surrounded around some young talent in Malik Mickle, Jalen Page and Patrick McNeil.
SC State Coach Buddy Pough, (120-63) who is entering his 17th year at the helm and needs just 9 victories to eclipse the 128 wins of Head Coach Emeritus Willie Jeffries, called the class a good, solid one.
“One of the things we had to do this year was address some areas that needed much attention like the offensive line, quarterback spot and finding us a new kicker,” said Pough. “ I think our coaching staff did a great job identifying some players that can possible help us now.”
“We all know its s sense of urgency in winning at this point,” said Pough. “The first thing we needed to do was have some players that wouldn’t take long to develop and that’s willing to work hard during the process.”
Pough also addressed the new additions to his staff in offensive coordinator Bennett Swygert and new offensive line coach Na’shan Goddard both former assistant coaches at Newberry College.
“When we were going through the process of looking for new coaches, I couldn’t think of a better fit for our program than these two guys,” stated Pough. “We are lucky to have them aboard and excited about what they bring to the table.”