Huesman Announces 15-Member Signing Class

Chattanooga head football coach Russ Huesman announced the Mocs’ 2009 recruiting class today.  Huesman and his staff will welcome 15 freshmen to the Scenic City next season.  Despite getting a late start to recruiting after being named the Mocs’ 22nd head coach on Dec. 21, 2008, Huesman grabbed a ton of regional talent to fill Chattanooga’s needs for the future. 

 

“With the late start, we feel really good about what we were able to bring in this year,” stated Huesman, a former defensive back and 1983 graduate of Chattanooga.  “These recruits knew about UTC, the quality of education available and the type of program we are going to run.  Once we got these guys on campus we had a great chance to get them.”

 

 

 

 


 Name

Pos. 

Ht. 

Wt. 

Class 

Hometown (Last School) 

Highlights

Huesman

Marlon Anthony

WR

6-5

185

Fr-HS

Acworth, Ga. (Kell HS)

Video

 Video

Chris Awuah

RB 

5-9 

190 

Fr-HS 

Marietta, Ga. (South Cobb HS)

Video

 Video

Will Brooks 

FB 

6-1 

225 

Fr-HS

White Pine, Tenn. (Jefferson County HS)

Video

 Video

David Clemons 

OL 

6-2 

270 

Fr-HS 

Calhoun, Ga. (Calhoun HS) 

Video 

 Video

Wes Dothard 

LB 

6-1 

210 

Fr-HS 

Carrollton, Ga. (Carrollton HS) 

Video 

 Video

Zac Fairchild 

QB 

6-4 

230 

Fr-HS 

Ringgold, Ga. (Ringgold HS) 

Video 

 Video

Jake Francis 

OL 

6-2 

270 

Fr-HS 

Marietta, Ga. (Walton HS) 

Video 

 Video

Briant Henry 

SS 

6-0 

180 

Fr-HS 

Stone Mountain, Ga. (Chamblee HS) 

Video 

 Video

Durlandis Hill 

DE 

6-3 

220 

Fr-HS 

Newnan, Ga. (Newnan HS) 

Video 

 Video

D.J. Key

DB 

6-0 

180 

Fr-HS 

Centerville, Tenn. (Hickman County HS) 

Video 

 Video

Gunner Miller 

FB/LB

6-1 

210 

Fr-HS 

Chattanooga, Tenn. (East Ridge HS) 

Video 

 Video

Graham Nichols 

QB 

6-3 

190 

Fr-HS 

Franklin, Tenn. (Franklin HS) 

Video 

 Video

Brian Sutherland

WR 

5-10 

 175

Fr-TR 

Smyrna, Ga. (Miami University) 

Video 

 Video

Joshua Williams

DE 

6-3 

210 

Fr-HS 

Griffin, Ga. (Stephenson HS) 

Video 

 Video

Kadeem Wise 

CB 

5-10 

170 

Fr-HS 

Lawrenceville, Ga. (Berkmar HS) 

Video 

 Video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Quick Notes on Chattanooga’s 2009 Recruiting Class

- 15 members, all from either Georgia or Tennessee

- 14 are current high school seniors

- 1 transfer who is currently enrolled as a true freshman

- 2 with at least a two-star rating by Rivals.com and Scout.com

- 7 earned all-state recognition during their prep careers

- 1 finalist for the Tennessee Mr. Football Award

- 4 from Tennessee

- 11 from Georgia

- 3 from the Chattanooga area

- 9 expected to contribute on offense – 2 QBs, 2 WRs, 2OL, 2 FBs, 1 RB

- 6 expected to contribute on defense – 1 LB, 3 DBs, 2 Des

- 9 honor role/National Honor Society/Beta Club students

- 3 earned Scholar-Athlete of the Year/Student of the Year/Top Student honors

 

With the exception of one freshman transfer, the entire Mocs recruiting class consists of high school seniors set to graduate in May 2009.  Also among the 15 are two student-athletes with at least a two-star rating by Rivals.com and Scout.com and seven others who earned all-state recognition during their prep careers. 

 

“When we went out to sign this class, we wanted high school kids,” added Huesman.  “We think we are going to build this thing with high school players.  These kids have to be here for four or five years to build a program.  When these guys are fifth-year seniors, that’s when they are going to be at their best.  This is how you build the foundation of a strong program.” 

 

Kicking off the list of signees is a trio of local student-athletes, including David Clemons (OL – Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun HS), Zac Fairchild (QB - Ringgold, Ga./Ringgold HS) and Gunner Miller (LB/FB - Chattanooga, Tenn./East Ridge HS).  All three are among the top prep players in the Chattanooga area.

 

Clemons (6-2 – 270) earned Georgia AA Honorable Mention All-State honors after leading Calhoun to the state championship game last season.  Fairchild was one of the top quarterbacks in the area going into his senior year.  He suffered a season-ending knee injury in Ringgold’s first scrimmage, but is expected to be ready to play in the fall.  The 6-4, 230-pound right-hander also possesses a 90+ mph fastball.  Miller (6-1 – 210) is a versatile player who was a member of the Chattanooga Times Free Press ‘Best of the Preps’ team in 2008. 

 

Huesman and his staff kept their recruiting focus close to home with the 2009 class.  All 15 of the signees are from either Georgia or Tennessee.   

 

“Ultimately we are going to expand a little bit,” explained Huesman.  “However, when I first got here I told the staff that we can go within a 200-mile radius of Chattanooga and fill our class every year.  We should be able to sign 13-16 kids and fill our needs with excellent football players.  If you can’t do that, I don’t think you are working hard enough at it.”

 

Feeding off of the abundance of talent in the Atlanta area, Huesman grabbed nine additional players from the Peach State.  Included in this group are Marlon Anthony (WR – Acworth, Ga./Kell HS), Chris Auwah (RB – Marietta, Ga./South Cobb HS), Wes Dothard (LB – Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton HS), Jake Francis (OL – Marietta, Ga./Walton HS), Briant Henry (SS - Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee HS), Durlandis Hill (DE – Newnan, Ga./Newman HS), Brian Sutherland (WR – Smyrna, Ga./Miami University), Joshua Williams (DE – Griffin, Ga./Stephenson HS) and Kadeem Wise (CB - Lawrenceville, Ga./Berkmar HS).

 

Anthony and Wise highlight this group of players.  Anthony (6-5 – 185) is tabbed as one of the top-100 receivers in the nation and a three-star recruit by Rivals.com.  Wise (5-10 – 170) is a two-star prospect according to Rivals.com and Scout.com.  He is listed at No. 55 among defensive backs in the nation according to ESPN.com. 

 

Sutherland (5-10 – 175) is the lone signee who is not a current high school senior.  He enrolled at UTC after transferring from Miami University in Ohio prior to the Spring semester.  He was the top returner in Georgia following his senior year in 2007. 

 

Awuah (5-9 – 190) was a member of the Cobb County Dynamite Dozen for the last two seasons.  He was a quarterback in high school, but will likely move to running back with the Mocs.  Francis (6-2 – 270) guided Walton High School to a 9-2 record and an appearance the state playoffs last year. 

 

Henry, Hill and Williams are all expected to contribute on the defensive side of the ball for the Mocs.  Henry (6-0 – 180) led Dekalb County with four interceptions last season.  Hill (6-2 – 220) earned all-state recognition after guiding Newnan High School to the Georgia 5A semifinal game.  Williams (6-3 – 210) earned first team all-state honors following his senior year.

 

The Mocs also picked up three other players from the state of Tennessee, including Will Brooks (FB – White Pine, Tenn./Jefferson County HS), D.J. Key (DB - Centerville, Tenn./Hickman County HS) and Graham Nichols (QB – Franklin, Tenn./Franklin HS). 

 

Brooks (6-1 – 225) rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons.  Key (6-0 – 180) earned all-state honors as a junior and was the Region 6AA Defensive MVP last season.  Nichols (6-3 – 190) was a finalist for the Tennessee 5A Mr. Football award after leading Franklin to a 13-2 record and an appearance in the state championship game. 

 

Not only do these student-athletes posses excellent resumes for their play on the field, they are also excellent students in the classroom.  Of the 15 signees, nine were either honor roll students, members of the national honor society or in the Beta Club.  Brooks was a class president a named the Student of the Year as a junior.  Clemons earned two letters on the academic quiz team while Henry earned the PSAT National Merit Award.  Sutherland was Campbell High School’s Scholar Athlete of the Year and Williams earned honors as the top Biology Student at Stephenson High School. 

 

“We have signed a group of guys I think have great character, a passion for UTC, wanted to come to school here and felt good about putting their name on the dotted line,” said Huesman.  “You can go out and recruit great student-athletes who are academic kids and win championships.  I have said all along, we are going to graduate our football players and we are going to win championships.”

 

The Mocs are currently accepting reservations for season tickets for the 2009 season.  Visit GoMocs.com and click on the ticket link or call the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS to reserve your season tickets today. 

 

 

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