|CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach Russ Huesman announced the Mocs' 2011 football recruiting class today. The Mocs will welcome 20 new faces to the Scenic City next season as UTC continues to "Restore the Glory" to Chattanooga football.
Huesman, who is entering his third season leading the Mocs, brought in back-to-back No. 9 rated recruiting classes in the FCS according to Rivals.com, in 2009 and 2010. However, this group could be even more highly-regarded than the two previous classes.
"Like everybody else in the country, I like our class right now," stated Huesman. "I think this is a good class. Just looking at all of the other schools that were recruiting the kids we signed, I think that is a good indication of how we did. There were some tough battles and our coaches did a great job. Recruiting coordinator Geep Wade did a good job putting things together and I think we got a bunch of good football players and strong student-athletes."
Consisting of 19 freshmen and one transfer, the 2011 haul could have an immediate impact on the team. Not surprising since the coaching staff has had two full seasons to work the recruiting trails.
Continuing with Huesman's recruiting philosophy, the Mocs focused on high school seniors except for the sole transfer who will look to fit into the UTC system. Sean Stackhouse (6-4, 255) comes from Kentucky and is a native of Jacksonville, Fla. He is currently enrolled at UTC and will look to fill the slot at tight end left by the graduation of 2010 All-SoCon starter Garrett Hughes. Stackhouse comes in as a junior and will have two years left to play.
Also currently enrolled at UTC is freshman Shaun Hill (6-2, 255). Hill graduated early from Apalachee High School in Bethlehem, Ga., and is a full-time student. He is looking to land a spot at center for the Mocs.
The Mocs had three players sign from the Chattanooga area, highlighted by 2010 Tennessee Mr. Football Division II-AA Back of the Year Jacob Huesman. Huesman is a 6-1, 190-pound, dual-threat quarterback and son of head coach Russ Huesman. He led the Baylor School to the state championship game while accounting for nearly 3,000 yards of total offense.
He is joined by fellow Chattanooga Times Free Press Dynamite Dozen honorees Jarrod Coleman and Synjen Herren. Coleman (6-4, 240) is a tight end from the McCallie School in Chattanooga and the younger brother of quarterback B.J. Coleman. Herren is a two-time all-region offensive lineman from Northwest Whitfield High School in nearby Dalton, Ga.
The Mocs signed a total of four players from the state of Tennessee, including Coleman, Huesman, Troy Dye (Hendersonville, Tenn.) and Taharin Tyson (Alcoa, Tenn.). Dye is a 6-3, 245-pound tight end and all-district pick from Hendersonville High School. He led the Commandos to the Tennessee 5A state title game as a senior.
Tyson is one of five two-star recruits on the Mocs list and hails from Alcoa, Tenn. He is a three-time all-state performer who put up over 1,000 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns while leading the Tornados to their seventh-straight state championship.
Hill and Herren are two of the seven members of the class from Georgia. This group is led by three-star product Kendrix Huitt from Atlanta. Huitt (5-9, 190) is a powerful running back out of Norcross High School who ran for nearly 1,000 yards as a senior.
Tommy Hudson (5-10, 160) is an all-state receiver from Moultrie, Ga. He led Colquitt County to the Georgia 5A state title game, breaking the state record with 102 catches on the year. He posted over 1,400 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, including 11 catches for 127 yards in the championship game.
Also hailing from Georgia are Marlandas Crane (Carrollton, Ga.), Josh Freeman (Atlanta, Ga.) and Tevin Stewart-Gaulden (Fitzgerald, Ga.). A three-time all-region receiver, Crane will be one of five Mocs from Carrollton High School when he joins the team in the fall. Former Moc Rayvan Teague is the head coach at Carrollton.
Freeman is a two-time all-region defensive tackle from Creekside High School while Stewart-Gaulden is a two-time all-state defensive back and the Region 1-AA Defensive Player of the Year at Fitzgerald High School.
The Mocs also dipped down into Florida for a large portion of the 2011 class. Including Stackhouse, six members of this group are from the Sunshine State. Chattanooga picked off four honorees on the Orlando Sentinel Central Florida Super60, including Cam Montgomery (Orlando, Fla.), Ron Moore (Sanford, Fla.), Clim Robbins (Orlando, Fla.) and T.J. Thompson (Sanford, Fla.).
Montgomery and Robbins are both two-star recruits from Jones High School in Orlando. Montgomery (6-1, 195) is a talented defensive back and was No. 25 on the Super60. He was the second-highest player on the list to pick an FCS team. Robbins (5-8, 160) is also a defensive back who came in at No. 51 on the Super60.
Moore and Thompson are also two-star recruits who led Seminole High School in Sanford, Fla., to a 36-7 record over the last three years and the 2008 6A state title. Moore (6-0, 165) is a receiver who had 37 catches for 702 yards and 10 touchdowns. Thompson (5-9, 170) was a Florida 6A Mr. Football Award Finalist as a defensive back.
Chattanooga also picked up Marquis Green (5-7, 175) from Palmetto, Fla. He is a two-time All-Manatee County running back who averaged 7.6 yards per carry as a senior.
The class is rounded out by a trio of Alabama student-athletes, including Toyvian Brand (Greensboro, Ala.), Sema'je Kendall (Huntsville, Ala.) and Brandon Morgan (Hoover, Ala.). Brand, a defensive end, and Morgan, an offensive lineman, were both all-state performers. Brand (6-2, 256) played for former Moc Adam Winegarden at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and led his team to the region-5 title. Morgan (6-2, 280) led Hoover High School in Hoover, Ala., to back-to-back state title games, including the 2009 6A championship. Kendall (5-11, 175) is a two-time member of the Huntsville Times Elite Eight at Buckhorn High School in Huntsville, Ala.
Don't forget to head out to the Stadium Club at 5:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) today for the FREE "Signing Day Celebration." All Mocs fans - and football fans in general - are invited to attend. For more details, click here.