UNCP Football Announces 22-Member Signing Class
PEMBROKE - The University of North Carolina at Pembroke signed 22 football players to national letters of intent on Wednesday during the first day of the 2011 spring signing period. A total of 20 newcomers join two other student-athletes that have already enrolled at the institution in time for spring semester classes in January.
UNCP, which loses 12 starters off of last season's 5-5 club, found recruits at nine different positions, including four defensive backs and four defensive linemen. The Black and Gold also signed a trio of linebackers, three each at wide receiver and running back and two offensive linemen. The Braves will also welcome a quarterback, as well as a punter/placekicker.
"I am very pleased with the way that the entire process went," said UNCP head coach Pete Shinnick. "It is a great looking group. We graduated a lot of guys on defense and we wanted to replenish that area number one. When you look at the defensive backs, the defensive line and the linebackers – we were able to do that. Collectively, this is one of the more athletic groups that we have signed and one that can cover a lot of ground.
"I think we got a little bigger, I think we got a little faster and we are more athletic. We didn't replace the guys we lost number for number, but our coaches did a fantastic job of putting this class together."
2011 UNCP FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASS
Complete List With Bios (PDF)
Defensive Back, 5-9, 155
Monroe, N.C. (Porter Ridge HS)
Prepped at Porter Ridge High School for coach Blair Hardin … Helped lead the Pirates to a 13-2 record (undefeated regular season) and an appearance in the state semifinals as a prep senior … Earned all-Charlotte Observer and second consecutive all-county and all-conference honors after turning in 32 tackles, eight interceptions and 25 pass break-ups … A multiple threat for the Pirates, he also rushed for 824 yards and recorded 166 receiving yards, while scoring 14 touchdowns … Also tallied 262 return yards on special teams … Earned Porter Ridge's Coach's Award and was named player of the week on four occasions … Amassed 69 tackles, 16 interceptions and 48 pass break-ups over final three prep seasons.
Linebacker, 6-1, 210
Jacksonville, N.C. (SW Onslow HS)
Prepped at Southwest Onslow High School for coach Phil Padgett … Helped lead Stallions to a 13-2 record and an appearance in the state semifinals as a prep senior … Southwest Onslow compiled a cumulative 27-5 record in his career … Earned his second consecutive all-conference honors after recording 62 tackles, including eight tackles for loss and 12 sacks … As a tight end, registered 400 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
Kicker/Punter, 6-1, 160
Richlands, N.C. (Richlands HS)
Prepped at Richlands High School for coach Mike Natoli … Helped lead Wildcats to an 8-4 record and a state playoff appearance as a prep senior … Earned all-conference and all-area laurels … Connected on 96 percent of his career extra point attempts, while 75 percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks … Kicked a career-best 46-yard field goal, but has the range for kicks of better than 50 yards.
Running Back, 5-10, 175
Wilson, N.C. (Hunt HS)
Prepped at Hunt High School for coach Randy Raper … Helped lead Warriors to an 11-3 record and an appearance in the state semifinals as a prep senior … Earned second consecutive all-conference, all-area and all-state honors after rushing 246 times for 1,989 yards and 20 touchdowns … Also caught two passes for 28 yards, as well as scored on a two-point conversion rush … Was decorated with coach's award laurels at season's end, while also earning second-straight team offensive player of the year honors … Rushed 203 times for 1,433 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior, while also hauling in three passes for 21 yards … A starter at linebacker and safety as a sophomore … Compiled 70 tackles, one sack and two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown.
Offensive Line, 6-4, 250
Hope Mills, N.C. (Gray's Creek HS)
Prepped at Gray's Creek High School for coach David Lovette … Helped lead Bears to a 10-3 record and the second round of the state playoffs as a prep senior … Earned second consecutive all-conference and all-region honors following outstanding senior campaign … Was a three-year starter on an offensive line that paved the way for a rushing attack that compiled more than 10,000 rushing yards during his prep career … Earned Gray's Creek's outstanding offensive lineman award as a senior.
Athlete, 6-3, 200
Sanford, N.C. (Southern Lee HS)
Prepped at Southern Lee High School for coach Thomas Paris … Threw for 1,806 yards and 16 touchdowns en route to all-conference laurels … Also rushed 124 times for 550 yards and five additional scores … A North Carolina East-West All-Star game nominee.
Running Back, 5-11, 195
Fuquay-Varina, N.C. (Fuquay-Varina HS)
Prepped at Fuquay-Varina High School for coach Ryan Habich … Helped lead Bengals to a 10-2 record and the second round of the state playoffs … Earned third consecutive all-conference and second consecutive conference player of the year laurels after rushing for 1,993 yards and 34 touchdowns … Registered the second-highest single game rushing mark in state history with 463 rushing yards in a win over Panther Creek … Rushed for 5,900 yards and 91 touchdowns over his last three prep seasons … Ranks 10th all-time in state history for both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.
Athlete, 6-1, 175
Lenoir, N.C. (Hibriten HS)
Prepped at Hibriten High School for coach Clay Lewis … Helped lead Panthers to a 12-3 record and a state semifinal appearance as a prep senior … Earned second consecutive all-conference and all-county laurels … Threw for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns, while also rushing for 905 yards and 14 additional scores … Accounted for 3,506 yards of offense over his last two prep seasons … Is also a state qualifier in track and field for the Panthers and currently holds school records in triple jump (44-feet, 0-inches) and 100-meter dash (10.59 seconds).
Defensive Back, 5-10, 175
Tarboro, N.C. (Tarboro HS)
Prepped at Tarboro High School for coach Jeff Craddock … Helped lead Vikings to a perfect 16-0 record and the 2A state championship as a prep senior … Earned first team all-conference laurels after registering 61 tackles (42 solo) and eight interceptions … Averaged better than 20 yards per punt return on special teams … Integral part of defense that surrendered just eight points a game during his senior season.
Wide Receiver, 6-0, 200
Kannapolis, N.C. (A.L. Brown HS/Garden City CC)
Played two seasons at Garden City CC in Garden City, Kan. … Hauled in 31 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore last season en route to all-Kansas Junior College Athletic Association laurels … Also racked up 317 return yards on special teams (17 total returns) … Registered 37 carries for 182 yards and one touchdown … Prepped at A.L. Brown High School for coach Ron Massey … Helped lead Wonders to a 13-3 record, a conference title and a deep run in the state playoffs as a senior … Earned all-conference and all-county laurels after recording 53 catches for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns … Was also a standout on the basketball team at A.L. Brown.
Defensive Line, 6-3, 220
Fuquay-Varina, N.C. (Fuquay-Varina HS/Louisburg CC)
Played in all 10 games for Louisburg last season … Registered 39 tackles (29 solo), including 12 tackles for loss, and six sacks … Also forced one fumble and recovered two others … Prepped at Fuquay-Varina High School for coach Ryan Habich … Helped lead Bengals to an 11-2 record and the second round of the state playoffs as a senior in 2008.
Running Back, 5-11, 235
Asheville, N.C. (Asheville HS)
Prepped at Asheville High School for coach Danny Wilkins … Helped lead Cougars to an 8-4 record and a state quarterfinal appearance as a prep senior … Carried the ball 29 times for 135 yards and three touchdowns in injury-shortened senior season … Also hauled in seven passes for 117 yards … Earned state-runner up honors in the 215-pound weight class at T.C. Roberson High School as a junior.
Defensive Tackle, 6-0, 260
Leland, N.C. (North Brunswick HS)
Prepped at North Brunswick High School for coach Garry Bishop … Helped lead Scorpions to state playoff appearance as a prep senior … Earned second consecutive all-conference laurels after tallying 109 tackles, including 16 tackles for loss, and four sacks … Junior campaign watched him turn in 109 tackles, including 21 tackles for loss, and a pair of sacks.
Quarterback, 6-4, 190
Mooresville, N.C. (Mooresville HS)
Prepped at Mooresville High School for coach Hal Capps … Helped lead Blue Devils to an 8-4 record and a state playoff appearance as a prep senior … Earned all-conference and offensive player of the year laurels after throwing for 1,717 yards and 14 touchdowns … Senior performance was an encore from a junior year that watched him throw for 1,519 yards and 14 touchdowns, as well as run for 231 yards and six more scores, in leading Mooresville back from an 0-11 season to an 8-4 record and a playoff appearance … Is also a starter on the Blue Devils basketball team.
Wide Receiver, 6-3, 190
Hamlet, N.C. (Richmond County HS)
Prepped at Richmond County High School for coach Paul Hoggard … Helped lead the Raiders to a 12-2 record and a state quarterfinal appearance as a prep senior … Earned second consecutive first team all-conference laurels after hauling in 27 receptions for 497 yards and three touchdowns … Outstanding senior campaign followed a junior season that watched him catch 31 passes for 452 yards.
Linebacker, 6-1, 220
Laurinburg, N.C. (Scotland HS/Louisburg CC)
Played two seasons at Louisburg Community College … Played in all 10 games as a sophomore last season and ranked second on the team with 57 tackles (45 solo) … Also recorded a sack … Prepped at Scotland High School for coach Mark Barnes … Earned all-conference laurels after recording 107 tackles in leading the Fighting Scots to a 10-3 record and the second round of the state playoffs.
Defensive Back, 6-1, 205
Jacksonville, Fla. (Otay Ranch HS/Florida A&M)
Played two seasons at Florida A&M in Tallahassee, Fla. … Played in seven games for the Rattlers as a sophomore in 2009 … Registered 10 tackles (three solo), including a season-best three stops against Delaware State … Prepped at Otay Ranch High School in Chula Vista, Calif., for coach Brad Burton … Earned all-league and all-academic honors as a prep senior after recording 70 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss and three sacks … Also forced four fumbles, recovered two others and blocked an extra point attempt … Offensively, he registered 251 receiving yards and two scores … Earned an invite to the southern California all-star game … Was rated a two-star athlete by Scout.com … Senior campaign encored a junior season in which he tallied 107 tackles, including 18 tackles for loss and five sacks … Also forced and recovered a fumble, as well as turned in an interception … Also rushed 22 times for 405 yards and a touchdown … Was also the 2006 district champion in the high hurdles as a standout on the track and field team at Otay Ranch.
Defensive Back, 5-9, 165
Hamlet, N.C. (Richmond County HS)
Prepped at Richmond County High School for coach Paul Hoggard … Helped lead the Raiders to a 12-2 record and a state quarterfinal appearance as a prep senior … Earned second consecutive all-conference laurels as a senior, as well as Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year accolades … Also earned 4AA all-state nods and was invited to the North Carolina Shrine Bowl … A multiple-threat for the Raiders, did most of his damage on defense where he tallied 80 tackles, two sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries … Also picked off six passes, including one he returned for a score … On offense, hauled in eight receptions for 205 yards and five touchdowns, while also rushing eight times for 33 yards … Accounted for three special teams touchdowns, including two as a punt returner … Recorded 118 tackles and 14 interceptions over final three prep seasons and was instrumental in pacing Richmond County to the 2008 4AA state championship.
Defensive Line, 6-4, 215
Morrisville, N.C. (Panther Creek HS)
Prepped at Panther Creek High School for coach Wayne Bragg … Helped lead Catamounts to a 13-2 record and a state semifinal appearance as a prep senior … Earned second consecutive all-conference and all-area laurels after finishing his career with 38 tackles for loss and 22 sacks, as well as an interception that he returned for a touchdown … Earned The Catamount Way award as a junior – an award given annually to the most dedicated player in the program.
Offensive Line, 6-4, 295
Tarboro, N.C. (Tarboro HS)
Prepped at Tarboro High School for coach Jeff Craddock … Helped lead Vikings to a perfect 16-0 record and their second-straight 2A state championship as a prep senior … Earned all-conference laurels after anchoring an offensive line that paved the way for a team that averaged 40 points per game … Led team in both pancake blocks and grade … Part of a Tarboro squad that compiled a 31-1 record during his final two prep seasons.
Defensive End, 5-11, 235
Winston-Salem, N.C. (Mount Tabor HS)
Prepped at Mount Tabor High School for coach Laymarr Marshall … Helped lead Spartans to an 11-2 record and the second round of the state playoffs as a prep senior … Earned all-county laurels after turning in 61 tackles, including 26 tackles for loss, as well as 11 sacks, a pair of forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
Linebacker, 6-0, 200
Charlotte, N.C. (Phillip O. Berry Academy)
Prepped at Phillip O. Berry Academy for coach Andrew Howard … Helped lead Cardinal to an 11-3 record and a state quarterfinal appearance as a prep senior … Earned second consecutive all-conference and all-county laurels after registering 135 tackles, including eight tackles for loss, eight forced fumbles and one fumble recovery … Also tallied 3-1/2 sacks, a trio of interceptions and two defensive touchdowns … Finished second in voting for conference defensive player of the year honors … Tallied 110 tackles, including five tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries as a junior … Also grabbed 2-1/2 sacks, one interception and scored one defensive touchdown.