From Troy Media Relations
2012 Troy Signing Class
Panama City, Fla.
First Coast HS
First Coast HS
Charles Drew HS
Bob Jones HS
Burke County HS
Hazel Green, Ala.
Hazel Green HS
Stanhope Elmore HS
Gulf Shores, Ala.
Gulf Shores HS
Jones County CC
Fruit Cove, Fla.
Bartram Trial HS
New London, Texas
Signing Class Breakdown by Position
Defensive Back 6
Defensive End 3
Wide Receiver 3
Running Back 3
Offensive Lineman 3
Defensive Tackle 2
Signing Class Breakdown by State
South Carolina 1
Andre Allen, Running Back, 5-9, 180, Panama City, Fla. (Arnold HS)
Rushed for 2,2022 yards on 212 carries as a senior at Arnold High School … Averaged 9.4 yards per carry and 202.2 yards per game … Rushed for 24 touchdowns … Rushed for 276 yards and five touchdowns on 15 carries against Lakeside (Ala.) High School … Rushed for a season-high 327 yards on 26 carries against West Florida High School, also rushed for four touchdowns … Scored four touchdowns on the ground against Rutherford (Fla.) High School and Bay (Fla.) High School … Rushed for at least 105 yards in all 10 games and topped the 200-yard mark in four contests … Caught 10 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown … Rushed for 2,164 yards on 249 carries as a junior … Averaged 8.7 yards per carry and 216.4 yards per game … Rushed for 19 touchdowns … Rushed for over 100 yards in 9-of-10 games … Also caught 11 passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns … Three-star recruit on Scout.com, Rivals.com and 247Sports.com … Rated as the 78th best running back in the nation by 247Sports.com
Shaq Beverly, Defensive Back, 5-10, 190, Jacksonville, Fla. (First Coast HS)
Rated as a three-star recruit on Rivals.com, ESPN.com, and 247Sports.com … Helped lead First Coast to the Florida 7A State Championship Game … Rated as the 68th best cornerback in the nation by ESPN … Named to the Florida Times-Union All-First Coast High School Defensive Third Team … Enrolled in classes at Troy in the spring semester … As a junior, recorded 25 tackles, 12 pass break ups and three forced fumbles
Brandon Brooks, Wide Receiver, 6-0, 185, Jacksonville, Fla. (First Coast HS)
Caught 47 passes for 1,128 yards and 11 touchdowns … Rushed for 123 yards on just three carries against Manatee (Fla.) High School … Three catches for 123 yards, including a 74-yard reception, in the Florida 7A State Championship Game … Helped lead the Buccaneers to a 13-1 record … Named to the Miami Herald 5A-6A-7A-8A All-Tournament Team … Named to the Florida Times-Union All-First Coast High School Second Team … Three-star recruit by 247Sports.com, Rivals.com and ESPN.com
Brandon Burks, Running Back, 5-10, 190, Daleville, Ala. (Daleville HS)
Named Southeast Sun/Daleville Sun-Courier Offensive Player of the Year following his senior season … Rushed for 1,530 yards on 182 carries (8.4 YPC) and 27 touchdowns … Also had 10 catches for 155 yards and a pair of touchdowns … Rushed for over 100 yards in five of Daleville's 10 games as a senior … Rushed for 411 yards and seven touchdowns in a 53-23 victory over Bullock County … Rushed for three touchdowns in Daleville's victory over Dale County … In limited action on defense had 20 tackles and an interception
Antonio Garcia, Offensive Lineman, 6-7, 265, Riverdale, Ga. (Charles Drew HS)
Helped lead Drew High School to the Georgia Class AAA Playoffs as a senior in only the school's third year of existence … Played right tackle for a left-handed quarterback (blind side tackle) … Named to the Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State Second Team following his senior season
Rishad Goode, Defensive Back, 6-0, 190, Madison, Ala. (Bob Jones HS)
Named to the Huntsville Times Elite Second Team and all-region after he recorded 39 tackles, four interceptions, two tackles for loss, three touchdowns, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble as a senior … Returned one interception for a touchdown and returned a kickoff for a touchdown … Helped lead Bob Jones to a 10-2 overall record, a perfect 7-0 record in region play and a second round appearance in the Alabama 6A Playoffs … Bob Jones finished 7-0 in District 8 play and 8-3 overall his junior year … The Patriots were 8-0 in region play and 11-2 overall as a sophomore … Also runs track
Montres Kitchens, Defensive Back, 5-11, 185, Waynesboro, Ga. (Burke County HS)
Named the Georgia 3-AAA District Player of the Year after he tallied more than 1,000 yards offensively; he rushed for 19 touchdowns and caught three touchdown passes … Defensively he intercepted five passes … Helped lead Burke County to the Georgia AAA State Championship, had an interception in the title game … Rushed for 157 yards on 11 carries in the semifinal game against Gainesville
John Knight, Running Back, 6-0, 180, Thomasville, Ala. (Thomasville HS)
Named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State First Team as a linebacker his senior year; also played safety and running back … Helped lead Thomasville to the second round of the Alabama 4A Playoffs and a 10-2 record his senior year … Rushed for 155 yards on 20 carries against UMS-Wright … Rushed for a pair of touchdowns against Demopolis and Monroe County … Named the MVP of the South Showcase combine in the summer of 2011 … Helped lead Thomasville to the Alabama 4A State Championship as a junior
Tyler Lassiter, Offensive Lineman, 6-7, 295 (Hazel Green, Ala. / Hazel Green HS)
Named all-state honorable mention, first team all-region and team captain his senior season … Helped lead Hazel Green to the Alabama 6A Playoffs … Converted tight end who moved to left tackle and was named most improved player on the team following the move … Named to the Huntsville Times Elite First Team following his senior year after recording 53 pancake blocks in 10 games … Named top lineman on the team
Luke Lawrence, Offensive Lineman, 6-3, 295, Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Hillcrest HS)
Named to the Alabama Sports Writers High School All-State First Team as a senior … Helped lead Hillcrest to an undefeated regular season (10-0) as a senior … Hillcrest finished the season 12-1 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Alabama 6A Playoffs … Earned top offensive lineman award in the spring of 2011 at the South Showcase Combine … Three-year starter … Three-star recruit and rated as the 98th best offensive guard in the country by ESPN.com
JaQuadrian Lewis, Defensive Back, 5-11, 170, Fitzgerald, Ga. (Fitzgerald HS)
Named first team all-state his senior season after recording 148 tackles (58 solo), two interceptions and two pass break ups … Helped lead Fitzgerald to an 11-2 record and a trip to the Georgia Class AA quarterfinals … As a junior, recorded 138 tackles (74 solo), two interceptions, five pass break ups, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble
Terris Lewis, Linebacker, 6-3, 195, Linden, Ala. (Linden HS)
Helped lead Linden to the Alabama 1A State Championship Game and a 13-2 overall record as a senior … Two-time first team all-state selection … Named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State First Team and the Alabama 1A Lineman of the Year after finishing his senior season with 142 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and six interceptions on defense … Linden allowed just 88 points in 15 games (5.9 per game) and recorded six shutouts … Offensively, recorded 544 yards and nine touchdowns on 26 catches as a tight end … Named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State First Team his junior year after finishing with 134 tackles and 33 tackles for loss; Linden allowed just 104 point and recorded six shutouts in 14 games … As a sophomore registered 113 tackles
Michael Lindsey, Wide Receiver, 5-10, 185, Elba, Ala. (Elba HS)
Named MVP of the Alabama 2A State Championship Game after rushing for 157 yards and three touchdowns, also pulled down a 46-yard touchdown reception in Elba's 34-14 victory over Tanner … Named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State First Team … Named the Dothan Eagle Player of the Year as a senior … Rushed for 1,027 yards on 105 carries (9.8 YPC) with 24 touchdowns; also caught a team-high 34 passes for 794 yards (23.4 yards per catch) with 11 touchdowns … Returned two punts for a touchdown and two kickoffs for a touchdown … Elba averaged 50.1 points per game his senior year; the Tigers 752 total points were the second most in Alabama history … Versatile player – started at quarterback as a freshman, but has played running back, wide receiver and on the defensive side of the ball … Helped lead the Tigers to 11-win seasons as a sophomore and junior … Named all-state honorable mention as a junior … Rushed for 1,586 yards and 20 touchdowns and caught 32 passes for 611 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior
Xavier Melton, Defensive Tackle, 6-4, 305, Lakeland, Fla. (Butler County CC / Lakeland HS)
Earned second team All-KJCCC honors after recording 13 tackles, 6.5 sacks and four pass breaks up his sophomore season … Helped lead Butler to a 21-17 victory over Trinity Valley in the Citizens Bank Bowl; the Grizzlies finished No. 2 in the NJCAA Rankings with an 11-1 record
Originally signed with Purdue … Recorded 60 tackles, seven sacks and forced five fumbles his senior season … All-Polk County as a senior and honorable mention as a junior … Team defensive MVP his senior year ... Honorable mention all-state and first team FACA All-District 12 as a senior … Also scored three touchdowns as a running back his senior year
Zach Miller, Defensive Back, 6-1, 180, Duncan, S.C. (Butler CC / Byrnes HS)
Named a first team All-American after he intercepted a team-high eight passes and broke up eight passes … Recorded 52 tackles (44 solo), one sack, six tackles for loss, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble … Returned one kick for 43 yards … Helped lead Butler to a 21-17 victory over Trinity Valley in the Citizens Bank Bowl; the Grizzlies finished No. 2 in the NJCAA Rankings with an 11-1 record … Also named all-conference
Helped lead Byrnes High School to the 2007 and 2008 South Carolina AAAA Division I State Championships as a sophomore and junior
Juan Neloms, Defensive Back, 6-1, 180, Tallahassee, Fla. (Leon HS)
Four-year starter and three-year letterwinner … Finished his career with over 1,500 yards of returns on kickoff and punts, eight interceptions and 22 touchdowns … Rated as a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247Sports.com … As a junior, intercepted a pair of passes, had one pass break up, forced a fumble and recorded five tackles … Played running back, wide receiver, cornerback and safety … Finished fifth in the 100m dash at the Florida state finals as a sophomore
Garrett Peek, Defensive End, 6-3, 240, Millbrook, Ala (Stanhope Elmore HS)
Earned second team all-county honors after he recorded 70 tackles, five sacks, a fumble recovery and 15 quarterback hurries as a senior … Moved to defensive end from linebacker after four games in 2011 … Began his prep career playing at Victory Baptist (8-man football) … Also played baseball for the Mustangs
Mitchell Roland, Linebacker, 6-1, 230, Auburn, Ala. (Auburn HS)
Named to the Opelika-Auburn News All-Area First Team after recording 94 tackles (75 solo), 18 tackles for loss, five sacks and three fumble recoveries … Helped lead the Tigers to the Alabama 6A Playoffs his junior and senior years … Auburn finished 8-1 during the 2011 regular season … Moved from defensive end to linebacker prior to his senior season
Brandon Silvers, Quarterback, 6-3, 200, Gulf Shores, Ala. (Gulf Shores HS)
Completed 108-of-201 pass attempts for 1,400 yards and six touchdowns as a senior … Also rushed for 410 yards on 116 carries (3.5 YPC) and nine touchdowns … Threw for 2,468 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior in his first year as a starter … ESPN.com said “this guy may be the most under the radar quarterback prospect in this class” … ESPN.com rates him as the 27th best quarterback in the nation and a three-start recruit … Uncle Carey Christensen played for Troy's 1984 national championship team
Jamal Stadom, Defensive End, 6-2, 226, Melbourne, Fla. (Melbourne HS)
Named first team all-state, all-conference and the Brevard County 6A Defensive Player of the Year his senior season … Helped lead Melbourne to a 9-3 record and a trip to the second round of the Florida 6A Playoffs as a senior … Played in back-to-back Florida Athletic Coaches Association North-South All-Star Games … Played in the Central Florida East-West All-Star Game … Named team MVP his senior year … Recorded 112 tackles (52 solo), 14 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles as a senior
Derrek Upshaw, Defensive Tackle, 6-2, 270, Darien, Ga. (Jones CC / McIntosh County Academy)
Named to the All-MACJC South First Team following his sophomore year after recording 44 tackles (29 solo) and seven sacks … Finished his freshman season with nine tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss in 11 games
Named first team all-region, first team Coastal Empire, and the team's top receiver in 2008 ... Also elected team captain ... Helped lead McIntosh to a 9-2 record and the Georgia Class AA State Championship his senior year … Recorded 44 tackles, four sacks and four tackles for loss as a senior ... Caught 10 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns as a tight end ... Also lettered in basketball and track (state qualifier in the discus throw) … Originally signed with Middle Tennessee
Bobby Walker, Wide Receiver, 6-1, 170, Fruit Cove, Fla. (Bartram Trail HS)
Returned a kick 66 yards for a touchdown in a 63-0 victory over Englewood (Fla.) High School … Helped lead Bartram Trail to the semifinals of the Florida 7A Playoffs his senior season … As a senior, had 41 catches for 555 yards and eight touchdowns … Had 43 receptions for 571 yards and five touchdowns as a junior … Three-star recruit and the 105th best wide receiver in the nation according to ESPN.com; Rivals.com also rates him as a three-star recruit
Braylon Williams, Defensive End, 6-6, 230, New London, Texas (Kilgore CC / West Ruck HS)
Totaled 41 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries as a sophomore
An Associated Press all-state defensive end and a coaches' all-state pick at both defensive end and tight end … Named to the Lubbock Ava¬lanche-Journal's Texas Top 100... Ranked as the nation's No. 58 tight end by Scout… Had 83 tackles to go along with seven pass receptions for 239 yards and four touchdowns in 2007 and 52 stops and six sacks in 2008… An all-area selection… Also lettered in basketball, baseball and track … Rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com
2012 Troy Signing Day Press Conference
Head Coach Larry Blakeney
On the 2012 Signing Class:
“We have wound up our recruiting class, we signed 23 guys. I think we garnered a good recruiting class. You won't hear a coach tell you that they had a bad recruiting year. We had some needs; we filled some of those needs in the mid-year. Hopefully we filled some more of them today as far as guys that are high school guys. There are 17 or 18 high schools guys and we are hopeful to get them going along with a couple of more junior college kids to help us a little more quickly, especially in the defensive line area.
“We signed three offensive linemen, one quarterback, two running backs and one of the wide receiver-type guy. Michael Lindsey is a utility guy that can play a lot of places, much like Jerrel (Jernigan). I'm not going to put that moniker on him yet, but he is a great very versatile young man. We signed two defensive tackles, three defensive ends, a couple of linebackers - both high school guys - and defensive backs, mostly corner-type kids. It's all about getting them here, getting them going, and how they react to the next level. How they react to college work and in everyone's case they have to qualify by NCAA standards.
“We've done a good job. It's a team effort when you recruit guys from around the southeastern region from high school or community college.
On defensive signees:
“Everybody on here we wanted. The two community college guys are both big bodied guys that can play inside and can move around. They are the right height/weight type penetrators that can run over somebody or can take a center and park him somewhere near the tailback.
On the signing of Brandon Burks:
“Brandon is a very good player. He is a sharp kid with a good background. He played for a guy we know a lot about and that recommends him highly. I think he'll be a guy that will give us some help.
On the signing of Michael Lindsey:
“He is a dynamic little player. He's not much smaller than Jerrel (Jernigan). I anticipate this guy having that kind of ability. He's a utility guy like Jerrel and can play in the slot. I think he can play running back and he can run back kicks. He played both ways in high school and it's always good to see one like that. He's not a huge guy, but he's very physical and aggressive. I think he'll help us. I'm not putting a 'how soon' on that, but he's got some ability. Some guys run fast and then some guys run fast in a football uniform, and he runs fast in a football uniform.
On the signing of Garrett Peek:
“Played eight-man football, wanted to compete at a higher level so he moved to Stanhope Elmore High School from a private school. He's good technically, understands leverage, how to defeat blockers, can run and is going to be a big guy.
On the signing of Terris Lewis and John Knight:
“Terris is one of the best linebackers in the state. Played mostly inside linebacker and is the son of a guy that played for us at Auburn named Benji Roland. John Knight is a nickel-type guy, outside backer, good player.
On the signing of Rishad Goode:
I finally signed a Goode. I tried to sign Chris Goode when I was recruiting at Auburn. If I'd signed him, I would have signed every Goode. We're looking for him to be a good player.
On difficulty of recruiting:
“That's a good question. It could be getting more difficult for a lot of reasons. There is so much publicity for kids, so much sponsorship of kids today, that I think maybe in that regard. The kids are still the same. The parents want to know the right things and they ask the right things about their kid -- are we going to take care of them academically, are they going to play and how early.
“It's still fun to recruit. It's competitive. We like to compete and our coaches have worked as hard as I believe they ever had to put this class together. We won't know how good this class is until they've been together and mixed and mingled with our other players to see how they react. There is talent in this class.
Skills of incoming high school athletes:
“There is a lot going on for those kids at an earlier age, and I think that their skill levels in some regard are getting better and better. At the same time, there is still enough out there for everybody if you evaluate and work them properly.
Coach Blakeney on the former Trojans in the Super Bowl:
“We are really proud of those three guys. I don't get to see them or hear from them enough. I have a deal with LT (Lawrence Tynes), where I e-mail him and wish him, JJ (Jerrel Jernigan), and Osi (Umenyiora) luck and the he emails me back … These three on the same team is a phenomenal thing. They are three great kids, they all have degrees, all of them are smart, all of them work, all of them overcome injuries and that's why they are there.
On sending players to the NFL:
“We sign a lot of good players here. We do our best to make sure they are trained in the way of playing championship football and playing well enough to demonstrate how well they can play this game to enable them to have a chance to go to the next level which is called the NFL, which is the hardest job in America to get and the hardest job in America to keep.”