UAB Announces 2012 Class

By: Kim Allen Email
By: Kim Allen Email

From UAB Media Relations

2012 UAB Football Signees

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School or Junior College)
** Josh Greer QB 6-4 215 Arlington, Texas (Arlington HS)
** Cortez Webb DB 6-2 1/2 180 Wichita, Kan. (Butler, Kan., CC)
Cameron Blankenship OL 6-4 305 Alexander City, Ala. (Benjamin Russell HS)
Kelton Brackett CB 5-11 186 Mobile, Ala. (Blount HS)
Devon Brown CB 5-11 182 Hoover, Ala. (Spain Park HS)
Roscoe Byrd ATH 6-3 310 Albany, Ga. (Albany HS)
Destin Challenger LB 5-11 215 Hoover, Ala. (Spain Park HS)
Ben Craft QB 6-2 200 Chelsea, Ala. (Briarwood Christian)
Grant Davis TE 6-4 255 Kingwood, Texas (Kingwood HS)
Justin Forehand OL 6-5 285 Pelham, Ala. (Pelham HS)
Jake Ganus SAF 6-2 190 Birmingham, Ala. (Chelsea HS)
Devin Gordon OL 6-4 285 Gadsden, Ala. (Gadsden City HS)
Hisham Haqq OL 6-4 305 Huntsville, Ala. (Grissom HS)
Nyiakki Height ATH 6-2 190 Marietta, Ga. (Osborne HS)
Shaq Jones LB 6-3 200 Lanett, Ala. (Lanett HS)
Vashon Landers CB 6-1 175 Opelika, Ala. (Opelika HS)
Roderick McKinney DE 6-4 240 Birmingham, Ala. (Woodlawn HS)
Jontavious Morris DT 6-2 295 Albany, Ga. (Albany, Ga.)
Michael Parrotta ATH 6-3 232 Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (Ponte Vedra HS)
Larry Pettaway LB 6-2 210 Eight Mile, Ala. (Blount HS)
Steve Pickren ATH 6-4 245 Pell City, Ala. (Pell City HS)
Chris Rabb LB 5-10 220 Hueytown, Ala. (Hueytown HS)
Victor Salako OL 6-6 315 Huntsville, Ala. (Grissom HS)
Dominic Sylvester OL 6-4 315 Horseheads, N.Y. (Alfred State, N.Y., College)
Nyck Young WR 6-2 180 Homewood, Ala. (Homewood HS)
** Enrolled at UAB in January

Josh Greer, QB, 6-4, 215
Arlington, Texas (Arlington HS)
Enrolled at UAB in January, 2012 ... played for coach Scott Peach at Arlington High School in Class 5A, the largest classification in Texas … selected as the first-team All-District 4-5A quarterback in 2011 … helped Arlington to a 6-5 record and a playoff appearance as a senior … completed 165 of 299 passes for 2,691 yards (244.6 per game) as a senior … tossed 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions … missed much of his junior year because of injury before starting the final three games and throwing for 253 yards, four scores and two INTs … played behind Matt Joeckel, currently a quarterback at Texas A&M, as a sophomore … participated in 2010 and 2011 Elite 11 regional quarterback camps … invited to Nike Football Training Camp in 2011 … won the quarterback accuracy contest at the July 2011 Nike Stampede QB target competition in McKinney, Texas.

Cortez Webb, DB, 6-2 1/2, 180
Wichita, Kan. (Butler CC)
Enrolled at UAB in January, 2012 ... played for coach Troy Morrell at Butler Community College, one of the most successful junior college programs in the country … part of Butler teams that finished 11-1 with region and conference championships in both 2010 and 2011 … the 2010 team finished the season ranked No. 2 nationally … posted 25 tackles with three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, as a sophomore in 2011 … played in five games and logged one interception as a freshman in 2010 … completed his prep career at Wichita East High School in Kansas in 2008 … selected honorable mention on the Greater Wichita Athletic League All-City Team.

Cameron Blankenship, OL, 6-4, 305
Alexander City, Ala. (Benjamin Russell HS)
A two-year starter at offensive line under head coach Danny Horn, playing the right guard and right tackle positions … was tabbed to the preseason Super-12 Team and a First-Team All-Outlook performer according to the Alexander City Outlook … blocked for the top rushing team in the region, which included 6A state champion Prattville … blocked for BRHS running back Demetrius Buckner, who rushed for 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2011 … led all BRHS linemen with 75 knockdown blocks, while his 16 pancake blocks ranked second on the team … helped lead team to the second round of the 2011 AHSAA 6A state playoffs after going 1-9 in each of the previous two seasons … can bench press 340 pounds, squat 540 pounds and runs a 5.1 40-yard dash … also was a four-year letterwinner for the boys’ golf team … a member of the National Honor Society.

Kelton Brackett, CB, 5-11, 186
Mobile, Ala. (Blount HS)
A three-year letterwinner under head coach Kelvin Sigler at Blount High School … a three-star recruit and rated as No. 35 overall recruit in the state of Alabama according to … named the 20th-best player in the state of Alabama by … was selected as a first-team all-state performer by and was an honorable mention all-state selection by The Birmingham News and the Alabama Sports Writers Association … led the state Class 6A region with four interceptions in 2011 … ranked as 43rd best prospect in state by … selected to compete at the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Classic … recorded a pair of tackles, a forced fumble and a tackle-for-loss in the all-star game ... finished his senior year with 43 tackles (31 solo and 12 assists), four tackles for loss and 12 pass break-ups … high school teammate of fellow UAB signee Larry Pettaway.

Devon Brown, CB, 5-11,182
Hoover, Ala. (Spain Park HS)
A two-year starter and three-year letterwinner under head coach Chip Lindsey … one of four defensive backs for the Jaguars to receive Division I scholarships … high school teammate of fellow UAB signee Destin Challenger … named honorable mention all-county by the Shelby County Reporter … shared team lead with Challenger in total interceptions last season (3) … finished his final year with 48 tackles, three tackles-for-loss and a sack … blocked a potential game-tying field goal and ran back an interception 28 yards for a touchdown to help defeat Oak Mountain … helped lead team to the first round of the AHSAA playoffs.

Roscoe Byrd, ATH, 6-3, 310
Albany, Ga. (Albany HS)
Played both offensive and defensive line for coach Felton Williams … teammate of fellow UAB signee Jontavious Morris … an All-Region 1-AA selection at defensive tackle as a senior … also named all-area and all-metro as an O-lineman by the Albany Herald … graded out at 95 percent as a blocker with 14 pancake blocks as a senior …a 2010 all-metro selection by the Albany Herald as a defensive lineman his junior year … graded out at 90 percent as a blocker as a junior and added 60 tackles and five sacks on the defensive side of the ball … named to the Albany Herald Dynamite Dozen in both 2010 and 2011 … co-captain of his Albany High School team as a junior and senior also co-captain of Albany’s basketball team … won the Class AA state championship in the shot put and finished fifth in the state in discus during his junior year as a member of Albany’s track and field team … an honor student.

Destin Challenger, LB, 5-11, 215
Hoover, Ala. (Spain Park HS)
One of four Spain Park defensive backs to get D-I scholarships … tabbed first-team All-Hoover South Region by The Birmingham News … also named first-team all-county by the Shelby County Reporter … named honorable mention all-state by ... recorded 71 tackles as a senior … registered four tackles for loss … had four sacks and three interceptions … as a junior, he was an honorable mention all-county selection by the Shelby County Reporter … high school teammate of fellow UAB signee Devon Brown.

Ben Craft, QB, 6-2, 200
Chelsea, Ala. (Briarwood Christian)
Finished career at Briarwood with 5,104 passing yards and 55 passing touchdowns in only two seasons as the starting signal-caller … also rushed for 729 yards and 24 touchdowns … helped Lions to 25-4 record in two seasons … finished senior season with 2,671 yards passing and 35 TD passes as he completed 63 percent of his passes … was named Shelby County first-team quarterback as a senior by the Shelby County Reporter … was tabbed honorable mention all-state by ... quarterbacked the Lions to 12-2 record his final season as team reached Class 5A semifinals … as a junior, he was named Shelby County Reporter Player of the Year … passed for 2,433 yards and 20 touchdowns as junior with only eight interceptions … completed 182-of-315 passes for 58 percent … rushed for 495 yards and 17 touchdowns … helped lead Briarwood to 13-2 record and Class 5A state runner-up finish in 2010 … also tabbed to 2011 Birmingham News All-Shelby Team.

Grant Davis, TE, 6-4, 255
Kingwood, Texas (Kingwood HS)
A versatile player for head coach Dougald McDougald at Kingwood High School … was a starter at tight end and also served as the team punter for the Mustangs … named a 14-5A First-Team All-District player at tight end as a junior and senior … also was a two-time second-team all-district pick at punter … earned Lufkin News First Team honors as a senior … rated the second-best tight end on Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Top Five list … also named to the Friday Night Football All-State Preseason Watch List … used primarily as a blocking tight end … Kingwood averaged 33.5 points per game in district play … Mustangs averaged 236.3 rushing and 21.2 passing yards per game … hauled in a 13-yard touchdown reception in a win over Clear Creek High School … kicks traveled 35.7 yards per punt, which ranked third-best in the district … pinned four punts inside the 20-yard line and recorded a long of 58 yards … averaged over 40 yards per punt as a junior.

Justin Forehand, OL, 6-5, 285
Pelham, Ala. (Pelham HS)
Another local prospect to join the Blazers’ 2012 recruiting class … tabbed to The Birmingham News All-Shelby Team following senior season … named to all-county first team by Shelby County Reporter … recorded 112 knockdowns as senior … named honorable mention all-state by ... started on the varsity for the Panthers three years … was chosen as the offensive line MVP at the Elite 100 combine/camp in April, 2011 … was first commitment for new UAB head coach Garrick McGee … one of several Shelby County recruits who are part of Blazers’ 2012 class.

Jake Ganus, SAF, 6-2, 190
Birmingham, Ala. (Chelsea HS)
Saw action on both sides of the ball for Chelsea but earned most of his notoriety as an outstanding quarterback for the Hornets … passed for 1,058 yards and rushed for 1,491 yards as a senior … averaged more than seven yards per carry as a senior … passed for nine touchdowns and ran for 22 scores … ran for 264 yards and two touchdowns against Shelby County as the Hornets posted their first win over the Columbiana school in 13 years … named the Shelby County Player of the Year by the Shelby County Reporter … also contributed 44 tackles on the defensive side for Chelsea … helped team reach Class 5A state playoffs … earned spot on Birmingham News All-Metro Team as Athlete …named to 2011 Birmingham News All-Shelby Team as an Athlete as a senior … listed as No. 49 prospect in state by and also was named honorabled mention all-state by … as a junior, he was named honorable mention All-Shelby County by Shelby County Reporter … passed for 1,673 yards and 16 touchdowns his junior year … also ran for 1,055 yards and 10 touchdowns … as a sophomore in 2009, he ran for 797 yards as he played running back for six games … also recorded 13 receptions for 113 yards … played quarterback last two games of the season and passed for 445 yards and three touchdowns … played linebacker on defense and registered 92 tackles with an interception … also a standout on Chelsea basketball team, eclipsing 1,000-point mark for career in January, 2012 … excellent student as well … member of National Honor Society in 2010 and 2011.

Devin Gordon, OL, 6-4, 285
Gadsden, Ala. (Gadsden City HS)
Started over 30 games during career for head coach Joe Billingsley at Gadsden City High School … key lineman for two regional championships for the Titans … tabbed an all-state honorable mention selection by … ranked the 56th best player out of the 2012 Alabama senior class by … listed as No. 44 prospect in the state by … member of the KFC Pigskin Roundup All-Star Team … named a Gadsden Times Dirty Dozen selection.

Hisham Haqq, OL, 6-4, 305
Huntsville, Ala. (Grissom HS)
Played and started three years for the varsity team at Grissom High School … played right tackle … teamed up on Grissom’s offensive line with fellow UAB signee Victor Salako … named second-team all-city as a junior in 2010 by the Huntsville-Madison County Hall of Fame … bench presses 320 pounds and squats 450 … also competed for three years on Grissom’s track and field team and wrestled for one year.

Nyiakki Height, ATH, 6-2, 190
Marietta, Ga. (Osborne HS)
A standout athlete that excelled at both wide receiver and defensive back for coach Xarvia Smith at Osborne High School … named a 5AAAA North All-Region player in senior season … recorded 36 catches for 722 yards and four touchdowns in 2010 as a junior … in senior season hauled in 23 receptions for 301 yards and four scores … collected 43.5 tackles, three tackles for loss and one interception in final season with the Cardinals.

Shaq Jones, LB, 6-3, 200
Lanett, Ala. (Lanett HS)
Was tabbed an honorable mention all-state selection in by the Alabama Sports Writers Association … one of the 2011 Opelika-Auburn News Super Eight Seniors … named to the 2011 Opelika-Auburn News small school All-Area Defensive First Team … collected 123 tackles, including nine for loss, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, four sacks, two interceptions and one touchdown his senior year as a linebacker … registered 21 receptions, 187 yards and six touchdowns as a tight end … selected as the 2011 Tri-Country Defensive Player of the Year by the Opelika-Auburn News… a 2011 all-state honorable mention choice by ASWA … tabbed to the 2010 all-region first team by the region’s head coaches … served as team captain his junior year … tallied 118 total tackles, two interceptions, four sacks and nine tackles for loss his junior year … coached by Clifford Story, Jr. … led the varsity basketball team in rebounds and blocked shots and played in the 2011 North/South All-Star game in Montgomery … played at same high school as former UAB linebacker Lamanski Ware who completed his eligibility with the Blazers in 2011 ... helped the track team become back-to-back state champions.

Vashon Landers, CB, 6-1, 175
Opelika, Ala. (Opelika HS)
Played for head coach Brian Blackmon at Opelika High School … finished senior season with 31 tackles (23 solo) and two fumble recoveries … ranked second in 6A Region 3 with three interceptions in 2010 … also recorded 24 tackles (19 solo) as a junior for the Bulldogs … averaged 5.5 tackles per game over his junior and senior campaigns … part of a Bulldogs’ defense that allowed just 21.1 points per game in 2010… team sported a combined 8-4 league record over last two years … had a key interception against Enterprise to clinch a playoff spot in 2010 … also competed on track and field team.

Roderick McKinney, DE, 6-4, 240
Birmingham, Ala. (Woodlawn HS)
Led Woodlawn to a 7-4 overall record and 4-3 mark in division play in 2011 … collected 51 tackles, 33 assists and 12 tackles for loss to go along with nine sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries his senior season … tabbed to The Birmingham News’ 2011 All-City team … served as team captain his senior year. helped Woodlawn to its first postseason since 2000 … earned a spot on the 2011 Birmingham News All-North/East team … tallied 70 tackles, 13 sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries his junior year.

Jontavious Morris, DT, 6-2, 295
Albany, Ga. (Albany HS)
Served as co-captain senior year … selected as the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in Region 1-AA by the region’s head coaches … made 55 tackles, including 17 for loss in 2011 … collected four sacks and forced four fumbles, recovering two his senior year … nominated for the 2011 Albany Herald Player of the Year award … prep teammates with fellow UAB signee Roscoe Byrd … coached by Felton Williams … started playing football in ninth grade.

Michael Parrotta, ATH, 6-3, 232
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (Ponte Vedra HS)
A three-year starter for head coach Mike Lloyd at Ponte Vedra High School … a versatile player, lined up at tight end, wide receiver and defensive end … named St. Augustine Record All-County Honorable Mention as a senior … Sharks finished 11-2 and captured the Class 5A District 4 Championship … recorded 23 catches for 278 yards for an average of 12.1 yards per catch in 2011 … totaled eight touchdown receptions in final season for Sharks … had a three-touchdown game in a victory over Menendez High School … hauled in 23 receptions for 226 yards and one touchdown as a junior.

Larry Pettaway, LB, 6-2, 210
Eight Mile, Ala. (Blount HS)
Listed as the No. 32 recruit in Alabama and the No. 91 outside linebacker in the nation by … recorded 95 total tackles, including 50 solo take-downs, eight tackles for loss, seven sacks, three hurries and one interception his senior year … played in the 2011 Alabama/Mississippi All-Star game … named honorable mention all-state by … named the Optimist Club Player of the Week … voted as the team’s best linebacker his senior year … coached by
Kelvin Sigler.

Steve Pickren, ATH, 6-4, 245
Cropwell, Ala. (Pell City HS)
Played under head coach David Shores at Pell City High School for three years … committed to UAB in July 2011 before his senior year at Pell City … named honorable mention all-state for his play at defensive line by Andrew Bone of … tallied 87 total tackles, 11 sacks and 27 tackles for a loss during his senior campaign ... recorded two sacks and five tackles for loss against Clay-Chalkville … projected to move to the offensive side of the ball at UAB as a tight end …. used in goal line situations for Pell City during his senior season at tight end … Pell City ran 11 plays inside the 10 with Pickren at tight end and the Panthers scored all 11 times … runs a 4.7 40-yard dash time … also played baseball as a pitcher for Pell City.

Chris Rabb, LB, 5-10, 220
Hueytown, Ala. (Hueytown HS)
Concluded outstanding prep career at Hueytown High School just west of Birmingham … recorded 249 tackles in his final two seasons with 106 tackles for loss and 32 sacks … played primarily on defensive line for Hueytown his final season … tallied 119 tackles, including a staggering 59 tackles for loss with 21 sacks … also recorded seven caused fumbles in 2011 … tabbed first-team all-state Class 5A by the Alabama Sports Writers Association … also tabbed first-team all-state as defensive lineman by ... was named to The Birmingham News All-Metro Team and was also tabbed the Lineman of the Year by The News … ranked as 42nd-best player in state by …helped Gophers reach Class 5A state semifinals in 2011 and finish with a 13-1 record … Hueytown was ranked No. 1 in the Class 5A classification for most of the 2011 season … as junior, he totaled 130 tackles with 47 tackles for loss and 11 sacks … also earned all-state first-team honors by ASWA and All-Metro as a junior.

Victor Salako, OL, 6-6, 315
Huntsville, Ala. (Grissom HS)
Played defensive line sophomore and junior year, and offensive line as a senior … a 2011 All-City Second Team offense selection … recorded 11 pancake blocks and did not allow a sack his senior year … voted team’s best offensive lineman as a senior … named team’s best defensive lineman his sophomore and junior years … had 58 tackles, including 26 solo takedowns his junior year, adding four sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries … made the A/B honor roll all four years.

Dominic Sylvester, OL, 6-4, 315
Horseheads, N.Y. (Alfred State, N.Y., College)
Played one year at Alfred State (N.Y.) College … projected to play center at UAB … was a full-time starter at Alfred State as team finished 6-4 and won the Region III championship for the first time in school history ... attended Horseheads High School … also was member of wrestling team and played lacrosse at Horseheads HS.

Nyck Young, WR, 6-2, 180
Homewood, Ala. (Homewood HS)
Attended Homewood HS in nearby Homewood, Ala. … finished his high school career for head coach Doug Goodwin with a 5-5 season … has posted a 4.4 40-yard dash time … finished his senior year with 41 receptions totaling 540 yards with four touchdowns … also racked up 252 all-purpose yards with one return touchdown … ranked as No. 46 prospect in the state by ... named Homewood’s player of the week for his performance against Huntsville with five receptions for 96 yards and one touchdown … committed to UAB before his senior season at Homewood … named preseason second-team all-state and postseason all-state honorable mention by Andrew Bone of … rated among the top 60 players in Alabama in the 2012 signing class by … also plays basketball at Homewood.

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