2012 Draft Blue-Light Specials
QB Alex Tanney Monmouth is a small school not exactly known as being a factory for NFL talent, but we may have unearthed a gem with the new trick shot quarterback: Alex Tanney. After three seasons, Tanney had shattered pretty much every passing record in school history, and has over 10,000 passing yards and 118 touchdown passes. Originally from Normal, Illinois, Tanney joined Monmouth College as a two-time first team All-State quarterback in high school and was a three sport athlete at Lexington High School. He has broken almost every school record while leading Coach Steve Bell’s high powered ultra-fast offense. He has grown since graduating high school as a 175 pounder; from that humble start the Monmouth senior quarterback Alex Tanney has set the N.C.A.A. career touchdown passes record earlier this season with 154. Division III career mark with 13,686 passing yards in leading Monmouth (9-1) to another Midwest Conference championship. Tanney has come back stronger than ever from a torn AC joint in his right (throwing) shoulder. He has completed 230 of 315 attempts for 3,304 yards with 35 TDs and seven interceptions. Monmouth leads Division III with 49.3 points and 556.7 yards per game. Now at 6’3” 217 Tanney is a QB legitimate NFL prospect and if he gets into the Shrine Game and the Combine he’ll get a chance to prove he belongs.
QB Aaron Corp USC/Richmond: Though Corp is a fifth-year senior, he doesn't have a great deal of college experience. He redshirted at USC in 2007, before Corp arrived at U.S.C. in 2007 he was heralded as one of the top quarterbacks in his high school class. When Mark Sanchez departed early for the N.F.L. in 2009, Corp was thrust into an intense three-way competition. As a redshirt sophomore, Corp beat out Barkley, who had graduated early from high school, and the redshirt junior Mitch Mustain, who had transferred from Arkansas. He headed into 2009 as the projected USC successor to Mark Sanchez. But Corp broke a bone in his left leg during August camp when 300-pound center Kristofer O’Dowd rolled onto him. Barkley ensured his job security in the season’s second week by marching the Trojans 95 yards to an improbable touchdown to win at Ohio State. Matt Barkley became the starter, and a standout. Corp played in three USC games (26 pass attempts) in 2009.
Corp started five games for UR last season before suffering a knee injury, and was limited through spring practice. Three times this season has passed for more than 300 yards, and the Californian has demonstrated remarkable accuracy on occasion. During an early-October date at Towson, one of CAA Football's top teams; he set the FCS record for completion percentage in a game (minimum of 30 attempts) by completing 31 of 34 for 353 yards, without an interception. It has not helped that the Spiders, 2008 FCS national champions went 3-8 this year and winless in the very competitive CAA; in his last collegiate game Corp, despite being intercepted three times and sacked four times, was able to complete 23 of 42 passes for 250 yards for the Spiders with a TD pass. At his best he’s a cerebral pocket passer who can scramble when necessary; at his worst he is a future road kill who puts the ball in jeopardy. This season he is 247 of 388, completing a 63.7% and 2682 yards while passing for 17 TDs and 13 Ints. At 6’3 ½ 199 there have concerns about how he’ll hold up at the next level, as in his past he reconstructive knee surgery last year and had cracked fibula Corp at USC in 2009. This season he suffered a hip injury in the fourth quarter of the Spiders' 28-7 loss to UMASS on Oct. 29, but he answered the bell a week later against Old Dominion, tossing 24-43-256-3 TDs-1INT in a loss. It has not helped Corp that UR has had a down year and the Spiders have struggled to protect the passer or run the ball. The ceiling on Corp is rather like that of Pennington’s, perhaps even down to the health concerns.
QB Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois, has been selected All-MAC First Team for the 2011 college football season as voted by the MAC News Media Association. A four-year starter, Harnish has totaled 2,955 career rushing yards and 8,420 career passing yards and needs only 45 rushing yards to become only the third quarterback in FBS history to rush for 3,000 yards and pass for 8,000 yards in a career. In addition to being honored as the MAC's top football player, Harnish was named the league's Offensive Player of the Year, and earned a spot on the first team all-conference squad for the second straight season. Harnish also earned one of 16 spots in the 2011 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame announced Wednesday. The prestigious award provides postgraduate scholarships to an elite group of 16 players chosen from across all divisions of college football for their combined athletic, academic and leadership skills.
Harnish, who already owns seven Northern Illinois career records, including many that stood for nearly 50 years, will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and represent the Huskies in New York City at the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria. He is also now a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the top scholar-athlete in the nation and comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship. Harnish is the third student-athlete from Northern Illinois to be named an NFF Scholar-Athlete, joining Patrick Stephen (1998) and Josh Haldi (2004). Many have compared Harnish to Dan Levefour, however I think he is a bit more polished in his and Harnish has a stronger arm. At 6’1 ½” 219 he has a solid frame and though he is not the tallest he finds passing lanes, like other QBs from similar systems he’ll need to tighten his footwork and make his delivery more crisp and consistent.
RB Terrance Ganaway, Baylor In rushing for 1195 yards, he has shown power on the field and in the weight-room as he has squatted 600 pounds, done 24 bench press reps at 225 pounds and benched 395 pounds. He has very good acceleration and quickness despite his thick build and though he has not been featured in the passing game, I believe he has the ability to improve in that area. The Transfer from Houston is 5’11” 242 and this season he has 229 carries for 1347 yards an impressive 5.9 yards per carry with a long of 80 yards and 16 TDs and another 52 yards on 6 catches with 1 TD. He only had one truly bad game all year against Kansas State he only had 38 yards on 13 carries. I am reminded of Jackie Battle, though he lacks Battle’s polish in the passing game, he is also a bit like Rashad Jennings. Like the other players on this list he could be a real mid to late round value.
WR Travis Benjamin, Miami [FL]. The 5-9 ¾” 172, former Pahokee legend, in the final heat of his first indoor meet of the season, Benjamin finished with a time of 6.70 seconds in the 60 meter dash. He’s Very, very fast; I think he clocked in at 4.26 as a sophomore IIRC. He’s explosive after the catch, a true big play threat and dangerous kick/punt returner. The question about Benjamin is are you getting Ted Ginn or DeSean Jackson, I think the real answer is a bit of both, he’s not as polished as Jackson in terms of ball-skills and is smaller than Ginn and has not been as productive after the catch or as a returner as either one. That being said he has a chance to become a poor man’s Harry Douglas with meticulous coaching. In the late 4th-early 5th round he could be a decent risk to take.
WR Jarred Herring Second on the team with 421 receiving yards and tied for second with 27 receptions he averaged 15.6 yards per catch on the season with three touchdown receptions, including an 80-yarder at South Dakota State. He had 14 kick returns for 353 yards on the season, an average of 25.2 yards per return and was a CoSIDA first team Academic All-District selection. He was also named honorable mention All-MVFC and All-Newcomer in 2008. Herring is not likely to make a big impact as a receiver at the next level; however he has real value as a returner.
WR Jermain Saffold, Missouri State, Saffold is far from a household name, but he has talent that is hard to ignore, he was named Missouri State Football Player of the Year. He ranked 25th nationally in receiving yards per game (83.0) and grabbed 4.09 catches per game en route to breaking Missouri State's season (913) and career (2,221) yardage records for a receiver. He was an All-MVC first-team selection and preseason All-MVFC pick this year after earning All-MVFC second-team distinction as a junior. In 2011, he finished with 45 catches for 913 yards and matched a school record with 8 receiving TDs. He set an MSU record with nine career 100-yard receiving games and was ranked in four conference categories, including scoring and all-purpose yards. He had nine catches of 20 or more yards this season, including six over 50 yards with a 207-yard game against Illinois State on Oct. 8. Saffold has good size at 5’ll ¾” 199 and has been timed in the low 4.4 range in the past. Perhaps what’s most impressive is his rise from being redshirted as a freshman at Division II Central Missouri to walking on at MSU to being a potential late round draft pick.
WR Simmie Yarborough At 6’0 ½” 208 The SE Louisiana product has been consistently productive after he chose SELA after fielding offers from Alabama State, Alcorn State, Northwestern State, also Nicholls State and Southern Miss were interested. In 2010 he caught 60 passes and 9 touchdowns last year while missing 2 games, the year prior he finished with 57 receptions for 803 yards and 12 touchdowns. In his final campaign he had 61 catches for 778 yards, 12.8 yards per catch and 3 TDs. While not blazing fast he has fine playing speed, reliable hands and uses his strong frame will to get to the ball. He reminds me of former Steeler, Titan and Chargers WR Yancey Thigpen.
WR Paul Cox Led the Delta Devils with 36 catches for 619 yards and three touchdowns this season he has been timed as fast as 4.41, on a fast surface, in the 40 despite the fact that he was timed at 4.66 during the HBCU Senior Bowl, it’s likely he’ll time better the next time he runs. He has strong character his father, Paul Cox Sr., is a master sergeant in the U.S. Army and his mom, Monica Cox, works at the clerk of courts for the St. Mary Parish court house. With his size, 6’3 ¾” 195 and surprising acceleration for a tall player means that more than half of the NFL’s teams have sent scouts to watch Cox practice, including the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints, Cox is reminiscent of 5 time Pro Bowler former Eagle Mike Quick, though he is less polished and not quite as fast.
TE Missouri Michael Egnew: In 2010 he led the nation's tight ends with 90 catches for 762 yards and five touchdowns last year, he has been keyed on much of this year and 1st year starter James Franklin failed to locate him early in the season which reduced his production. As a High School track star, Egnew managed a personal best of 24’4″ in the long jump. Three times in 2010 Egnew had 10 or more receptions, including a game where he caught 13 passes for 145 yards. Outstanding student-athlete who will graduate in December, and follows in the footsteps of some big time pass receiving tight ends to come through Missouri in recent years. Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman, he is long and lean with a body that could hold 10-20 more pounds easily. Egnew often lines up in the slot and works well in open space; he has shown great body control. He will willingly sacrifice his body to snag the ball; he has a high level of understanding of how to locate the opening in a zone and has excellent hands. He is split-high and has not been used extensively as an in-line ‘Y’ in blocking situations. Many have compared him to Gresham and Gronkowski, but he is not as strong as either but he might be faster and a better leaper. The 2 main concerns are his lack of polish as a blocker and that he’s not very creative as a runner after the catch, but he has real potential, he reminds me of Shawn Nelson.
TE Lamont Bryant, Morgan State may have to bulk up at 6’4” 221 lbs. But he turned heads at the HBCU Senior bowl when he consistently was timed in the mid-4.5 range and some believe that he has the possibility of making the transition to H-Back if he can carry 15-20 pounds more. Bryant is a solid route runner and was adequate as a blocker against most of the competition he’s faced. Bryant has been honored: Preseason All-MEAC Team in Phil Steele's 2011 FCS College Football Preview Magazine as a junior in 2010: 2010 Preseason All-MEAC first team selection, as well as 2010 Preseason CDS All-American Honorable Mention. He was a dual-threat QB in high school and his athletic ability and football IQ are reflective of that. Bryant has a chance to continue to gain the eyes of scouts as the postseason continues.
H-Back/FB Kenny Jones Jr. UT-Martin, in 2011 he caught 25 passes for 334 yards and five touchdowns and also scored a rushing touchdown. Last season Jones played in 10 games, starting four and caught 16 passes for 248 yards, he had standout performances with three passes for 78 yards against Southeastern Louisiana and had a season long gain on a 45 yard reception against Eastern Kentucky. Jones is seen as a FB/H-Back hybrid, he is athletic and won a HS state championship in shot put and discus, if he runs in the 4.52-4.58 range he will likely become a prized UDFA as a Jackie Battle type FB. Though he is a project as a blocker his toughness is shown in that he was an excellent prep LB.
TE Tommy Shaver, Liberty, an All Big South selection Shaver was also named to the 2011 FCS Senior Scout Bowl squad; his best performance was against Gardner-Webb, catching four passes for 110 yards, marking the first time in nearly 10 years that a Liberty tight end had broken the 100-yard mark receiving. He finished with the year with17 rec, 307 yards, 2 TDs and was a very good blocker. Shaver’s most obvious asset is his 6’5” 284 lb. frame, he is a project as pass receiver but he blocks as well as many linemen. He is like a cross between Bear Pascoe and Brandon Manumaleuna.
OT Jeff Adams, Columbia 6’5 ¼” 307 5.11, a fixture since 2009 Adams has a nearly ideal frame to become a pro OT, the left tackle is one of just four Ivy players to make the All-American list, as well as being the first Columbia player since linebacker Rory Wilfork from 1994-1996 to be named to the All-Ivy team three years in a row. Many consider Adams to be the Ivy League’s best offensive line prospect since Harvard graduate, former Vikings and current Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk, a six time Pro Bowler. The only real question is regarding his power and pop. However many athletic LTs including Ferguson start out lacking strength and benefit from time in an NFL strength and conditioning program. He ought to be 100% again after missing the last three games of the season with a mild MCL sprain.
OT, Paul Cornick, North Dakota State, The very reliable Cornick graded out to 98 percent with eight knockdown blocks in North Dakota State’s 37-24 victory over Minnesota September 27th at TCF Bank Stadium. Cornick allowed no QB pressures or sacks. He even recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter. The Bison had 339 yards of total offense. At 6’5 ½” 308 he has drawn attention from scouts and he has won a plethora of honors: 2011 Missouri Valley Football All Conference, 2011 Phil Steele’s FCS College Preview All-MVFC First Team, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coaches FCS All-America, 2011 FCS Senior Scout Bowl Preseason North All-America 2nd Team, to name just a few of the accolades he’s received. A prototypical tough guy right tackle, Cornick plays through pain to include a herniated disc, he was reported to have recorded a 5.36 40 at his Junior pro day, but as an ORT or OG that’s more than sufficient and he’s performed very well at both positions.
OG Rishaw Johnson, Cal [PA] University Earlier in his college career Johnson was never able to find the right combination of focus and commitment to be a difference-maker for Ole Miss. He had (and might still have) a wonderful opportunity to make a career out of football in the NFL. According to some close to program the use of an apparently stolen credit card was the issue that led to his dismissal; prior to he once set a team record in the power clean by hoisting 372 pounds and has been timed in the 5.32 range in the 40 at 6’3 ¾” 313. There are now reports that he made the Dean’s List for the first time in college and that he’ll graduate this December. He spent part of the summer back home in Louisiana training with some New Orleans Saints, including former Alabama star Mark Ingram. He’s also convinced the former Crimson Tide safety, his friend Robby Green, to join him at Cal PA U. Green was a four-star member of the Tide’s 2008 recruiting class and was the No. 17 cornerback in the country according to Rivals.com. While he played safety with the Tide, he will be moved back to corner for his final season of college eligibility.
OG Stephen F. Austin offensive lineman George Bias was the only Southland player voted onto the 2011 Associated Press Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) All-America first team, he’s a tough offensive lineman who will be moving inside from the offensive tackle position. He has been one of the most consistent linemen in the conference during his career, regularly playing well against current NFL players Larry Hart and Markell Carter and has played in 43 games, earning 39 starts. He is 6’2” 301 and has benched 340+ pounds.
OG Matt Byrd Georgetown (KY) Byrd has very good size at 6’4 ½” 309; additionally he was selected to The “D2 vs. NAIA Senior Bowl.” He was instrumental in protecting QB Kaelin Ammons. Byrd is aggressive and might have the length, feet and strength to shift to RT, if he can play multiple positions on the line it may help him to stick as an UDFA.
DE Adrian Hamilton committed to Oklahoma State in 2006 and was ready to start his career at the collegiate level; he had dreams of one day playing in the NFL. Hamilton had a problem; Oklahoma State had run out of scholarships. They asked if he would be willing to Grey Shirt for a season. (For those of you that don’t know, this occurs when a NCAA school signs more than their allotted 25 recruits in a particular class. The player that commits to the team has to pay his own way through school for a semester to preserve his eligibility).
After a brief time at Texas Tech tackles he still timed in the low to mid-4.7 range. Perhaps with improved technique during the post season, it may well be possible for him to run in the 4.6 range. Hamilton was measured at 6'2'' and weighed in at 246 pounds. This season he racked up career highs as the Prairie View A&M senior defensive end was honored as Boxtorow's Willie Davis Defensive Player of the Year at the HBCU All-Star Gala Banquet on December 16th in Atlanta. Hamilton led the Football Championship Subdivision with sacks (20.5), tackles-for-loss (28.5), forced fumbles (5) in the SWAC and finished fourth overall in tackles from the defensive ends position, Hamilton as a fifth year senior has enjoyed a remarkable season, while breaking the SWAC sack record; the previous mark of 20 set by Alabama A&M's Robert Mathis in 2002.
Ryan Davis, DE, Bethune-Cookman, he is a very athletic prospect and is a converted Tight End. He has impressive speed and good size. He is a player with a developing array of moves; at 6’2” 256 he’s got a prototypical 3-4 OLB frame with 33 ½ inch arms pound and he’s a pure, natural athlete. Davis is from the athletic hotbed of Hillsborough County in the Tampa area. He was a standout in basketball and won 2 Slam dunk contests in Hillsborough County, he won a competition with an electrifying windmill dunk off a bounce. In football, he played both defensive end and tight end and was a prospect at both Positions. He is an effort player has a great motor and is always in the background. If he is going to play OLB he will need to work on his coverage of the flats. Very talented player and was named Defensive Player of the Year for the MEAC. In 2010, he totaled 17 tackles for loss leading the team, was third in tackles with 57 and once again led the team in sacks with 6.5, and was a 2010 Boxtorow All-American, was named the MEAC's Defensive Player of the Year and put up some gaudy numbers. This year Davis led the MEAC with 12 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss, while registering 65 tackles (40 solo).
DE Andrew Schaetzke, Georgetown, who earned Patriot League defensive player of the year following a season in which he recorded 69 tackles, 22.5 tackles for a loss of 108 yards, 13 quarterback sacks and an interception. At 6’3 ¼” 248 he also likely projects to OLB at the NFL level. He is an AFCA 2011 FCS All-American and reminds me of Danny Batten of the Bills and SDSU graduate. Schaetzke, who rose to the second spot on the Georgetown all-time sacks list and third in the Patriot League with 30.5 sacks in his career, was also named to the Buck Buchanan FCS defensive player of the year watch list. Scouts will want to see how Schaetzke plays standing up and in space.
DT Chigbo Anunoby, in 2011 he had 26 solo tackles, 23 assists, 14 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 QBHs, 3 FF, 1 FR and he blocked 1 kick and the fumble he recovered resulted in a safety. Anunoby considered GA Tech; he has size at 6'4⅛" 324, despite his girth and a massive frame he really carries his weight well, he seems not to be soft. He reminds some of has a good first step and is hard to move, he is in some ways like a bigger Cullen Jenkins.
DT Charles Deas, Shaw, At the HBCU Senior Bowl defensive lineman Charles Deas ran in the 5.28 range at 6’3 316 pounds. He was dominant at times; he has the size, length and overall athletic ability to be one of the real winners from this year's HBCU game. A 4 star recruit from Lauderdale Lakes, FL, Boyd H. Anderson HS, the defensive tackle Deas sat out his senior season in order to get his academics up to par. Deas had committed to LSU but did not qualify. Deas then decided to attend Milford Academy. A talented run-stuffer, previously he was timed as low as 5.18 on a fast surface. Deas plays with a real mean streak a big man with the attitude to match just filthy nasty on defense and often in the backfield while in high school he benched 360 and squatted 540, he is clearly stronger now. After Milford Academy he made his was way to Pearl River CC. At one point he was a poorly conditioned player, since he has shown after dropping 50 pounds that he can play extended minutes. Now at Shaw he earned CIAA first-team all-league honors, making 56 tackles and 11.5 TFLs
DT Ronnie Cameron of ODU once built a computer from scratch when he was 10. He purchased a shell, a motherboard, a hard drive and a CD-ROM drive. He wired and programmed it with the help of “Computers for Dummies.” Back then, Cameron didn’t figure on being a college football player and most certainly knew nothing of Old Dominion University, the school for which he now stars.
Originally his game was chess, and he was good enough to play in the New York State Championships. When he transferred from Westbury High to Holy Trinity Diocesan before his junior year, he knew he’d be banned from playing ball for the season. It didn’t matter: He had transferred for the academic opportunity. As a senior at Holy Trinity, Cameron played defensive end. To say he burst onto the scene would be an understatement. Two games into the season, Hofstra University offered him a football scholarship. Not bad for someone who didn’t play as a junior?
Cameron talked seriously to at least a dozen college coaches as programs from across the country descended on Hofstra’s campus, Cameron also entertained offers from Old Dominion and Massachusetts. Playing for the Minutemen would have let him stay closer to his native Long Island. UMass also had a rich football history, having won the Football Championship Subdivision’s national championship in 1998. Had Cameron ended up at UMass, though, he would be playing a short season this year; the Minutemen decided last spring to leave the FCS and join the Football Bowl Subdivision beginning in 2012, so they were ineligible for the playoffs.
This season, no fewer than 10 NFL teams, including the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, have sent scouts to ODU’s practices to see him in action. Cameron is a bull on the field. He is 297 and just a shade under 6’1” he has impressive moves and power for a player who is still fairly new to the game. He was the CAA defensive player of year and had 15.5 tackles for losses (6.5 sacks) in the regular season.
LB Curnelius Arnick, Tulsa was the C-USA Week 10 standout Defensive Player: Coming into the game as the nation's fifth-leading tackler, Arnick had a career-best 19 tackles, including 12 solos and one TFL for -1 yards, as well as one pass breakup in Tulsa's 24-17 road victory over UCF on November 3. His solo stop of running back Ronnie Weaver on 4th-and-1 at the Tulsa 39-yard line turned into three Tulsa points and a 10-7 lead in the second quarter. He has a good sense for zone coverage; he’s quick, aggressive and plays downhill with a good sense of which gap to fill. He is a fluid, agile athlete and is exceptional at sifting through the ‘trash.’ He slips blocks consistently and is instinctive in his approach to playing the passing lanes. He is a former excellent high school tight end; he is versatile and could play WLB or MLB at the next level.
After being redshirted in 2007, Whiteside earned Freshman of the Year honors as a defensive end for the Lone Star Conference in ’08 after posting 30 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and nine sacks with three passes batted down, two forced fumbles and one blocked kick. Started 12-of-13 contests and was an All-America selection in ’09, logging 35-15 1/2-9 1/2 with two passes batted down and two forced fumbles. Whiteside started all 12 games at defensive end in ’10, registering 28-14 1/2-7 with one pass batted down, two forced fumbles and three blocked kicks. Returned an interception 58 yards for a score against Tarleton State
Whiteside has been named a first team All-America by the American Football Coaches' Association (AFCA), and he also named to the second team of the Daktronics All-American squad. The Wildcats have had a player selected to the AFCA All-America team in four straight seasons and six of the last eight seasons. Only one player per school is allowed to be named to the AFCA team. Danieal Manning was named to the team in 2004 as a return specialist and 2005 as a defensive back. Bernard Scott was named to the team as a running back in 2008, followed by offensive lineman Tony Washington in 2009 and wide receiver Clyde Gates in 2010.
All are now playing on the professional level with Manning playing with the Houston Texans, Scott with the Cincinnati Bengals, Gates with the Miami Dolphins and Washington with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. Whiteside and Midwestern State offensive lineman Amini Silatolu are the only Lone Star Conference players to earn AFCA All-America honors this season.
Whiteside finished his career by earning first team NCAA Division II All-America honors from the AFCA, first team Super Region IV honors and Region Defensive Player of the Year honors from Daktronics, first team all-Lone Star Conference honors and LSC Defensive Lineman of the Year honors in 2011. He's also an NFL prospect at linebacker, fullback or tight end.
Whiteside finished his four-year career with 31½ sacks, which is good for second on ACU's all-time list, and he also finished with 57½ tackles for loss (totaling 341 yards in losses).
As a senior, Whiteside had career-high 40 tackles to go along with 6 sacks and 12½ tackles for loss.
Whiteside was voted the 2008 and 2010 LSC South Division Defensive Lineman of the Year, 2010 first team all-Super Region Four by Daktronics and Don Hansen's Football Gazette, and Daktronics' 2010 second team All-America and Super Region Defensive Player of the Year.
Jack Petion was second on the team with 55 tackles. The 6’0 ¼” 233-pounder from Union, N.J., transferred to SCSU from Cheney (Pa.) after his sophomore season. As a junior he was Northeast-10 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection. In 2011 he had 30 solo tackles, 33 assists, 3 TFL, 2 PBUs, 2 FF and 1 QBH and he was selected to the D2 vs. NAIA Football Bowl roster.
LB Ricky Wadlington, Belhaven, Wadlington had a big season as a junior transfer from Northwest Community College to Belhaven in 2010. Wadlington was named as the Mid-South Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was a preseason "Super Six" player heading into 2011. In 2010, led Belhaven with 104 tackles and averaged 9.5 tackles per game to lead the entire MSC. Wadlington had nine tackles for a loss, one interception, and one forced fumble in addition to his team leading tackle total. The 104 tackles places him third for the most tackles in school history for a single season. He was also named a BSN 2011 NAIA All-American Finalists. At a thickly built 5’11” 243 he is a bit reminiscent of Jeremiah Trotter, he has a chance as an UDFA, he’ll need to run well and show he can be productive on special teams.
CB Jayah Kaisamba of Georgetown is from the HS football hotbed area of Dallas-Ft. Worth and though he was not as highly recruited as he would have liked after he’d played two years of basketball and three years of track and football at LD Bell where h captained his football team as a senior. He found his way to GU and has been a starter since the last 4 games of his freshman year. He was 2010 All Patriot League Team, 2010 ECAC FCS Team, 2011 2nd Team All Patriot League and 1st Team All-Patriot for the preseason. He is an able blitzer, he plays the ball well in the air, he excels in ‘off-man’ coverage, but he’s no finesse corner despite the fact that he’s 5’9 ¼” 190; he has quick hips and feet, has timed at 4.53 in the past and may run faster in the future. He reminds me a great deal of Alphonso Smith and D.J Moore.
CB Norman joins fellow Big South student-athletes and second team honorees Joe Faiella (OL, Stony Brook), Brock Jackolski (all-purpose, Stony Brook) and Justin Bethel (DB, Presbyterian) as well as third team pick Malcolm Boyd (OL, Liberty) on the AP All-America team. The five total selections to the prestigious squad are the most by the Big South since 2006, when the conference placed six on the team including four Chanticleers (Tyler Thigpen, Jerome Simpson, Brad Poston and Quinton Teal).
Norman has previously been named to the 25-man American Football Coaches Association squad this season. He joins Thigpen as the only two Chants to be both a first team AP All-America and make the AFCA. In fact, Norman and Thigpen are just two of four Big South student-athletes to be honored accordingly, joining Gardner-Webb’s Harold Wells and Brian Johnston.
Norman is a three-time, first team All-Big South selection and was a 2009 third team All-American after shattering a Big South single-season record and ranking second in the NCAA with eight interceptions.
This past season, Norman led the Chanticleers in tackles and led the Big South in both passes defended (1.27) and pass breakups (12). Nationally, his 12 PBU ranks sixth-best, while his 1.27 passes defended ranks 10th-best. The 12 PBU was additionally a CCU single-season record and Norman’s 49 solo tackles this past season ranks fifth on the CCU seasonal chart. He was a two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Week, helping Coastal Carolina defeat VMI and Presbyterian in the process.
CB/RS Asa Jackson, Cal-Poly, 5’10 189, He was an outstanding quarterback in high school at Christian Brothers High in Sacramento. He had track speed, having qualified for the state in the 400-meter and 4×400-meter relay. An academic star as well he made the honor roll seven times, his background? Both of his parents are doctors and, according to his bio, he nurses abandoned and injured penguins back to health through the Arctic ASPCA. He took a visit to Notre Dame and Georgetown, but both trips were for track. He reportedly thought about walking on at those schools for track before a Cal Poly assistant sold him on their football program. Freshman of the Year honors from the Great West Conference after starting all 11 games as a true freshman at the boundary corner in 2008. Jackson posted 42 tackles, 10 pass breakups and two interceptions with one tackle for loss and three forced fumbles. Started all 11 games in ’09 at the boundary corner and tallied 48-6-2 with three tackles for loss. Had a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown and was the main punt returner with 13 returns for 201 yards (a school-record 15.5-yard average) and zero touchdowns. He missed the ’10 spring game with a fractured wrist. He earned first-team all-conference honors as the boundary corner for the third consecutive season in ’10 after recording 55-8-2 with one tackle for loss and one sack and 17-214-0 (12.6) as a punt returner in 11 starts. A team captain, his coach at Cal Poly, Tim Walsh, has told reporters that Jackson is the best cornerback he’s ever had in 25 years.
CB/FS/KR Justin Bethel, Presbyterian, The Big South Conference's career leader in blocked kicks has added two more to his total, scoring a touchdown on each one this season. He has been in on a team-high 37 tackles, including a sack. He has intercepted three passes and scored a TD off one. Bethel has also broken up four passes. He recorded over