Hamilton announces 2003 football recruiting class

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 5, 2003) - East Tennessee State University head football coach Paul Hamilton announced his 2003 recruiting class Wednesday during a press conference at Memorial Center. The group includes 12 high school signees and three mid-semester transfers. The Buccaneers - who have enjoyed three winning seasons over the last four years - did not have to look far to reload, signing 11 high school seniors from the state of Tennessee. "I am pleased with the quality of in-state players that we were able to bring into our football program," Hamilton said. "We continue to recruit quality I-AA players that we need to be recruiting in our own state. "We also are very pleased with the number of linemen that we signed. We felt like that was a big need of our football team after last season, particularly the offensive linemen we brought in have a chance to come in and help our football team." Player Profiles Brandon Barnes*6-5*250*Lineman*Chattanooga, Tenn.*East Ridge HS Team co-captain and a three-year starter had 95 tackles and 16 tackles for loss his senior year and also recorded 15 pancake blocks voted first-team All-Region and All-State teams in Class 4A selected as a Chattanooga Times-Free Press All-Star, as he led his team to consecutive playoff berths, including the region championship his junior year a member of his school's track team, where he was a state runner-up in the shot put as a junior coached by Tim James. Walter Brown*5-10*185*Running back/cornerback*Elizabethton, Tenn.*Elizabethton HS Four-year letterwinner and three-year starter for the Cyclones broke two long-standing school records by rushing for 1,678 yards in 10 games to break a record that was 31 years old, and scoring 174 points in a single season to break a record that had stood for 57 years a three-sport star who stood out in both basketball and track selected Elizabethton's top offensive player in 2002 and the All-Region 4A Player of the Year was a Tennessee Sports Writers Association first-team selection coached by Tommy Jenkins. Donald Butcher*6-5*310*Offensive lineman*Chattanooga,*Hixson HS Led team in pancake blocks and recovered two fumbles defensively as a senior was named to the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of Preps and preseason All-State teams runs a 5.23 40-yard dash and has a 27-inch vertical jump bench presses 330 pounds and can squat 425 pounds coached by Todd Windham. Ricky Epps*6-1*260*Defensive lineman*Fort Myers, Fla.*Fort Myers Senior HS A two-way starter at guard and defensive tackle had the second highest blocking percentage on the team and ranked fourth on the team in tackles was a first-team All-Southwest Florida selection as a junior was a first team All-Southwest Florida and honorable mention All-State pick as a senior a team captain in 2002 coached by Sammy Sirianni. James Garmany*6-0*210*Athlete*Dayton, Tenn.*Rhea County HS A three-year starter, a two-time Chattanooga Times-Free Press All-Area and an All-State selection his senior year threw for 700 yards and rushed for 820 had seven interceptions including three in one game, which was a school record had 1,000 yards receiving, 1,700 yards rushing, and 14 interceptions during his prep career has scored a touchdown by kickoff return, interception, rushing, receiving, passing and punt return a team captain that was selected to the Tennessee/Kentucky All-Star Game coached by Jason Fitzgerald. Brandon Gibson*6-3*295*Offensive lineman *Sevierville, Tenn.*Sevier County HS An All-Big East First Team and Mountain Press Lineman of the Year in 2001 named first team All-Big East, All-Region and All-State (Coaches team) as a senior in 2002 Team captain as a senior and a four-year letterwinner was major contributor as a defensive lineman on Class 5A state championship team in 1999 had 3.5 grade point average as a senior coached by Steve Brewer. Matthew Hurd*6-3*215*Tight end/linebacker*Kingsport, Tenn.*Sullivan North HS A four-year varsity player and a team captain named all-conference twice after a career in which he recorded 114 unassisted tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 12 sacks for loss, seven forced fumbles and 34 pancake blocks a three-year starter for head coach Gary Harris. Kenny Harper*5-11*221*Running back*Knoxville, Tenn.*South-Doyle HS Rushed for a school record 2,200 yards for his career his senior season rushed for 1,176 yards and 11 touchdowns, while also collecting 78 tackles, 1 interception and 2 fumble recoveries selected to the TACA Kentucky vs. Tennessee All-Star Game TFAC All-State All-Big East Conference, All-East Tennessee and All-Knoxville Area in 2001 and 2002 State Player of the Week in 2002 coached by Jim Swafford. Reggie Jones*6-1*190*Wide receiver/defensive back*Knoxville, Tenn.*Austin East HS Started three years at Austin East excelled in basketball and track had 65 receptions for 1,242 yards, an average of 19.1 yards per catch during his career also rushed for 126 yards on 14 carries had 18 touchdown receptions and four scores on the ground an All-KIL and All-East Tennessee selection was a member of the 2001 state championship team at Austin-East coached by Stanton Stevens. Bart McMillan*6-2*215*Linebacker*Bristol, Tenn.*Tennessee HS Recorded 80 solo tackles, 38 assists, six sacks and caused four fumbles his senior year at linebacker also averaged 7.7 yards a carry and had seven touchdowns as a fullback in 2002 a team captain his senior year was selected All-Conference, All-Northeast Tennessee, All-Big Six Conference and All-State by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association, Tennessee Coaches Association and Associated Press An All-Conference selection for three years finished his career with a school-record 238 tackles, 356 total tackles, 10 forced fumbles and 18 sacks a four-year letterwinner in football and a three-year letterwinner in baseball coached by Greg Stubbs. Antonio Minor*6-0*193*Wide receiver/Running back*Knoxville, Tenn.*Fulton HS Scored 22 touchdowns as a junior and senior, scoring 14 on receptions, six on interception returns and one each via fumble recovery and kickoff return runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash Had 51 receptions for 1,003 yards and collected 12 interceptions during the 2001 and 2002 seasons All-Region, All-East Tennessee and All-State selection named Knoxville Football League Player of the Year and the East Tennessee Class AAA Player of the Year selected to the Kentucky/Tennessee All-Star game coached by Buck Coatney. Anthony Nelson*6-4*334*Offensive lineman*Kingsport, Tenn.*Virginia Tech A mid-semester transfer from the Hokies football program saw action in seven games as a redshirt sophomore in 2001 earned Super Iron Hokie status during both the preseason and winter testing sessions, bench pressing 440 pounds and having a 700-pound back squat lettered four years as a two-way tackle at Sullivan South High School listed as the No. 2 offensive lineman in the state of Tennessee as a senior by the Kingsport Times-News was a prep All-American. Cameron Northern*6-3*350*Lineman*Los Angeles, Ca.*El Camino College Two-year player at El Camino College in Torrance, Ca. played defensive tackle his first year at El Camino and made the change to offensive line the second season helped lead team to Mission Conference Championship in 2001. Tate Pittman*6-0*235*Linebacker*Mechanicsville, Va.*Oregon An all-around athletic player, posting a 31-inch vertical jump, squatting 485 pounds and clocking a 4.8 40-yard dash while at Oregon was a two-year starter at Arizona Community College before joining the Ducks Tallied 80 unassisted tackles among 118 stops as a sophomore in addition to recording five tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks to rank among the nation's top 100 junior college prospects by SuperPrep Magazine. Nick Rivers*6-2*235*Linebacker*Chattanooga, Tenn.*Hixson HS Had 97 tackles in 2002 to lead his team recovered four fumbles (two of which were returned for touchdowns), had six tackles for loss, and one touchdown reception as a tight end was a Chattanooga Times-Free Press Preseason Super 13 and Best of Preps selection runs a 4.6 second 40-yard dash and has a 31-inch vertical jump coached by Todd Windham.