For the seventh time in eight years BOXTOROW has
ranked the top 10 HBCU FCS recruiting classes and Tennessee State is at the top of the list.
The rankings are based on the talent that was brought in and research that BOXTOROW did based upon school releases, local newspaper articles and recruiting boards. This is not an exact science, but an opinion.
Tennessee State already had tradition and a top notch facility (they play their home games at LP Field home of the Tennessee Titans) as big reasons why they’ve been successful in recruiting. The tradition includes the likes of former TSU greats Pro Football Hall of Famer Richard Dent, Ed Too Tall Jones, Claude Humphrey, Joe Gilliam, and Coach John Merritt to name a very few. They even renovated their on-campus facility Hale Stadium, where the aforementioned legends played. They played two games in the “Hole” as it’s known this past year. The Tigers also added an indoor football facility on campus, one of the very few, if any, on the FCS level.
The Tigers were last year’s No. 1 and head coach Rod Reed thinks this class is better than last year’s class. It just shows what facilities can do for a program. Of the 24 signees, twelve are two-star recruits.
The Tigers got deeper in the receiver category signing ESPN three-star wide receiver Chris Sanders-McCollum, the 122nd ranked player in Georgia who received offers from Auburn, Cincinnati, Tulane, and Pittsburgh amongst other FBS schools. TSU also signed two-star receivers Dantwaun O’Neal (Deland, FL/Deland) and speedy Aaron Piper (Dallas, TX/Duncanville).
Defensively is where the Tigers needed to get better, especially up front having generated only 21 sacks last year. They added defensive tackle Rodney Edwards (Gadsden, AL/Gadasen City) defensive end Roc-m Nesbitt (Atlanta, GA/Carver) (love the name), and defensive tackle Baron Poole (Decatur, GA/Southwest DeKalb, all two-star recruits.
The Tigers really
bolstered the secondary signing Florida transfer cornerback De’Ante “Pop” Saunders who
played in 20 games, making 16 starts for the Gators in two seasons.
He could come in right away and play opposite All-American Steven Godbolt. An intriguing signing is that of ESPN three-star recruit Patrick Smith
(Memphis, TN/Whitehaven) who played quarterback in high school. He
will get a look at quarterback but is such a great athlete, and with
Michael German holding down the position, could play another position.
He spurned offers from Memphis and Mississippi State.
2013 HBCU TOP 10 RANKINGS
T1. Tennessee State
T1. Alabama State
3. South Carolina State
4. Morgan State
7. Florida A&M
8. Alcorn State
9. Jackson State
10. Delaware State
-- TSU TIGERS --