NASHVILLE, Tenn. - National Signing Day 2016 has arrived and Tennessee State University is proud to announce the latest additions to the Big Blue football team.
Follow along as we post our most recent National Letter of Intent confirmations here. Click on the players name to see video displaying their abilities.
We will have live updates all day via our social media pages (Twitter - @TSU_Tigers and Facebook.com/TSUTigers).
The Signing Day Celebration with Coach Rod Reed and the TSU coaching staff will be held at the Indoor Football Facility at 6:30 p.m.
2:58 p.m. CT
Larry Wilhoite III – WR/FS, 6-0, 185lbs., Franklin Road Academy, Nashville, Tenn.
Had 107 carries in 12 games for 824 yards as a senior… Averaged 7.7 yards per carry with 10 touchdowns… Caught 45 passes for 724 yards, averaging 16.1 yards per catch and scored four touchdowns for his career… On defense, recorded 208 tackles, 117 solo, 9.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions over his career… Helped FRA to the Quarterfinals of the Division II Class A State Tournament and a 11-1 record… Named First Team TSWA and Prep Insider DII-A All-State… Played in the Ninth Annual Toyota East vs. West Tennessee All-Star Classic… Played for Bill Whitemore… Had offers from Murray State, Samford and Southeast Missouri… Son of Larry Willhoite II
“He is a local kid with some TSU ties. He gives us size in the defensive backfield. He will play safety for us.”
1:14 p.m. CT
Justin Andrews – DT, 6-1, 255lbs., Kathleen HS, Lakeland, Fla.
Listed as a 3-star recruit by Rivals.com and 247Sports… Recorded 53 tackles, 37 solo, with 11 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, nine quarterback hurries and one pass breakup… Was named 2015 All-County First Team for his efforts… Played for Irving Sterling and helped Kathleen HS to an appearance in the Florida 7A State playoffs… Had offers from Kentucky, Louisville, Marshall, UMass, South Alabama, South Florida, UCF and Virginia Tech… Generated interest from Florida State and Georgia… Son of Stacy Andrews, Toby Culpepper
“He’s a kid who got some big time offers from the likes of Bowling Green and South Florida. We feel we got a steal. He reminds us of a Samquan Evans playing type. He is a beast in the middle.”
Jamahl Jelks – OL, 6-3, 320lbs., Gadsden City HS, Gadsden, Ala.
Is versatile on the front line as a tackle and a center… Selected to play in the 2015 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game… Named to the Alabama 100, an independent of Scout.com’s… Ranked as the No. 8 offensive lineman in Alabama… Earned a spot on the 2015 Alabama Sports Writers Association 7A All-State First Team… Honored as part of the TV24 Pigskin All-Star Football Team… Played for Matt Scott… Had offers from Jacksonville State, Southern Miss, Tennessee Tech and UAB… Received interest from Auburn, Middle Tennessee and Troy… Son of Sabrina Reid… Plans to major in Business
“He is a big physical offensive lineman. We had to fight off Jacksonville State and UAB to get his services, we think he is going to be a good one.”
Xzavier McAllister – OL, 6-7, 350lbs., McKinley HS/Merced CC, Canton, Ohio
A 2-star recruit according to Rivals.com… Played for Bob Casey at Merced CC… Prepped for Dan Reardon at McKinley HS… Had offer from Akron, Georgia State and Pitt… Had interest from Arizona, Arizona State, Fresno State, Oregon State, San Jose State, Utah, Utah State and Washington State… Plans to major in Psychology
“He played alongside Ty Allen at Merced and will put you in the same mindset as a Rogers Gaines. He is a big kid who can really move his feet. We feel fortunate to get him.”
Michael Perry – DT, 6-1, 320lbs., Whitehaven HS, Memphis, Tenn.
A 3-star recruit from Rivals.com and 247Sports… Finished with 20 tackles in seven games, 10 solos, 9.0 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2015… Guided team to the semifinals of the Tennessee Class 6A Playoffs… Selected for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl high school all-star football game… Played for Rodney Saulsberry… Had offers from Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Central Arkansas, Eastern Michigan, Georgia Southern, Howard, Indiana, Jacksonville State, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri State, Southeastern Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas-San Antonio… Received interest from Missouri
“He is a big time defensive lineman. He might be one of the top defensive linemen in the state of Tennessee. He is another kid with a lot of interest from some mid-majors schools. He liked Tennessee State and we are very fortunate to have him. He will give us a little more beef in the middle.”
11:04 a.m. CT
Jeff Scott, Jr. – OL, 6-5, 298lbs., Peoria HS, Peoria, Ill.
Played for Tim Thornton at Peoria HS… Helped PHS to a 10-2 record and a Big Twelve Conference title… Led squad to a Quarterfinal appearance in the Illinois Class 5A tournament… A 2-star prospect according to scout.com… Had offers from Alabama State and Valparaiso… Garnered interest from Harvard, Illinois, Illinois State, Indiana, Iowa State, Jacksonville State, Missouri, North Dakota State and Northern Illinois… Son of Cenita and Jeff Scott, Sr… Plans to major in Physical Therapy
“He’s a big kid. We feel he can come in and contribute immediately. He has great feet and is able to drive blocks well.”
10:42 a.m. CT
Jatitus ‘Ty’ Allen – OL, 6-3, 290lbs., Northside HS/Merced CC, Warner Robins, Ga.
Played in all contests in 2015 for Bob Casey at Merced CC and for Kevin Kinsler at Northside HS… Had offers from Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee, North Carolina A&T and Northwestern State… Generated interset from Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Colorado State, Fresno State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Kentucky, New Mexico State, Oklahoma and UNLV… Son of Lena Allen
“Originally out of Macon, Ga., but he comes to us from Merced College. He has the ability to play every position on the offensive line. He is going to come in and make an immediate impact on our offensive line.”
9:44 a.m. CT
Desmond Johnson – ATH, 6-0, 186lbs., J.O. Johnson HS, Huntsville, Ala.
Played free safety, wide receiver and quarterback last season for Harold Wells at J.O. Johnson H.S… He recorded 67 tackles and two interceptions… On offense, he had 25 receptions for 432 yards and three scores… Listed as a 2-star recruit by Rivals.com and 247Sports… Was selected to play for the United States Under-19 Select team against Canada… Had offers from Alabama A&M, Army, Campbell, Murray State, Navy, Samford, Southern Illinois, UT Martin, Western Carolina… Had interest from Alabama, Auburn, Cincinnati, Clemson, Duke, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, UAB, Utah, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Western Kentucky… Son of Susann and Danny Johnson… Plans to major in Sports Management
“He played well at the USA versus Canada game down in Dallas. He is a cousin of a couple of former Tigers, C,J, Johnson and Chris Johnson. We look to play him at safety and we are excited to have him.”
8:38 a.m. CT
Christian Rowland – WR/RB, 5-8, 159lbs., Ravenwood HS, Brentwood, Tenn.
Hauled in a team-leading 47 receptions for 924 yards and nine touchdowns… On the ground, totaled 744 yards rushing and 10 scores on 98 carries… Averages 49.6 yards per kick return and 18.6 yards on punt returns, converting on five for touchdowns… A member of the 2014 Class 6A State Runner-Up, guided RHS to the 2015 Class 6A State Championship… Played in the Ninth Annual Toyota East vs. West Tennessee All-Star Classic… Played for Will Hester… Had offers from Austin Peay, Tennessee Tech and UT Martin… Son of Ingrid and Tony Rowland
“The kid is Explosive. He is electric with the ball in his hand. His mother is a TSU grad and it is great to have another legacy in the fold. He can return kicks, play running back, slot receiver, he is just electric and we are glad to have him here.”
8:19 a.m. CT
Reggie Gunn Jr. – S, 6-1, 195lbs., Trinity Christian Academy, Jacksonville, Fla.
Helped Trinity Christian to a 14-0 record and the Florida 3A State Championship… Paced a defense who allowed just 20 points in four games during the state playoffs… As a senior, played in 14 games recording 53 tackles, 26 solos, 6.0 tackles for loss, one interception and two pass deflections… Totaled 96 tackles, 48 solos, 10 tackles for loss, three interceptions, three pass deflections and a fumble recovery over 29 games during career… Played for Verlon Dorminey… Had offers from Alcorn State, Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M and UMass… Had interest from South Florida… Son of Latoya and Reggie Gunn, Sr.
“He has good size. He was a safety in high school, but we feel he can move to outside linebacker. He has the ability to cover the tight end and supply support on the run.”
8:04 a.m. CT
Khalil Jones – DT, 6-0, 270lbs., Stratford HS, Nashville, Tenn.
Spent his senior year at Stratford HS after transferring from Augustus Hawkins HS, Los Angeles, Calif… Played in 12 games, recorded 131 tackles, 71 solo, 29 tackles for loss… Picked up 8.5 sacks, nine hurries, two pass deflections and two fumble recoveries… Guided SHS to the second round of the Tennessee Division I Class 3A State Championships… Was named All-Region 5-3A… Played for Maurice Fitzgerald… Had interest from Arizona, California, Colorado, Fresno State, San Jose State and UCLA… Son of Gabriella and Pharoah Jones… Plans to major in Business
“He is a big kid that can really move. Not a lot of people in the area knew about him and we feel good about getting him. He can be another impact player on the defensive line.”
Steven Newbold – ATH, 5-11, 170lbs., Carol City HS, Opa Locka, Fla.
Rated a 2-star recruit by Rivals.com and a 3-star prospect by 247Sports… Helped CCHS reach the second round of the Florida Class 6A State Tournament… Ranks as the 10th rated wide receiver in the Miami-Dade area… Played for Harold Barnwell… Had offers from Southern Illinois… Generated interest from LSU, Miami (FL) and Nebraska… Plans to major in HPSS
“He is Very explosive. He has a great catch radius and he has very good ability to run after the catch.”
William Summers, Jr. – ATH, 5-9, 170lbs., Stratford HS, Nashville, Tenn.
Played for Maurice Fitzgerald at Stratford HS… Helped SHS to the second round of the Tennessee Division I Class 3A State Championships… As a running back, played five games and rushed for 348 yards on 42 carries, averaging 8.3 yards per rush, and collected three touchdowns… Caught 11 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns… Averaged 26.1 yards per reception… Defensively, recorded 31 tackles, 13 solos, two interceptions and two pass deflections… Returned a punt 65 yards for a score on his only attempt of the season… Son of Nesheryl and Williams Summers, Sr… Major is undecided
“He is a very explosive kid. Only played a few games this season, but has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He can play slot receiver, running back and can do a lot of special things. We are really excited about him.”
7:13 a.m. CT
Major Bellamy, Jr. – WR, 5-8, 160lbs., Central Gwinnett HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Played in 22 games over the last two seasons and hauled in 156 receptions for 2,524 and 24 touchdowns, including 16 in his senior campaign… Averaged 16.2 receptions per game and 114.7 yards per game… Was selected as the 2015 Daily Post’s Offensive Player of the Year… Over his career, played in 31 games, pulling in 185 receptions for 2,815 yards and 26 touchdowns… Rushed for 122 yards and three scores on 33 carries over the past three seasons… Named Touchdown Club of Atlanta Player of the Week for his play against Brookwood HS where he had 14 catches for 254 yards and a TD, ranking as the 10th best receiving night in Georgia High School football history…. Listed as a 2-star recruit by Rivals.com and a 3-star prospect by 247Sports… Guided Central Gwinnett HS to the second round of the Georgia 6A State playoffs… Played for Todd Wofford… Had offers from Georgia State, Marshall, Memphis, Miami (OH), Samford and Youngstown State… Son of Sherika Hill and Wingo West… Plans to major in Business
“We were looking for explosiveness on offense and we feel like he gives us the same kind of ability a Weldon Garlington gave us. Except he is a little more shiftier with the ball in his hands.”
Aaron Cauthen – TE, 6-5, 235lbs., Douglass County HS, Douglasville, Ga.
Played quarterback as a sophomore, completing 10-of-25 for 132 yards and rushing for 74 yards on 19 carries… As a tight end in his senior season, caught 16 passes for 202 yards with two touchdowns… Was selected All-Region 3-AAAAAA First Team… Played for John Respert… Had an offer from Furman… Son of Arthur and Toni Cauthen… Plans to major in Physical Therapy or Business
“It came down to the wire with us and Furman. He only played tight end this year, but is also a quarterback. He is very athletic for his size. He will help fill a void at tight end with the loss of Joe Bowens and Archie Dennard.”
Sabree Curtis, Jr. – ATH, 5-10, 170lbs., Creekside HS, Fairburn, Ga.
Played for Will Rodgers at Creekside HS… Rushed for 1,600 yards and 25 touchdowns… Recorded a 74-yard punt return for a score on special teams on his way to being named First Team All-Region… Listed as a 2-star recruit by Rivals.com who has been clocked with a 4.5 40… Led CHS to a 8-3 record and a spot in the Georgia State 5A Playoffs… Had offers from Alcorn State, Colorado State, Georgia State, Kent State and Miami (OH)… Garnered interest from Georgia Southern, Middle Tennessee, Troy and Western Kentucky… Son of Sabree Curtis, Sr. and Sharon Mercer
“He is a big time running back. Kent State and Georgia State were all over him and we did a good job of getting him to come to Tennessee State. He reminds you of a Telvin Hooks with an extra twitch.”
Cedric Maynard – RB, 5-9, 180lbs., Callaway HS, Hogansville, Ga.
Led Callaway HS to a 11-2 record and AAA Region 5 title… Helped CHS to the second round of the Georgia AAA State tournament… Has turned in a 4.4 time in the 40… Played for Pete Wiggins… Had offers from Alabama State, Georgia Southern and Southern… Son of Gregory Maynard, Shaquuanna Bigsby… Plans to major in Business
“He is explosive. He can flat out run. He is a 10.6 100-meter guy. He rushed for 2,800 yards and scored 25 touchdowns. We look forward to what he can bring.”
Dajour Nesbeth – DB, 6-1, 175lbs., West Orange HS, Winter Garden, Fla.
Helped West Orange HS to a 12-2 record and the semifinals of the Florida 8A State Championships… Runs a 4.53 40, bringing size and speed to the defensive backfield… Played for Bob Head… Had offer from Florida A&M… Son of Shelly Scott and Michael Lawrence
“We do not have anybody over 5-10 in our secondary, outside of Ezra Robinson. We wanted to address the need and Dajour gives us exactly that with a little more size in the secondary. He is a great cover guy and he was the number one high school corner on our board.”
Rodrick Robinson – ATH, 6-1, 177lbs., Miami Norland HS, Miami, Fla.
Is a dual-threat quarterback with 4.61 speed… Played in the Dade-Broward All-Star game… Played for Daryle Heidelburg… Had offers from Florida A&M and Norfolk State… Garnered interest from Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky, Liberty and South Florida… Son of Peggy and Roosevelt Robinson
“He’s an athletic quarterback who can throw the football. We saw him make all types of throws in the Dade-Broward all-star game. We felt he did a really good job in that game.”
Terrence Summers – DT, 6-2, 310lbs., Hutchinson CC, Springfield, Tenn.
Played the 2015 season with Hutchinson CC after redshirting freshman season… Is listed as a 2-Star athlete by Rivals.com… Recorded 39 tackles this past season including 7.5 for loss… Collected 3.5 sacks, recovered a fumble and forced a fumble… Played for Dustin Wilson at Springfield HS and Rion Rhoades at Hutchinson CC
“Here is that beef in the middle. We recruited him out of high school, but he went out to Hutchinson College in Kansas and did a really good job out there. Other schools wanted his services, but he wanted to come back home. We love having him back and expect him to be an anchor on the line.”
Ronnie Killings – WR, 6-1, 185lbs., Navy, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Redshirted in the fall at Navy... As a senior at Blackman HS, caught 27 passes for a team-high 803 yards and 11 touchdowns, including three on special teams… Collected 52 catches for a school-record 1,225 receiving yards during his career… Played for Philip Shadowens at BHS… Had offers from Air Force and Central Arkansas before choosing Navy
“We recruited him out of high school, but he chose the Naval Academy. We are very excited to have him. He’s a play-maker who played on both sides of the ball down at Blackman. We feel really fortunate to have him here and feel he will make some explosive plays for us.”
Tyric Reid – LB, 5-11, 243lbs., Eustis HS, Eustis, Fla.
Ranked as a 2-star recruit by Rivals.com… Finished with 77 tackles, 36 solos, in 11 games at Nease HS in Ponta Vedra, Fla… Also notched nine tackles for loss, a sack and two fumble recoveries… Played for Tim Krause at Nease HS and Mike Hay at Eustus HS… Had offers from Arkansas State and Florida Atlantic… Drew interest from Ball State, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), Michigan, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee and UCF
“It is very rare we get a mid-semester enrollee, but he’s a kid that really liked us. He had some other offers, but he was able to graduate early and will be able to get him in spring ball. He is going to do good things at the middle linebacker spot.”