NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State football program has returned to the top of the heap in the Boxtorow HBCU Top 10 Recruiting Class rankings. After being named the top class in 2012 and 2013 the Tigers fell to third in 2014 and were credited with the eighth best class in 2015.
“To have the number one recruiting class speaks volumes for us and our program,” said head coach Rod Reed. “I thought our coaches did a great job getting out and identifying talent last spring, which allowed us to hone in on some kids who we felt could come in and be an impact on the program immediately.”
TSU highlighted the top 2016 class with four three-star prospects, including defensive tackles Justin Andrews (Lakeland, Fla.) and Michael Perry (Memphis, Tenn.), as well as wide receivers Major Bellamy, Jr. (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Steven Newbold (Opa Locka, Fla.).
The Tigers continued to add depth with seven two-star recruits. In all the Big Blue signed 22 newcomers, 14 on offense and eight on defense. Coach Reed addressed needs on the trenches bringing in four players on each side of the ball. Reed also added playmakers and speed as he inked five wide receivers and three running backs.
“This is also a testament to our administration,” Reed said. “They allow us the resources to get out and recruit for top notch talent.”
TSU was listed ahead of Prairie View A&M, Norfolk State, South Carolina State and Bethune-Cookman. Florida A&M was named sixth while Alabama State and Grambling tied for seventh. Southern and Hampton are eighth and ninth, respectively.
The Tigers open the 2016 season on Sept. 3 as they host Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the John Merritt Classic.
Signing Class of 2016
Jatitus ‘Ty’ Allen – OL, 6-3, 290lbs., Northside HS/Merced CC, Warner Robins, Ga.
Justin Andrews – DT, 6-1, 255lbs., Kathleen HS, Lakeland, Fla.
Major Bellamy, Jr. – WR, 5-8, 160lbs., Central Gwinnett HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Aaron Cauthen – TE, 6-5, 235lbs., Douglass County HS, Douglasville, Ga.
Sabree Curtis, Jr. – ATH, 5-10, 170lbs., Creekside HS, Fairburn, Ga.
Reggie Gunn Jr. – S, 6-1, 195lbs., Trinity Christian Academy, Jacksonville, Fla.
Jamahl Jelks – OL, 6-3, 320lbs., Gadsden City HS, Gadsden, Ala.
Desmond Johnson – ATH, 6-0, 186lbs., J.O. Johnson HS, Huntsville, Ala.
Khalil Jones – DT, 6-0, 270lbs., Stratford HS, Nashville, Tenn.
Cedric Maynard – RB, 5-9, 180lbs., Callaway HS, Hogansville, Ga.
Xzavier McAllister – OL, 6-7, 350lbs., McKinley HS/Merced CC, Canton, Ohio
Dajour Nesbeth – DB, 6-1, 175lbs., West Orange HS, Winter Garden, Fla.
Steven Newbold – ATH, 5-11, 170lbs., Carol City HS, Opa Locka, Fla.
Michael Perry – DT, 6-0, 327lbs., Whitehaven HS, Memphis, Tenn.
Rodrick Robinson – ATH, 6-1, 177lbs., Miami Norland HS, Miami, Fla.
Christian Rowland – WR/RB, 5-8, 159lbs., Ravenwood HS, Brentwood, Tenn.
Jeff Scott, Jr. – OL, 6-5, 298lbs., Peoria HS, Peoria, Ill.
William Summers, Jr. – ATH, 5-9, 170lbs., Stratford HS, Nashville, Tenn.
Larry Wilhoite III – WR/FS, 6-0, 185lbs., Franklin Road Academy, Nashville, Tenn.
Ronnie Killings – WR, 6-1, 185lbs., Navy, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Tyric Reid –LB, 5-11, 243lbs., Eustis HS, Eustis, Fla.
Terrence Summers – DT, 6-2, 310lbs., Hutchinson CC, Springfield, Tenn.