February 1, 2006
Statesboro - Georgia Southern University football received a National Letter of Intent from 11 high school student-athletes on Wednesday.
Head coach Brian VanGorder announced his first signing class during an afternoon press conference at the
VanGorder also announced that quarterback Zach Stanford (Metter/Metter) and defensive back Brandon Jackson (
In all the Eagles signed eight on offense and five on defense.
The recently hired coaching staff, having arrived on-campus the first week in January, worked around a shorter evaluation time frame than normal. VanGorder was pleased on how they handled the process and noted that having contacts in
“Considering our situation I was pleased with the way we went about recruiting. We did the best we could on the road during the final two weeks of the contact period,” said the Eagles’ first-year head coach. “We had to rely more on information from high school coaches and our own video evaluation. Already having recruiting ties in the state helped us as far as the credibility of our staff and with the high school coaches.
“Our program is trying to emphasize the total student-athlete. We looked for players that had their priorities in order as they enter
With the loss of all four starting defensive backs to graduation, that was a main area the football staff concentrated on. The Eagles signed Jackson and two high school recruits. While switching to more of a multiple look on offense, Southern received commitments from four offensive linemen, two quarterbacks and two tight ends. VanGorder looked for size up front as the four linemen are 6-3 or taller while both tight ends are listed at 6-3.
“We’re changing the offense and that also involves the type of offensive lineman we wanted, looking for increased height and weight. We are involving a tight end in our system so that was (an area) important to find,” stated VanGorder. “With the graduation of our secondary we looked to answer that need and I think we did. On paper I think we filled our needs.”
Name Pos Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)
Matt Duke OL 6-5 285
Phillip Edwards SS 6-1 195 Macon (Mary Persons)
Jeremiah Enloe QB 6-3 195
Carson Hill DB 5-10 165 Haddock (
Brandon Jackson DB 6-0 185 Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Plantation/Central
Thomas Lewis OL 6-5 265
Jeremy Martin DL 6-4 235 Wrightsville (
Jim Martin OL 6-4 240
Zach Stanford QB 6-1 210 Metter (Metter)
Kevin Van Kirk OL 6-3 285 Ft. Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage
Michael Veal TE 6-3 225
Jonathan Walters TE 6-3 238
MATT DUKE * OL * 6-5 * 285 *
Ranked 80th nationally among all offensive tackles by ESPN Scouts.Inc… Times-Union Third Team All-1st Coast… 1st Coast Shrine Bowl nominee on the defensive line… played for coach Keith Stroud… lettered in football and wrestling… helped football team qualify for the playoffs in 2003 and advanced to the state semifinals last fall… last year won the District and Regional heavyweight wrestling title… qualified for the 2005 state wrestling meet… son of Tom and Ellen Duke.
PHILLIP EDWARDS * SS * 6-1 * 195 * Macon (Mary Persons)
Third Team All-Middle Georgia… tied a school record with eight interceptions during his senior year… finished with 51 tackles… played for coach Steve Chafin… received the team ‘Leadership Award’… averages 17 points a game and voted ‘Best Rebounder’ on the basketball team… lettered in football and basketball… son of Steve and Brenda Edwards.
JEREMIAH ENLOE * QB * 6-3 * 195 *
Received the ‘Best Offensive Player’ award at
CHOPPER FOSKEY * 6-2 * 225 *
First Team All-State in Class AA by the
CARSON HILL * DB * 5-10 * 165 * Haddock (
Ranked 57th nationally among all cornerbacks by ESPN Scouts.Inc… A four-year letterwinner, helped
BRANDON JACKSON * DB * 6-0 * 185 *
Played in nine games last year as a true freshman at Central Michigan… made 10 tackles and broke up a pass… transferred to Georgia Southern at the semester break and will have three years of eligibility remaining… All-State honors in high school as a defensive back… First Team All-Conference and First Team All-Broward County… two-year starter… lettered two times in football and track… led Plantation HS to a 10-1 record… during his senior year finished with 64 tackles, four interceptions, four fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles… registered 60 tackles and three interceptions his junior season… played for coach Frank Hepler.
THOMAS LEWIS * OL * 6-5 * 265 *
Second Team All-Area… Second Team All-Region… graded out at better than 90 percent last season and recorded more than 100 knockdown blocks… 2005 team ‘Lineman of the Year’… team captain… four-year letterwinner in football… played on both offense and defense… played for coach Felix Curry… son of Milton and Sharon Durham.
JEREMY MARTIN * DL * 6-4 * 235 * Wrightsville (
Earned First Team All-State honors as an offensive lineman… First Team All-Region his senior year and Second Team accolades during his junior year… lettered in football (2), basketball (4) and track (4)… played for coach Bill Bonds… member of the 2004 state track runner-up team… son of Lynn and Sarah Martin.
JIM MARTIN * OL * 6-4 * 240 *
Named All-Region 1-AAAAA as a junior and senior… lettered two years each in football and baseball… played for coach Rick Darlington… son of Joe and Midge Martin.
ZACH STANFORD * QB * 6-1 * 200 * Metter (Metter)
Played baseball last fall at
KEVIN VAN KIRK * OL * 6-3 * 285 *
Two-time First Team All-Ft. Lauderdale… two-time First Team All-County… four-year starter… team captain… team-leading 96 knockdown blocks during his senior year… twice received ‘Most Valuable Lineman’ award… participated in the North-South All-Star game held in Orlando… junior year team advanced to the state semifinals… lettered in football (4) and track (3)… one brother plays collegiate baseball and another was drafted by the Boston Red Sox… son of Bobby and Mary Van Kirk.
MICHAEL VEAL * TE * 6-3 * 225 *
JONATHAN WALTERS * TE * 6-3 * 238 *
Two-time All-Region and All-Middle
from Georgia Southen Sports Information