|UTM fills need basket with commitments |
|Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 4:15 pm |
|UT Martin football coach Jason Simpson has picked up commitments from 23 student-athletes who will suit up for the Skyhawks in the fall. |
Simpson and his staff spanned six states to pick up this year’s signing class. The freshman class includes 13 signees from the state of Tennessee, three from Kentucky, two from Missouri and one from Alabama. UT Martin also picked up commitments from three junior college players and a transfer from Georgia Tech.
“We had some specific needs we had to address and I think we were able to fill our needs,” Simpson said. “We were able to sign some quality receivers and a tight end and we picked up two running backs and two offensive linemen that will help us put more points on the board.”
The Skyhawks also had to fill a void at linebacker with the departure of All-OVC product Josh Bey.
“We added three linebackers and added some depth on the defensive line and at defensive back,” Simpson said.
Leading the list of defensive linemen signed by UT Martin is Ripley’s Keland McElrath (6-4, 285) — no stranger to local fans as Obion Central saw the big man in each of its final two games last season.
Wayne County quarterback Tyler Rice is another notable Skyhawk signee with local ties. His father and WC skipper, Ricky, was at one time the Lake County football coach.
The younger Rice was selected as the Class 1A Mr. Football Back of the Year in December.
Camden also had one player among UTM’s signing class with Class 2A Mr. Football Lineman of the Year finalist Jordan Murphy (6-3, 280) inking as an offensive lineman.
Others from the state of Tennessee in this year’s UT Martin class are athlete Tony Bell (Kingsbury), quarterback Jarod Neal (Beech), defensive back Taino Perez (Farragut), linebacker James Ratliff (Craigmont), kicker Jackson Redditt (Wilson Central), defensive lineman John Scott (Oakhaven), defensive back Aaron Simms (McGavock), safety Richard Taylor (Pearl-Cohn), defensive lineman Matt Murphy (Christian Brothers) and wide receiver Rod Wright (Ridgeway).
Wide receiver Quentin Sims was also notable in this year’s UTM recruting group as a transfer from Georgia Tech.
Overall, the Skyhawks signed 11 offensive players (four wide receivers, two quarterbacks, two running backs, two offensive linemen, and a tight end) and 10 defensive players (three linebackers, three defensive linemen, two safeties and two defensive backs).