Simpson adds 23 to his Skyhawk football flock

Simpson adds 23 to his Skyhawk football flock

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 12:02 am
By: Stephanie Sturgis – Weakley County Press Sports Editor

Simpson adds 23 to his Skyhawk football flock

Touting his New Skyhawks — UT Martin football head coach Jason Simpson spoke at length about his 23 new recruits to a room full of fans, faculty and media on national signing day Wednesday. Photo by Stephanie Sturgis
Got a need? Find a recruit to fill it.
That’s the process Skyhawk football head coach Jason Simpson and his staff used to sign 23 student-athletes to their UT Martin squad on Wednesday.
“We don’t put parameters on ourselves. We don’t say, ‘They’ve got to be from here.’ We try to fill a need,” Simpson noted while talking about his new signees at the end of the first day high school athletes could sign National Letters of Intent.
UT Martin inked four wide receivers and a tight end to help boost a Skyhawk offense that was second in the Ohio Valley Conference in both total offense and passing offense last season. Those receivers will likely eventually catch passes from the two quarterbacks Simpson signed. In addition, two offensive linemen and a pair of running backs are new to the team.
The UT Martin defense, which was tops in the OVC in total defense and pass defense and second in the conference in rush defense in 2010, wasn’t neglected either.
Three new linebackers signees will be called upon to fill the hole left by the departure of highly-decorated senior linebacker Josh Bey. Two safeties and a pair of defensive backs will patrol the secondary in the future. Three defensive linemen will also join the roster.
Simpson also added an athlete who will contribute on special teams  and a strong-legged place-kicker to boot kickoffs into the end zone.
The signees are mostly from Tennessee (13), but three are from Kentucky, two from Missouri and one from Alabama. Also among the newest Skyhawks are a Georgia Tech transfer and three junior college players from Mississippi.
Two Westview foes from the 2010 season are among the UT Martin signees — offensive lineman Matt Murphy (6-2, 260) from Camden and defensive lineman John Scott (6-3, 265) from Oakhaven.
The Skyhawks finished the 2010 season with a 6-5 record overall and were 5-3 against conference foes.
“It’s a long, tiring process, but when you get down to it, it’s rewarding,” the head coach added.
UTM signees are:
• Ben Axline, WR, 6-3, 185, Martha Layne Collins (Ky.) HS
• Tony Bell, Athlete, 6-1, 200, Kingsbury (Tenn.) HS
• Marquis Clemons, S, 5-11, 175, Webster Groves (Mo.) HS
• Dylan Davis, WR, 6-2, 195, Hinds (Miss.) CC
• Anthony Gardner, RB, 5-9, 175, Pleasant Grove (Ala.) HS
• Jarvis McCann, LB, 6-1, 230, Pearl River (Miss.) CC
• Keland McElrath, DL, 6-4, 285, Ripley (Tenn.) HS
• Lamont McMurry, RB, 5-10, 185, St. Xavier (Ky.) HS
• Jordan Murphy, OL, 6-3, 280, Camden Central (Tenn.) HS
• Matt Murphy, DL, 6-2, 260, CBC (Tenn.) HS
• Jarod Neal, QB, 6-1, 180, Beech (Tenn.) HS
• Taino Perez, DB, 5-10, 170, Farragut (Tenn.) HS
• James Ratliff, LB, 6-0, 225, Craigmont (Tenn.) HS
• Jackson Redditt, K, 6-2, 190, Wilson Central (Tenn.) HS
• Tyler Rice, QB, 6-4, 195, Wayne County (Tenn.) HS
• Jackson Roberts, OL, 6-7, 300, Webster Groves (Mo.) HS
• Corey Rogers, TE, 6-4, 250, George Rogers Clark (Ky.) HS
• John Scott, DL, 6-3, 265, Oakhaven (Tenn.) HS
•  Aaron Simms, DB, 5-10, 160, McGavock (Tenn.) HS
• Quentin Sims, WR, 6-3, 202, Georgia Tech Univ.
• Richard Taylor, S, 5-10, 185, Pearl Cohn (Tenn.) HS
• Chris Wright, LB, 6-1, 205, Gulf Coast (Miss.) CC
• Rod Wright, WR, 6-1, 175, Ridgeway (Tenn.) HS

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