ATLANTA -- With an emphasis on defense and both lines of scrimmage, Georgia State signed 13 student-athletes on the first day of the college football early signing period, head coach Shawn Elliott announced Wednesday.
The Panthers signed seven linemen in the class, including two on offense and five on defense. GSU also added three linebackers and two defensive backs on the defensive side.
"We've got a great class that will move this program forward," Elliott said. "Certainly we think we've addressed a lot of needs, and it's been a really good day."
"Our focus is on building strength and depth on the line of scrimmage," he continued. "We're going to build it from the inside out. A great defensive line push makes for a great secondary. You've got to be able to rush the passer and stop the run, and on the offensive side of ball, you've got to move people out of the way, so that's what we're looking to build."
Although the Panthers signed only one skill player on offense in this group, it was a key addition in three-star quarterback Cornelious "Quad" Brown IV of Calera, Ala. The 6-5, 180-pound signal caller passed for 2,334 yards and 25 touchdowns and was rated the No. 5 quarterback in Alabama and the No. 37 pro-style quarterback in the nation.
"We signed three freshmen running backs a year ago who are all very good, and we also had a true freshmen walk-on who played well, so that wasn't a huge need for us," Elliott said. "We've added a really good quarterback in Cornelious Brown, and you will see some wide receivers in our February class."
The group includes six players from Georgia, along with four from Florida and one each from Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Twelve of the 13 are high school prospects, while the lone junior college addition is defensive lineman Tahji Gilbert of Morton, Miss., and Northwest Mississippi CC.
"Certainly we want to build the program with four and five-year guys who have a chance to develop the right way, both on the field and off the field," Elliott said. "If we have to go to the JC ranks to fill a need, we will certainly do that, but I think building it from the ground up with high school players is the best way for sustained growth and success. We're looking to build a football program, not a quick fix."
|Jordan Veneziale||ILB||6-0, 209||Dallas, Ga.||North Paulding|
|Luis Cristobal||OL||6-0, 301||Miami, Fla.||Christopher Columbus|
|Jaquez Pennimon||DB||6-0, 185||Macon, Ga.||Southwest Macon|
|Trey Bonner||OL||6-3, 278||Gray, Ga.||Jones County|
|Tahji Gilbert||DL||6-0, 282||Morton, Miss.||Morton/NW Mississippi CC|
|Jay Lepkoske||OLB||6-1, 204||Sautee Nacoochee, Ga.||White County|
|Thomas Gore||DL||6-0, 285||Antioch, Tenn.||Brentwood Academy|
|Jeffery Clark Jr.||DL||6-0, 265||Powder Springs, Ga.||McEachern|
|Javon Denis||DL||6-0, 243||Deerfield Beach, Fla.||Deerfield Beach|
|Marcus Anderson||ILB||5-10, 215||Norman Park, Ga.||Colquitt County|
|Ronald Folkes||OT||6-4, 270||Port St. Lucie, Fla.||William T. Dwyer|
|Tyreke Harrison||DB||5-10, 180||Plant City, Fla.||Plant|
|Cornelious Brown IV||QB||6-5, 180||Calera, Ala.||Calera|