35 Dolphins Join The Pod

Football Signing Day
Football Signing Day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University head football coach Ian Shields has announced the commitments of 35 student-athletes to the Class of 2022. The new Dolphins represent various states – including California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

"Today is a great day for our football program, athletic department, and Jacksonville University," said Shields, who will be entering his third season at the helm of the Dolphins in 2018. "While we are still hard at work in rounding out this recruiting class, we are quite excited about the direction we're moving in and the quality of student-athletes that are now committed to Jacksonville University. This recruiting class is talented and deep on offense, defense, and in the kicking game – we've added quality to every position group across the board.

"This initial signing list is a group of young men that we have identified as perfect 'fits' for our program: excellent students, high in character, and possess the necessary athleticism to compete at a championship level," added Shields. "It is with great anticipation that we look forward to getting them here on campus on a full-time basis. The majority of these young men were heavily recruited by other schools within the region and had opportunities to play elsewhere. These young men chose to come here and be part of something special at Jacksonville University: receive an elite education, play Division 1/FCS football, share the experience with great people, and do it all in an unreal city here in Jacksonville, Florida. We're building something special here and I think these young men felt that excitement in talking with our coaches, being around our players, and when they were on campus for games this fall or on their recruiting visits.

"We're not done yet, and will be finishing this class in its entirety in the upcoming weeks, but we have a great foundation in place and have secured a bright future with this class.  We're really looking forward to working with these young men and developing them within our program in the upcoming years," concluded Shields.

This year's recruiting class includes the following individuals:

Joe Allaster – 6'3, 275 lb, Offensive Lineman – Tarpon Springs, Fla. – East Lake
Selected to play in the state All-Star game… Also named Tri-County All-Star and Pinellas County All-Star… Part of an offense that scored over 30 points in five games…Threw a 30-yard touchdown pass as part of a trick play in his final game against Clearwater… Is an honor roll student… Also competes in track and field… Son of Eileen and Sean Allaster, and brother to Ashley and Chris.

Evan Anderson – 6'0, 215 lb, Linebacker – Orlando, Fla. – Bishop Moore
Part of the 2015 FHSAA State Championship team… Two-time team captain… Led team in tackles, sacks, interceptions, and tackles for loss… Made 111 total tackles, including 13.0 TFL during his career with the Hornets… Captain of the track and field team as a junior and a senior… Finished in the Top 4 in District for shot put and discus… Three-time Principal Honor Roll member… Participates in the Latin Honor Society, Leadership Club, and Peer Ministry… Son of Rick and Cody Anderson… Brother of Trey and Austin.

Jaun'et Archer – 6'1, 220 lb, Defensive End – Orlando, Fla. – Cypress Creek
Two-time All-Metro honorable mention selection… Named 2017 Defensive MVP… Competed in track and field, qualifying for regionals… Son of Davina Francis and Jaun'et Archer… Brother to Kashus, Janae and Jyi Archer and David Thomas.

Michael Baker – 6'2, 225 lb, Defensive End – Stockbridge, Ga. – Woodland
Two-time Defensive Player of the Year selection… Earned All-Region honors… Recipient of the Carpe Diem award in 2016… Served as captain of Woodland's team… Named Academic Player of the week in 2016… Two-time recipient of the Excellent in Leadership Award… In 2017, earned the American Literature Award and achieved Academic Excellence – Average 90+… Named to the Honor Roll and Principal's List... Son of Jeneifer Threadcraft and Michael Baker, Sr… Brother to Tavorris Threadcraft, Tiodrick Farley, and Jessica Lee.

Jerome Beazer – 6'4, 175 lb, Wide Receiver – Stockbridge, Ga. – Community Christian
Helped Community Christian to a State Championship and an undefeated season... Earned offensive and defensive All-American honors… Named a ScoutTrout All-American... Tabbed Georgia Elite Classic MVP wide receiver... Member of National Society of High School Scholars… Three-sport athlete who also participates in basketball and track and field… Son of Semika Harwell Davis and Dennis Davis.

Sam Bryant – 6'2, 270 lb, Offensive Lineman – North Augusta, S.C. – North Augusta
Two-year offensive line starter who played both sides of the ball… Selected to the 2017 Georgia/South Carolina Border Bowl… Named All-State, All-Region, All-CRSA, and All-Area during senior season… Received the 2017 Al Metz Blocking Award… Earned Most Improved honors as a junior and was the Scout Team Player of the Year as a sophomore… Three-sport athlete who also participated in wrestling and track and field… Was a regional heavyweight qualifier for wrestling as a junior… Named the MVP Thrower for track and field… Member of the National Art Honor Society and is a volunteer for Walton Options for Independent Living… Son of Lee and Cyndy Anzek and Scott and Christy Bryant…Brother to Randi, John, Jose, Hailee, Katelynn, Cooper, and Colton.

Ish Cortes – 5'9, 185 lb, Running Back – Windermere, Fla. – Windermere
Earned Second-Team All-State honors… Named Team and Offensive MVP… Member of the All-Academic Team… Rushed for over 2,200 yards in two-year varsity career… Son of Maria and Rey Cortes… Brother to Javier and Lena.

Daniel Craig – 6'5, 245 lb, Defensive End – Lutz, Fla. – Steinbrenner
Two-year starter… Named All-Hillsborough Honorable Mention by the Tampa Bay Times… Made 76 total tackles, 47 of which were solo… Also had 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries… Son of Kris and Gary Craig… Brother of Michelle.

Derrick Curtis – 5'10, 170 lb, Slot – River View, Fla. – Spoto
Named 2017 Player of the Year for Spoto High… Tallied over 1,000 yards receiving… Has a 4.01 GPA and is graduating with honors… Men of Vision award winner… Two-sport athlete who also participated in track and field… State qualifier in high jump and regional qualifier in 100-meter dash… Son of Sylivia Jenrette and Derrick Curtis Sr… Brother of Aisha Brandon, Kaleab Jenrette, Jessica Curtis.

Ryan Downing – 6'4, 280 lb, Offensive Lineman – Port St. Lucie, Fla. – Port St. Lucie
Four-year varsity player, including three years as a starter… Two-year varsity captain… Named First-Team All-Area as a senior… Recipient of the Coaches Award in 2017… Led Port St. Lucie to its first winning record in six years… Multi-sport athlete, competing in track and field and competitive cheerleading… Is a four-year letterman in track and field… Was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society… Holds a 4.0 weighted GPA… Son of Jean Lauritano… Brother of Sean and Kayla Downing.

Lubens Ervil – 5'11, 175 lb, Defensive Back – Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – Dwyer
Ranked the No. 12 ATH in Palm Beach County and No. 62 player in Palm Beach County… Three-time district champion with Dwyer… Recorded 29 tackles, one interception, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, and four receptions… Helped Dwyer reach the 2017 FHSAA 7A Region 4 Semifinals… Played with fellow JU commit Zephanijah Fletcher… Also competed in basketball and track and field, earning 2016 Sun-Sentinel All-Palm Beach honorable mention recognition in track and field… Recipient of the Student ACES Leadership Award, which was awarded to 36 students who were exemplary leaders in their schools and communities… Son of Marie Diogene and Yves Ervil… Brother to Alain Diogne and Yvenson Ervil and Ashely Ervil.

Andrew Flanagan – 5'11, 280 lb, Offensive Lineman – Kennedale, Texas – Kennedale
Four-time All-State selection, twice to the First-Team… Played varsity all four years, helping his team go 49-8 during that span with a berth to the 2017 Texas Class 4A Division I State Championship game… Two-time District 5-4A Offensive Line MVP… Also named an All-State Academic Athlete and ranks in the top 10 percent of his graduating class… Son of Billy Flanagan and Cari Blackstone.

Zephanijah Fletcher – 5'11, 165 lb, Wide Receiver – Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – Dwyer
Three-year varsity football player… Part of the Dwyer team that reach the 2017 FHSAA 7A Region 4 Semifinals…Played with fellow JU commit Lubens Ervil… Earned All-County status in track and field for the 200 meters and 400 meters… Ran 22.46 in the 200 meters as a junior… Academically talented as he skipped eighth grade and went directly into high school… Studied in the IB Programme for two years and is also an AP and AICE student… Son of Davil and Authrine Fletcher… Brother to Jahmalechi, Chayanne, Jahmai, Zahirah, Zaphie, Tanzi, and Lashauna Fletcher.

Hunter Folsom – 6'2, 260 lb, Offensive Lineman – Ocala, Fla. – Trinity Catholic
Three-sport student-athlete, competing in football, track and field and lacrosse… Selected to play in county's all-star game in as a senior… Earned All-County honorable mention distinction in 2016… Named team captain as a senior and picked as Lineman of the Year for Trinity… Has a 4.1 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society… Son of Stacey and Kurt Folsom.

Cole Hopkins – 6'3, 220 lb, Defensive End – Waxhaw, N.C. – Marvin Ridge
Three-year varsity player at Marvin Ridge who set the school's sacks record (34)… Totaled 161 tackles, including 125 solo… Recipient of the "South Charlotte Sports Report" Lineman of the Year, Dynamic Charlotte Lineman of the Year Award, and "The Enquirer Journal" Defensive Player of the Year… Helped Marvin Ridge break into the Class 3A statewide N.C. Associated Press prep football media poll in Sept. 2017… Voted as Marvin Ridge's Defensive MVP as a junior… Named All-Conference in 2016… Is active in his church and performs community service… Son of Rob and Karen Hopkins… brother to Paige

Carson Hughes – 6'0, 210 lb, Linebacker – Key West, Fla. – Key West
First-Team All-Conference and First-Team All-County selection… Four-year letterman… Part of a defensive unit that helped Key West go 7-2 during a season that was interrupted due to Hurricane Irma… Totaled 156 tackles in two seasons, including 91 as a senior… On offense, had eight touchdown passes and recorded two rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns… Three-year starter in lacrosse, helping the team to three district championships… Is a Scholar-Athlete on A/B Honor Roll… Son of John Hughes and Lesley Touzalin… Brother to Zack, Garrett, and Luke.

Ethan Hull – 6'1, 220 lb, Linebacker – St. Matthews, Ky. – Trinity High
Helped Trinity go 30-0 in his final two seasons and capture back-to-back Kentucky High School Athletic Association 6A championships… Trinity's 2017 state title was its 25th and the most in state history… Key member of a stout defensive squad that held opposing teams to one touchdown-or-less in 10 of the teams 15 games, including six shutouts… As a senior, was a 2017 All-State honorable mention, Kentucky State All-Star Game selection, First-Team All-District, First-Team All-Metro, and the Most Valuable Outside Linebacker… Recipient of a Rivals 2017 Student-Athlete Scholarship with a 3.96 unweighted GPA out of a 4.0 (weighted is 5.56)… Named a Scholar-Athlete by Great American Rivalry… Selected as a Penn State Athlete of the Year Finalist… Member of National Honor Society, Beta Club, and the student affairs committee… Picked to be a representative of the Anti-Bullying Campaign… Serves as Trinity's TV anchor and audio director… Has been a Student Ambassador all four years… Also played lacrosse, helping Trinity to a state championship in 2017… Son of Brad Sr. and Jennifer Hull, and brother to Brad Jr.

Myles Hunt – 5'11, 160 lb, Defensive Back – Waxhaw, N.C. – Marvin Ridge
Helped Marvin Ridge break into the Class 3A statewide N.C. Associated Press prep football media poll in Sept. 2017… Made 50 total tackles his senior year, 40 of which were solo… Also had one interception and three pass break ups… Competes in track and field… Is a national qualifier in the triple jump… Earned All-State and All-Conference recognition for the triple jump… Is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and Fellowship of Christian Athletes… Son of Patrick and Danielle Hunt… Brother of Mikai

Cole Jackson – 5'9, 175 lb, Running Back – Mooresville, N.C. – Lake Norman
Three-year starter at running back, compiling 4,711 all-purpose yards and 49 touchdowns… As a senior, named First-Team All-Region Kick Returner, IMECK First-Team All-Conference Kick Returner and IMECK Special Teams Player of the Year… 2016 North Piedmont Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year as a junior after scoring 24 touchdowns, totaling 1,798 rushing yards and averaging 7.2 yards per carry… also averaged 169.8 total yards per game as a junior… Son of Frank and Karin Jackson.

Tyrese Jackson – 5'8, 175 lb, Athlete – Jensen Beach, Fla. - Jensen Beach
Named a "TCPalm" Super 11... Picked as "TCPalm" Offensive Player of the Week... Also earned "TCPalm" Defensive Player of the Week...Two-sport athlete who also competes in track and field… Son of Tara and Torrod Jackson… Brother to Shanice Jackson, Tyai Jackson, and Demetriana Monique-Williams.

Xaiyhir Jacobs – 6'2, 185 lb, Quarterback – Columbus, Ga. – Carver
Named Sports Vision Offensive Player of the Year… Tabbed Second-Team All-Region as voted on by the GHSA Class 1-AAAA head coaches… Threw for 1,684 passing yards and tallied 2,421 total yards with a 110.0 yard-per-game average in his two-year career… Two year starter in Football and Basketball… Member of the Academic Decathlon Team, National Honors Society, and SADD (Students against destructive decisions)... Son of Lanarris Jacobs and Kimberly Hawkins… Brother to Tamir Coppins, Tyria Coppins, Kayden Jacobs, Kristian Jacobs, and Kamron Morgan.

Thomas Jeckovich – 6'0, 185 lb, Defensive Back – Mount Dora, Fla. – Mount Dora
Member of the Grey team at the 2018 Blue-Grey All-American Bowl held in January at EverBank Field… Listed among the "Orlando Sentinel's Top 100 Players" his senior season… Named First-team All-Area and a Central Florida All-Star as a senior… In 2016, Named Third-Team All-State, First-Team All-Region, First-Team All-District and Mount Dora's Defensive Player of the Year as a junior… Led all of FHSAA Class 4A in interceptions with nine… Also plays baseball and was tabbed Mount Dora's MVP… Son of Tom Jeckovich and Stephanie Large… Brother of Zack, Hailey and Brody Jeckovich.

King Joyner – 6'3, 265 lb, Defensive Lineman – Winter Park, Fla. – Winter Park
Anchored Winter Park's defense that allowed 9.4 points per game… helped Winter Park to a 12-game winning streak and an appearance in the FHSAA Class 8A region final… ranked No. 47 in the Sentinel Central Florida Super60… Cure Bowl All-Star… 2 year starter for the Basketball team… Son to Alvin Joyner Jr, and Brother to Alvin Joyner III.

Logan Langemeier – 6'4, 240 lb, Offensive Lineman – South Lake Tahoe, Calif. – South Tahoe
Named All-League Offensive Tackle in 2017… Served as the team and Offensive Line captain as a senior… Helped South Tahoe to a post-season berth in the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association 3A Northern Region playoffs… Named an Academic All-American in 2017… Earned the Academic Excellence Award in 2015, 2016, and 2017… In addition to football, also competed in Alpine skiing and has lettered six times in between the two sports… Son of Loral Langemeier and Jason Anderson… Brother of Tristin Langemeier.

Joel Morris – 6'0, 215 lb, Linebacker – Melbourne, Fla. – Melbourne Central Catholic
Selected to the 12th Annual Blue-Grey All-American Bowl Week…Named Florida Athletic Coaches Association All-District 12 Team as a senior… Earned All-Space Coast honorable mention status by Florida Today in 2017… Helped Melbourne Central Catholic to a FHSAA Class 3A regional finals appearance… Totaled 131 tackles, 15 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, and eight force fumbles… Is a 2016 AAU Junior Olympic Gold Medalist and holds the American and World record in the Clean & Jerk… Named a Pop Warner All-American Scholar and is on the A/B Honor Roll… Son of Kevin and Denice Morris… Brother to Logan and Courtney Morris.

David Padilla – 6'0, 260 lb, Defensive Lineman – Tallahassee, Fla. – Chiles
Named First-Team All-Big Bend by the Tallahassee Democrat as a senior after recording 26 tackles for a loss, 12 sacks, and two pass break-ups… Selected as the team's captain… Is an honors student… Son of Rebeca and Diego Padilla, and brother of Sergio.

Kyle Prater – 6'0, 210 lb, Running Back/Long Snapper – Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State University High
Three-year starter...Member of the team that reached the 2017 FHSAA 3A state semifinals… Member of the FACA All-star team… Son of Robert and Kimberly Prater… Brother to Rebecca, Allison, and Cameron Prater

Seven Richards – 6'0, 285 lb, Offensive Lineman – White, Ga. – Cass
Two-sport athlete, playing football and wrestling at Cass… Four-year starter in football… Earned All-Region honors during sophomore, junior, and senior seasons… Member of the 2015 All-State Academic Team as a sophomore… Has excelled in wrestling at the heavyweight division, reaching NSHCA All-American status… 2017 GHSA 5A Individual State Champion at the 285 weightclass, compiling a 43-1 record as a junior… finished third at the 2016 GHSA 5A State Championships in the heavyweight division as a sophomore… Son of Cedric Richards and Jennifer Millwood… Brother of Jonathen, Noah, Biance and Sunshine Millwood, and Cydnei Richards.

Greggory Rodgers II – 6'0, 220 lb, Linebacker – Grovetown, Ga. – Grovetown
Holds the record for the most tackles in the CSRA… Selected to the All-Region, All-Area, All-CSRA, and All-State Teams… Earned 3rd place at the GHSA 6A Wrestling Tournament… Member of the National Honor Society and FCA program… Son to Greggory and Kelly Rodgers… Brother to Devin, Tia, Paris, Brandice, and Darryl.

Cody Russell – 5'8, 175 lb, Running Back – Inverness, Fla. – Citrus
Four-time varsity letterman in football, serving as captain his senior season… Selected to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association All-District Team and a two-time Chronicle All-County Team Member… Selected to play in the 352 Pigskin All-Star Game… Helped Citrus to a 6-4 record, which included an upset of district powerhouse Nature Coast… Offensively, had 124 carries for 629 yards rushing, eight receptions for 45 yards and nine touchdowns during senior season… On defense, recorded 50 tackles and 12 sacks… Excels in the classroom with a 4.1 GPA, and is a member of the National Honor Society… Member of the FACA All-Academic Team, and is president of the Superintendent's Advisory Council… Qualified for states in weightlifting… Son to Damon and Laura Mason.

Kelvin Stevenson – 5'10, 165 lb, Defensive Back – Villa Rica, Ga. – Villa Rica
Three-year letterwinner… Also served as team captain… Recipient of the Golden Helmet Award for maintaining a 3.5 GPA or higher… Also played soccer and was a three-time letterwinner. Son of Kelvin and LaShundra Stevenson, and the brother of Kaileigh and Lasharon Stevenson.

Benjamin Tillman III – 5'7, 165 lb, Running Back – Thomasville, Ga. – Thomasville
Named 2017 Region 1-AA Offensive Player of the Year as voted on by the head coaches… Selected to play in the Georgia Elite Classic… Named 2017 Times-Enterprise All-Area Team… Selected as "In the Game Sports Magazine" South Georgia Featured Athlete and "The R" report magazine high school player of the week… Six-time MaxPreps Player of the Game… Part of an offensive group that broke many school records in 2017 as Thomasville went 12-1 and won the Region 1-AA championship… Member of National Society of High School Scholars… Two-sport athlete, playing basketball and competing in track… Son of Benjamin Tillman Jr. and Stephanie Tillman, and the brother of Lindsay Tillman.

Daniel Uwaomah – 6'0, 195 lb, Linebacker – Woodstock, Ga. – River Ridge
Named All-Region and All-County during junior and senior seasons… Recipient of the Scholar-Athlete Award… Selected to play in the Georgia Elite Classic… Received All-Region 6-AAAAAA honorable mentions nods as selected by the head coaches… Totaled 108 tackles as a senior… Son of Chyke and Ngozi Uwaomah, and the brother of Chidimma and Chiomah Uwaomah.

Kalyb Vazquez – 6'2, 270 lb, Offensive Lineman – Plant City, Fla. – Durant
Received All-Hillsborough honorable mention distinction by the Tampa Bay Times as a senior… Named First-Team All-Conference as a senior and Second-Team All-Conference as a junior… Selected as a Hillsborough County All-Star in 2017… Excels in the classroom, carrying a 6.13 weighted GPA and ranking in the top five percent of senior class… Named to the High Academic Honor Roll… Son of Meghan and Javier Vazquez, and brother to Alex.

Walker Wright – 6'2, 170 lb, Quarterback – Callahan, Fla. – West Nassau
Selected to participate in the 2018 Blue-Grey All-American Bowl held at EverBank Field in January and the 2017 North Florida Football Coaches Association Senior Bowl… Two-time selection to the All-Nassau County Team… Helped West Nassau to its first playoff win in 40 years when the Warriors defeated Marianna in the FHSAA Class 4A region semifinals… Recorded a 103.9 quarterback rating as a senior… Threw for 1,616 yards and 22 touchdowns in his two-year career… Rushed for 1,175 yards in two years and 14 touchdowns… Two-year football captain… Also played basketball, serving as varsity captain for two years… Son of Brian and Michelle Wright, and brother of Reagan and Brady Wright.