Daniel Mayes, Sports Editor
The first Wednesday of February marks national signing day, when high school football recruits are able to officially sign with universities to continue their academic and athletic careers.
Although an early signing period was added for December this season, the Gamecocks did their recruiting damage on Wednesday.
“We feel really, really good about this class,” JSU Head Coach John Grass said Wednesday.
“I think it’s a really solid class when you look at it from top to bottom. Every one of them will be given a chance to come in and compete”
The gems of Jacksonville State’s freshman recruiting class may be the four three-star additions in Cagan Campbell, Ahmad Edwards, Cam McKinney, and Cameron Hill.
Campbell, a cornerback that hails from Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, fielded a handful of FBS offers, including South Alabama, but chose the Gamecocks.
Edwards played wide receiver at Thompson High School in Alabaster, Alabama, where he caught a state-record 118 passes as a senior last season. McKinney, who joins Edwards out wide, hails from Carver High School in Birmingham.
Hill, a new addition to the Gamecock “WarPig” offensive line that loses decorated seniors Dylan Cline and Justin Lea, played at Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery.
Also on offense, JSU signed lineman Deandre Butler from Opelika and a pair of running backs: Austin Kinsey, a 5’11”, 200 pound back from Clarke County High School, and Uriah West, an All-State performer from Douglasville, Georgia.
The Gamecocks made most of their noise on signing day on the defensive side of the ball.
To go with Campbell in the defensive backfield, JSU added safeties Ja’Cobie Lofton, Marshall Clark and Myles Brown, who was a teammate of Edwards at Thompson. Also announcing their signing Wednesday were cornerbacks George Steele and Jamias Presley.
The Gamecocks also landed three defensive linemen in Markeyce Troutman, Romello Tarver and DJ Coleman.
The Gamecocks add the signing class to their January early enrollees, a trio of transfers in Landon Rice, Zerrick Cooper, and Tre’ Threat.
Rice arrived on JSU’s campus with controversy after spending a year at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Rice originally signed to play at Auburn, but was found “responsible” for an alleged sexual assault incident in April 2016 and left the program.
Cooper, a quarterback from Jonesboro, Georgia, spent two years at Clemson as a backup.
He joins a quarterback competition with upcoming redshirt freshman Zion Webb and incumbent Bryant Horn, who is recovering from shoulder surgery.
“We’ve got some competition at quarterback,” Coach Grass said. “[Cooper’s] got a great skill set. He’s going to make the position definitely better”
Threat was a four-star recruit and Under Armour All-American at linebacker in 2016 who played sparingly at Auburn for the last two seasons.