The following is a press release from Samford Athletics:
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.— Samford Head Football Coach Chris Hatcher announced the signing of 16 student-athletes for his first Samford signing class Wednesday morning.
“I feel like this is a very good class, especially being the new guy coming in,” Hatcher said. “Our staff was way ahead of the game when I got here, and worked diligently to go out and fill all of the needs we had. We're excited about this class. We have some really good players who will be Samford men next year.”
The class is a balanced group, containing nine offensive players and seven defensive players. Six of the signees come from the state of Georgia, while five hail from Alabama. The staff signed three players from Florida, and one each from Arkansas and Tennessee.
Below is a bio sketch on each of Samford's 16 signees.
RB, 5-10, 195, Florence, Ala. (Florence HS)
Roland Adams rushed for over 1,000 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior at Florence High School . . . He tallied over 400 yards and four touchdowns receiving . . . He also returned kicks, totaling over 400 yards in returns . . . He helped lead his team to a regional championship and an appearance in the semifinals of the state playoffs . . . Adams was named All-Region, and he served as his team's captain . . . Adams also posted impressive performances academically, as he was a member of the Spanish Honor Society.
DL, 6-4, 260, Moultrie, Ga. (Colquitt County HS)
Alfred Brown was a team captain as a senior on his Colquitt County team that won a state championship in 2014 . . . He was named All-State in 2014 and All-Region in both 2013 and 2014 . . . Brown was named Junior Leader of the Year . . . He played in the North-South All-Star Classic, and he won the Outstanding Offensive Performance award . . . His teams made six-straight playoff appearances . . . He recorded 31 pancake blocks as a junior and 40 as a senior . . . In the classroom, Brown was an honor roll student at Colquitt County.
RB, 5-11, 200, Fort Smith, Ark. (Northside HS)
Justin Curry was a standout running back at Northside High School in Arkansas . . . Curry was named first team All-State and All-Region as both a sophomore and a senior . . . He was named Player of the Week after rushing for 130 yards and three touchdowns against top-ranked Fayetteville . . . As a sophomore, Curry rushed for 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns . . . He also caught three touchdown passes . . . During his senior season, Curry had 970 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, and he totaled 300 yards and two touchdowns receiving . . . He also competed on the track and field team at Northside.
DL, 6-5, 240, Anniston, Ala. (The Donoho School)
Justin Foster was a first-team All-State defensive lineman at The Donoho School in Anniston . . . He was a three-time All-County selection . . . He was also named to the All-Region team and was the All-Region Defensive MVP . . . Foster played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game and was a finalist for both the Mr. Football and 1-A Lineman of the Year awards . . . Foster was a two-time team MVP, and he had the highest tight end rating in the nation . . . He rushed 90 times for 997 yards, and he caught four passes for 245 yards and scored 29 touchdowns . . . Defensively, Foster tallied 76 tackles, 15 tackles for loss , three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries . . . He also played baseball and basketball . . . He earned All-County honors in both sports and was a three-time MVP of the basketball team.
CB, 5-11, 170, Atlanta, Ga. (Grady HS)
Jamond Glass was a three-time All-Region defensive back at Grady High School in Atlanta . . . He served his 2014 team as a captain . . . He tallied 175 total tackles and two sacks . . . Glass also had four interceptions and 30 pass break-ups . . . He also ran track, competing in sprints . . . Academically, Glass was an honor roll student as both a junior and senior.
OL/P, 6-6, 280, Miami, Fla. (Gulliver Prep)
George Grimwade was a standout offensive lineman and punter at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami . . . He was named honorable mention All-Dade, and he won his team's Most Improved Offensive Award . . . Grimwade also won the Senior Leader Award and 5A Athletic Award and he was named his team's Special Teams MVP . . . He recorded 17 pancake blocks as an offensive lineman and he averaged 47 yards per kick as the team's punter . . . He was a standout in the classroom as well, being a six-time honor roll member . . . Grimwade also played basketball, leading the district in blocks as a sophomore and being named team captain as a senior.
LB, 6-0, 225, Norcross, Ga. (Peachtree Ridge HS/Southern Mississippi)
Aaron Harris transferred to Samford from Southern Mississippi . . . He was named first team All-Region as a linebacker at Peachtree Ridge High School in Georgia . . . He was named the Most Valuable Defensive Player on his team . . . Harris was named Gwinnett County Player of the Month, and he served as a team captain . . . He helped lead his team to the second round of the Georgia state playoffs . . . As a senior, Harris finished with 127 tackles, six and a half sacks, two fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles.
WR, 6-1, 180, Canton, Ga. (Cherokee HS)
Andrew Harris was a two-time first-team All-County and All-Region selection at Cherokee High School . . . As a senior in 2014, Harris caught 76 passes for 1,319 yards and 11 touchdowns . . . He also had seven carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and he even passed for one score . . . He returned 12 kickoffs for an average of 21.0 yards per return . . . Harris led the state in receiving yards, and his 1,319-yard total ranks 26th in state history . . . Following his senior season, Harris was named first team All-State by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and second team All-State by the Georgia Sports Writers Association . . . He was also named Region 5 Offensive Player of the Year, Cherokee Tribune Offensive Player of the Year, Gridiron Offensive Player of the Year and WSBTV Sports Zone Montlick & Associates Athlete of the Year . . . Harris was honored by his team as its MVP following the 2014 season as well.
OLB, 6-3, 205, Memphis, Tenn. (Memphis Central HS)
Dorsett Johnson was an All-State linebacker at Memphis Central High School . . . He was also named All-District and All-Metro . . . Johnson was selected to play in the East-West Tennessee All-Star Game . . . As a senior, he tallied 64 tackles, 13 sacks, eight tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one interception . . . In addition to his exploits on the football field, Johnson also competed in basketball and track at Memphis Central.
TE, 6-3, 220, Spanish Fort, Ala. (Spanish Fort HS)
Kevin Marion comes to Samford after a stellar career at Spanish Fort High School . . . He was named first team All-Region and All-County . . . He caught a total of 17 career touchdown passes . . . Marion was selected to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.
WR, 5-9, 178, Bradenton, Fla. (Manatee HS)
Kelvin McKnight, Jr. was a two-time All-Area selection at Manatee High School in Florida . . . He won his team's Outstanding Receiver Award twice, and he was named Player of the Week four times as a senior . . . McKnight played on Manatee's state championship team as a freshman . . . He played on four teams that won district and regional championships . . . His team lost a total of four games in his three years as a starter . . . As a senior, McKnight caught 55 passes for 880 yards and nine touchdowns . . . For his career, McKnight had 121 catches for 1,751 yards and 20 touchdowns . . . He was responsible for 23 touchdowns in his career . . . He also competed in track, running the 100, 200, long jump and triple jump.
OL, 6-4, 288, Decatur, Ala. (Decatur HS/UAB)
Hayden Naumann transferred to Samford from UAB . . . At UAB, he started 12 games in 2014 and one in 2013 . . . At Decatur High School, Naumann was named first team All-State as a senior, and he was a three-time All-Region honoree . . . Naumann made the Dean's List at UAB as a freshman.
OL, 6-6, 281, Marietta, Ga. (Pope HS)
Matt Pittarelli was a four-year varsity letterman at Pope High School in Georgia . . . He was a two-time All-Region selection . . . Pittarelli was named Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against Wheeler on Oct. 17, 2014 . . . He won the Ken Youmans Class Act Award . . . As a senior, he helped lead an offense that averaged 27.4 points per game and rushed for over 1,800 yards . . . He was a three-time Scholar Athlete . . . He also competed in basketball and track and field for two years each.
DT, 6-3, 280, College Park, Ga. (Banneker HS)
Horace Roberts was a two-time All-State and three-time All-Region player at Banneker High School in Georgia . . . He had 125 tackles, including two tackles for loss as a defensive lineman . . . Roberts also played offense, registering 20 pancake blocks . . . He also competed in wrestling in high school . . . Roberts is a member of the National Honor Society and the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).
WR, 6-2, 170, Miami, Fla. (Miami-Booker T. Washington HS)
Vaquan Small led his team to three state championships and the 2014 national title at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami . . . He was named All-Dade County in 2014 . . . As a senior, Small caught 32 passes for 533 yards and 10 touchdowns . . . He was named his school's Homecoming King in 2014 . . . He also participated in track and field, winning the 2014 state championship . . . He also posted in the fastest 800-meter time in Dade County.
CB, 5-11, 185, Madison, Ala. (Bob Jones HS)
Robert Jarek Taylor was named the 7A Defensive Player of the Year at Bob Jones High School in Madison . . . He was named All-State and one of Alabama's Top 100 Players by Rivals.com . . . As a senior, Taylor finished with 105 total tackles, including 80 solo stops . . . He also intercepted three passes as a senior in 2014 and was named Team Captain and won his team's Defensive Back of the Year award . . . He also competed in track, being named All-American in 2011, 2012 and 2013.