Jacksonville State University football signing class of 2017

Jacksonville State University football signing class of 2017

The following is a press release from the Jacksonville State University Athletics Department:

JACKSONVILLE - The Jacksonville State football team signed 19 players to National Letters of Intent on National Signing Day on Wednesday.

Coming off their third-straight Ohio Valley Conference Championship, the Gamecocks looked to build upon its recent success on National Signing Day and head coach John Grass feels his program did that on Wednesday. The Gamecocks signed 16 players from the state of Alabama, two from Tennessee and one from Georgia on Wednesday. Those signees, combined with four early enrollees, make up JSU's 23-man signing class for 2017.

In the class, two players were rated as three-star recruits, while nine others had two stars by either Scout, Rivals or 247Sports.

Tre Bendolph (DB, 5-9, 165, Mobile, Ala./McGill-Toolen HS)
Dequan Charleston (CB, 6-1, 178, Linden, Ala./Linden HS)
Charles Crawford (DB, 5-10, 180, Prichard, Ala./Vigor HS)
Bradley Flott (SAF, 6-2, 170, Mobile, Ala./St. Paul's Episcopal)
Austin Freeman (SAF, 6-1, 170, Scottsboro, Ala./Scottsboro HS)
Yul Gowdy (CB, 5-10, 161, Adamsville, Ala./Minor HS)
Taylor Hayes (QB, 5-11, 205, Piedmont, Ala./Piedmont HS)
Jaleel Heard (WR, 6-0, 204, Opelika, Ala./Opelika HS)
TaDarrell Hodge (DL, 6-3, 245, Signal Mountain, Tenn./Signal Mountain HS)
Jake Lane (K, 6-2, 165, Montgomery, Ala./Park Crossing HS)
Mason Langley (OL, 6-3, 310, Piedmont, Ala./Piedmont HS)
Michael Matthews (RB, 6-0, 210, Mobile, Ala./UMS-Wright HS)
Zsajuan Powe (LB, 6-0, 205, Eight Mile, Ala./Blount HS)
Ye'Majesty Sanders (OL, 6-5, 330, Columbus, Ga./Spencer HS)
Michael Shaddix (OL, 6-4, 270, Fort Payne, Ala./Fort Payne HS)
Tyrese Slocum (OL, 6-4, 300, Memphis, Tenn./Ridgeway HS)
Jai Smith (DE, 6-2, 251, Tuscaloosa, Ala./Hillcrest HS)
Zion Webb (QB, 6-0, 197, Phenix City, Ala./Central HS)
Zack Woodard (LB, 6-1, 230, Thomasville, Ala./Thomasville HS)

Clay Alexander (TE, 6-3, 210, Montgomery, Texas/Montgomery HS)
Eric Archie (OL, 6-1, 270, Mobile, Ala./Murphy HS)
B.J. Autry (OL, 6-5, 320, Eight Mile, Ala./Blount HS/Coffeyville (Kansas) CC)
Dakota Chapman (TE, 6-0, 235, McCalla, Ala./McAdory HS)

Tre Bendolph
Defensive Back • 5-9 • 165 • Mobile, Ala. • McGill-Toolen HS
Played at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, Ala., for head coach Caleb Ross…committed to play for Jacksonville State on June 26, 2016…led the Yellow Jackets to a 13-1 record and appearance in the Class 7A AHSAA championship in 2016…the McGill-Toolen defense gave up 20-or-more points in only three games during his senior year…claimed the Class 7A state title in 2015 and allowed just 10.6 points per game.

DeQuan Charleston
Corner Back • 6-1 • 178 • Demopolis, Ala. • Linden HS
Played for head coach Andro Williams at Linden High School in Linden, Ala…led the Patriots to a 14-1 record and undefeated 7-0 in the region in 2016…twice named to the All-State First Team…All-County Player of the Year…named to Super II Football Team…scored five touchdowns to lead Linden to the AHSAA 1A Semifinals…advanced to the AHSAA 1A Final Four…received 2016 All-Coastal Alabama Football Team Honorable Mention…named Mobile/Coastal Alabama Player of the Week by AL.com on Nov. 23, 2016 and Tuscaloosa News Player of the Week on Nov. 22, 2015.

Charles Crawford
Defensive Back • 5-10 • 180 • Prichard, Ala. • Vigor HS
A two-star recruit by Scout.com and 247Sports.com…played for head coach Deric Scott at Vigor High School in Prichard, Ala…helped the Wolves to the Class 5A, Region 1 championship and 8-4 overall record…caught 35 passes for 735 yards and 10 touchdowns, ran for 137 yards and returned four kicks for touchdowns…had 39 tackles and an interception on defense…was named to both the AL.com All-Coastal Alabama Team and Class 5A All-State First Team…2016 Special Teams Player of the Year and 2015 Defensive Back of the Year…also received All-District and All-Region First Team honors…chose the Gamecocks over offers from Richmond, Central Arkansas and Grambling State.

Bradley Flott
Safety • 6-2 • 170 • Mobile, Ala. • St. Paul's Episcopal School
A two-star recruit by Scout.com, Rivals.com and 247Sports.com…played at St. Paul's Episcopal School in Grand Bay, Ala., for head coach Steve Mask…ranked the No. 74 prospect in the state by 247Sports.com…received 2016 All-Coastal Alabama Football Team Honorable Mention…led St. Paul's Episcopal to a 5A AHSAA quarterfinals berth…helped the Saints to 5A State Championships in 2014 and 2015…chose the Gamecocks over offers from Chattanooga, Ball State, Akron, Charleston Southern, The Citadel and UTEP.

Austin Freeman
Safety • 6-1 • 170 • Scottsboro, Ala. • Scottsboro HS
Played at Scottsboro High School in Scottsboro, Ala., for head coach Patrick Nix…split time at free safety and wide receiver…led the Wildcats to a 12-1 record and a 5A, Region 7 championship…named to the All-State, All-District and All-Region First Teams…took Scottsboro to the AHSAA 5A quarterfinals…picked off eight passes, recorded 76 tackles and forced two fumbles during his senior campaign…hauled in 47 receiving touchdowns and totaled 499 receiving yards in 2016.

Yul Gowdy
Corner Back • 5-10 • 161 • Adamsville, Ala. • Minor HS
A two-star recruit by Scout.com…played at Minor High School in Adamsville, Ala., for head coach George Bates…led the Tigers to an 11-2 record and 6A, Region 6 championship…named to the 2016 All-State First Team…listed as a 2016 All-Birmingham Football Second Team member…took Minor High School to the quarterfinals of the 6A AHSAA playoffs…drew interest from the University of Illinois…chose the Gamecocks over offers from Austin Peay, Samford, Alabama A&M and Alcorn State.

Taylor Hayes
Quarterback • 5-11 • 205 • Piedmont, Ala. • Piedmont HS
Played at Piedmont High School in Piedmont, Ala., for head coach Steve Smith…boasts a 4.0 GPA and ranks No. 1 academically in his class…led the Bulldogs to back-to-back Class 3A AHSAA state championships in 2015 and 2016…named AHSAA Class 3A Back of the Year in 2015 and 2016 bu=y the Alabama Sports Writers Association…was named MVP of 2015 and 2016 3A state championship games…named to All-State, All-District and All-Region First Teams 12 times (2X at QB, 2X at LB)…TV24 All-Star Quarterback and Fox 6 3A Offensive Player of the year in 2015 and 2016, while winning the Fox 6 Offensive Player of the Year for all classifications in 2016…accounted for 57 touchdowns during his senior year (ran for 1,625 yards and 33 touchdowns, passed for 1,867 yards and 24 touchdowns)…also lettered in baseball…was named to the All-State Baseball Team and Calhoun County Baseball MVP in 2014.

Jaleel Heard
Wide Receiver • 6-0 • 204 • Opelika, Ala. • Opelika HS
Played at Opelika High School in Opelika, Ala., for head coach Brian Blackmon…led the Bulldogs to a 6A, Region 3 championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016…Opelika was 13-2 overall, 6-0 in the region and advanced to the Class 6A Super 7 Finals…was named to the All-State First Team and All-District First Team…reeled in 16 touchdown passes for 1300 yards on 98 receptions during his senior year.

TaDarrell Hodge
Defensive Lineman • 6-3 • 245 • Signal Mountain, Tenn. • Signal Mountain HS
Played at Signal Mountain High School in Signal Mountain, Tenn., for head coaches Bill Price and Ty Wise…led the Eagles to back-to-back district championships in 2013 and 2014…named to the 2016 All-District First Team and All-Region First Team…participated in the Tennessee East vs. West Game and Tennessee/Georgia All-Star Game.

Jake Lane
Kicker • 6-2 • 165 • Montgomery, Ala. • Park Crossing HS
A two-star recruit by Rivals.com…played at Park Crossing High School in Montgomery, Ala., for head coach Smitty Grider…led the Thunderbirds to a 13-1 record during his senior campaign, and back-to-back Class 6A, Region 2 championship in 2015 and 2016…kicked 22 field goals last season, tying the AHSAA's 32-year single-season field goal record…recorded game-winning kicks of 41 and 49 yards to help Park Crossing to the Class 6A semifinals…named to the 2016 All-State, All-District and All-Region First Teams…competed in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game…also lettered in baseball and soccer…chose the Gamecocks over Alabama State.

Mason Langley
Offensive Lineman • 6-3 • 310 • Piedmont, Ala. • Piedmont HS
A two-star recruit by Scout.com…played at Piedmont High School in Piedmont, Ala., for head coach Steve Smith…led the Bulldogs to back-to-back Class 3A AHSAA state championships in 2015 and 2016……was named the 2016 AHSAA Class 3A Lineman of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association…named 2016 First Team All-State and 2015 Second Team All-State…received First Team All-County honors in 2015 and 2016, and Second Team All-County honors in 2014…2015 First Team All-Region.

Michael Matthews
Running Back • 6-0 • 210 • Mobile, Ala. • UMS-Wright HS
Listed as a two-star recruit by Scout and 247Sports.com…prepped for head coach Terry Curtis at UMS-Wright in Mobile, Ala…named First Team All-State buy the Alabama Sports Writers Association as a junior and a senior for the Bulldogs…as a junior in 2015, ran for 1,939 yards and 27 touchdowns on 272 carries to earn First Team Coastal Alabama All-Region…in 2016, helped UMS-Wright to a 9-3 record and into the second round of the Class 4A Playoffs before falling to state champion Handley…ran for 1,263 yards and 17 touchdowns on 171 carries in his senior season…chose JSU over Texas-San Antonio, Troy, Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis and South Alabama.

Zsajuan Powe
Linebacker • 6-0 • 205 • Eight Mile, Ala. • Blount HS
Listed as a two-star recruit by Scout…played his junior and senior seasons for head coach Lev Holly at Blount High School in Prichard, Ala…spent his first two seasons at Davidson High School in Mobile…helped the Leopards to a 10-3 record and into the third round of the AHSAA Class 6A Playoffs in 2016…as a junior in 2015, he totaled 76 tackles, including 11 for a loss, forced three fumbles and recovered two in guiding Blount to a 10-2 record…chose JSU over Robert Morris, Louisiana-Lafayette, Middle Tennessee and Purdue.

Ye'Majesty Sanders
Offensive Lineman • 6-5 • 330 • Columbus, Ga. • Spencer HS
Listed as a three-star recruit by Scout, who also lists him as the No. 4 offensive guard in Georgia and the 78th best guard in the class of 2017…was a GHSA Class AA First Team All-State selection by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and by the Georgia Sports Writers Association as a senior in 2016…also named All-Bi-City by the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer…chose JSU over offers from Mississippi State, Charlotte, East Carolina, Florida A&M, Georgia State and Mercer.

Michael Shaddix
Offensive Lineman • 6-4 • 270 • Fort Payne, Ala. • Fort Payne HS
Prepped for head coach Paul Ellis at Fort Payne High School in Fort Payne, Ala…named first team all-region in each his junior and senior seasons…helped the Wildcats to two eight-win seasons…played on both sides for FPHS…on defense, totaled 85 tackles, four sacks and 11 hurries as a senior, while amassing 175 tackles, 15.5 sacks and 30 hurries over his prep career.

Tyrese Slocum
Offensive Lineman • 6-4 • 300 • Memphis, Tenn. • Ridgeway HS
Listed as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.com and a two-star recruit by Scout and Rivals…prepped for head coach Duron Sutton at Ridgeway High School in Memphis…named to the Liberty Bowl All-Star Team after his senior season…earned first team all-district honors and first team all-region honors in each his junior and senior seasons…led the Roadrunners to the Tennessee State Playoffs in each season…chose JSU over offers from Marshall, Southeast Missouri, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern Miss, Tennessee State, UT Martin and Tulane.

Jai Smith
Defensive End • 6-2 • 251 • Tuscaloosa, Ala. • Hillcrest HS
Listed as a two-star recruit by Scout…prepped for head coach Sam Adams at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa…helped lead the Patriots to an 11-1 record and the AHSAA Class 6A Region 4 Championship…earned first team all-district honors and second team all-region accolades for the Patriots…named to the All-Star Game, where he competed for the West Team…recorded 89 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles…chose JSU over Robert Morris and Alabama A&M.

Zion Webb
Quarterback • 6-0 • 197 • Phenix City, Ala. • Central HS
Listed as a two-star recruit by Scout…prepped for head coach Jamey DuBose at Central High School in Phenix City, Ala…named the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer's All-Bi-City Offensive Player of the Year after running for 911 yards and 11 touchdowns, while throwing for 1,613 yards and 17 touchdowns…led the Red Devils to a 10-2 record a perfect 6-0 record in AHSAA Class 7A Region 2 Play…advanced to the semifinals of the 2016 AHSAA Class 7A Playoffs…returned to the field and thrived in his senior season after missing his junior campaign with an injury…chose the Gamecocks over Georgia Southern.

Zack Woodard
Linebacker • 6-1 • 230 • Thomasville, Ala. • Thomasville HS
Prepped for head coach Jack Hankins at Thomasville High School in Thomasville, Ala…helped the Tigers to a 9-3 record and a 5-1 record in AHSAA Class 4A Region 1 play…led THS to the third round of the AHSAA Class 4A Playoffs before falling to eventual state champions Handley…a second team all-state selection by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 2016…was awarded the THS Linebacker Award, as well as the Highest GPA Award after posting a 4.1 GPA…a team captain for the Tigers and earned the John Duncan Tiger Pride Award…was named to the Coastal Alabama All-Region Team after recording 121 tackles, five sacks and five interceptions…ran for 14 rushing touchdowns out of the wildcat formation.

Clay Alexander       
Tight End • 6-3 • 210 • Montgomery, Texas • Montgomery HS
Listed as a two-star recruit by 247Sports and by Rivals…spent the 2016 season at Air Force Academy Prep after playing high school football for Montgomery High School in Montgomery, Texas…chose the Gamecocks over offers from Air Force and Texas State.

Eric Archie              
Offensive Lineman • 6-1 • 270 • Mobile, Ala. • Murphy HS
Prepped for head coach Rick Cauley at Murphy High School in Mobile…was a first team all-state selection by the Alabama Sports Writers Association as a senior…led the Panthers to a 7-4 record and into the AHSAA Class 7A Playoffs…chose the Gamecocks over Army.

B.J. Autry
Offensive Lineman • 6-5 • 320 • Eight Mile, Ala. • Coffeyville (Kansas) CC
Autry enrolled at JSU in the fall after transferring from Baylor, where he spent the spring of 2016…signed with the Bears after earning Junior College All-America honors at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas…signed with Baylor over offers from Arizona State, Oklahoma, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri and Ole Miss…was a the 27th ranked junior college prospect in the country out of CCC and the No. 1 JUCO offensive guard in the nation…was a four-star recruit out of Blount High School.
Dakota Chapman
Tight End/H-Back • 6-1 • 235 • McCalla, Ala. • McAdory HS
Listed as a two-star recruit by Rivals, 247Sports and Scout…prepped for head coach David Powell at McAdory High School in McCalla, Ala…graduated early after leading the Yellow Jackets to an 8-4 record and into the second round of the AHSAA Class 6A Playoffs…chose the Gamecocks over Army, Georgia Southern and Samford.