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Signing day: Appalachian State football program pulls in 22 on first day of early signing period

Signing day: Appalachian State football program pulls in 22 on first day of early signing period

AppFootball

The Appalachian State recruiting class is ranked No. 1 in the Sun Belt by 247Sports.com.

A breakdown of Appalachian State's recruiting class for the high school football class of 2021:

Recapping the class

For the first time in a couple years, an Appalachian State recruiting class didn’t have to deal with a coaching change.

After seeing last year’s class through ahead of the bowl game, Mountaineers coach Shawn Clark signed a 22-player crew after his first full season.

“Today was a great day for the future of App State Football,” Clark said in a school-issued release. “The players who signed with us today are tough and talented competitors on the field. They are dedicated students in the classroom who come from great families. These young men will help us continue our pursuit of championships into the next few years, and we are excited for them to officially join the App Family.”

The group consists of five offensive linemen, five defensive backs, four wide receivers, three linebackers, two quarterbacks, two defensive linemen and a kicker in the top-rated class in the Sun Belt Conference, according to 247Sports.com.

Takeaways

By taking fewer than the maximum 25 in this class, App State has given itself flexibility to use spots elsewhere. Whether it’s a chance to scoop up a recruit or two later, some space for seniors who would like to return and/or if used on a grad transfer quarterback as a bridge from Zac Thomas, it’s needed space.

The players

DC Tabscott

Quarterback

6-3½, 200 pounds

Franklin, Tenn. | Father Ryan High

Andre Goodman

Quarterback

6-1, 190 pounds

Piedmont, S.C. | Greenville High

About the position group:

With two senior quarterbacks, starter Zac Thomas and backup Jacob Huesman, potentially dressing for their last game Monday, quarterback was an area of need, regardless of whether those two decide to use their extra eligibility.

The potential future of the position will arrive with Tabscott, the second commitment in the class. App State has had a run of longtime starters at QB with Taylor Lamb and Zac Thomas. Pending how the 2021 season is handled at that position, Tabscott will get the shot to become another longtime starter.

Goodman is not to be overlooked, either. App State kept recruiting the South Carolina quarterback even after he tore an ACL in his 2019 regular-season finale. He was a dangerous player through the air and on the ground and even played wide receiver sporadically.

Coen Sutton

Wide receiver

6-2, 205 pounds

Huntersville | Cornelius Hough High

Da’Shawn Brown

Wide receiver

6-1, 170 pounds

York, S.C. | York High

Jaquan Lowman

Wide receiver

6-1, 180 pounds

Zellwood, Fla. | Apopka High

Dalton Stroman

Wide receiver

6-4, 200 pounds

Rockingham | Richmond High

About the position group:

A pair of big targets and a speedy duo join the position group. Sutton was the first recruit to get his official paperwork in. He’s the younger brother of Corey Sutton, who opted out before the 2020 season but said he would return. Stroman was a big-play option for Richmond, catching 31 passes for 716 yards and nine touchdowns.

Brown and Lowman can be threats in open spaces. Lowman, who started his high school career as a defensive prospect, switched over to play quarterback. The run-heavy offense put the ball in its best athlete’s hand. He completed 44 of 71 passes for 578 yards and eight touchdowns, running for 1,109 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Cole Essek

Offensive lineman

6-6, 240 pounds

Tampa, Fla. | Tampa Catholic High

Jaden Lindsay

Offensive lineman

6-2½, 285 pounds

Winston-Salem | East Forsyth High

Colston Powers

Offensive lineman

6-4, 285 pounds

Blue Ridge, Va. | Lord Botetourt High

Troy Everett

Offensive lineman

6-3, 280 pounds

Daleville, Va. | Lord Botetourt High

Jayden Ramsey

Offensive lineman

6-6, 250 pounds

Anderson, S.C. | Westside High

About the position group

A senior-heavy offensive line at App State played into the need to scoop up a good chunk of OL prospects.

The Mountaineers have a senior at left tackle, Cole Garrison; both guard spots, left guard Ryan Neuzil and right guard Baer Hunter; and starting center Noah Hannon. Again, those players could return, but it’ll be interesting to see who in this 2021 offensive line group would get some of those early learning snaps much as Anderson Hardy did behind Vic Johnson and Garrison the last couple of seasons.

David Larkins

Tight end

6-5, 230 pounds

North Bend, Ohio | Elder High

About the position group

The tight end group got thinned out a bit because of injury this season, so adding another player will be welcomed.

Larkins is the type of tight end App State likes, one with no issue moving from outside of a tackle to somewhere in the backfield as a blocking/pass-catching option. It’s a role in which Henry Pearson has thrived.

Justin Isler

Defensive lineman

6-2, 230 pounds

Villa Rica, Ga. | Temple High

KaRon White

Defensive lineman

6-2, 275 pounds

Madison, Ala. | Sparkman High

About the position group

When it’s all said and done, White might become the most stellar player from this class, a disruptive player who registered 109 total tackles, eight sacks and 34 quarterback hurries, according to MaxPreps.com. Isler is yet another talented defender the Mountaineers have pulled from the state of Georgia.

Kyle Arnholt

Linebacker

6-2, 200 pounds

Roanoke, Va. | Lord Botetourt High

Deshawn McKnight

Linebacker

6-2½, 230 pounds

Sumter, S.C. | Sumter High

Trevor Moffitt

Linebacker

6-1, 200 pounds

Bushnell, Fla. | South Sumter High

About the position group

This group might get the most time to learn and grow behind a younger group of starters. The Mountaineers have two juniors at inside linebacker, D’Marco Jackson and Trey Cobb; one outside linebacker spot featuring senior Tim Frizzell and Nick Hampton; and the other manned by stellar sophomore Brendan Harrington.

Moffitt was picked up by App State after he initially committed to Illinois. Arnholt played high school football with O-linemen Colton Powers and Troy Everett.

Caden Sullivan

Defensive back

6-1½, 196 pounds

Inman, S.C. | Bowling Springs High

Jonathan Streeter

Defensive back

5-11, 175 pounds

Cary | Panther Creek High

Jordan Favors

Defensive back

5-11, 187 pounds

Griffin, Ga. | Griffin High

Travis McNichols

Defensive back

5-8, 170 pounds

Miami Gardens, Fla. |Miami Northwestern High

About the position group

This might be the position the Mountaineers recruit best. The defensive backfield always has a little bit of a backlog. A perfect example is Shemar Jean-Charles waiting until last year (his junior season) to finally earn a starting spot at cornerback, and like a first-year starter at safety, senior Kaiden Smith.

Safety Nick Ross earned playing time as a true freshman in 2019, so it’s not impossible. But much like the incoming linebackers, the four defensive backs will get a chance to learn from experienced players.

Michael Hughes

Kicker

6-3, 160 pounds

Charleston, W.Va. | George Washington High

About the position group

Hughes, coming from the alma mater of Shawn Clark, will be a challenger at kicker with Ryker Casey. And that’s not knowing whether senior Chandler Staton decides to return.

Staton and Casey have split field goal and kickoff duties, respectively, in 2020. How Hughes plays into that mix will be intriguing as the 13th-highest-rated kicker nationally by 247Sports.

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