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Arkansas State signs 25 in first class of Blake Anderson era

By David Harten

This article was published February 5, 2014 at 6:41 p.m.

Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson started his first season in Jonesboro inking 24 recruits, according to a news release from the school.

The class consists of five in-state signees — one being mid-year transfer linebacker A.J. Turner from Arkansas — two junior college transfers and a regional flavor, featuring recruits from Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The class also included two signees from California.

“We’re excited about this class and what these players are going to bring to our team, both immediately and long-term,” Anderson said in a statement.  “There were some areas on our team where we wanted to focus our attention, and I feel like this class will address those needs to help us accomplish our goals.  Throughout this recruiting process, as we got to know each individual better, we learned that these are young men with a lot of character who come from quality families.  This is a group that will not only contribute to our competitive success, but also in the community and classroom.”

In terms of scouted talent, 13 of the Red Wolves' signees were rated as three-star recruits or higher.

Four members of the class were mid-year transfers, including Turner and wide receiver Blaise Taylor, as well as two junior college transfers in linebacker Carderious Dean and offensive lineman Kyle Harris, both from Itawamba (Miss.) Community College.

The Red Wolves' five Arkansas-based signees included wide receiver Blake Mack from Lonoke, Warren offensive lineman Jhamahl Bell, defensive end Jarrod Chandler from Barton, Chuks Ota, a defensive tackle from Jonesboro and Turner, who prepped at East Poinsett County in Lepanto.

The class leaned slightly toward the defensive side, with 14 of the recruits coming on that side of the ball.

Arkansas State finished last season 8-5 with their second-straight victory in the GoDaddy Bowl.

Read more about this story in tomorrow’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

SIGNEES

POS. NAME HT. WT. SCHOOL

DT Charles Alexander - 6-4, 300, Los Medanos (Calif.) C.C.

DB D.J. Armstead - 5-11, 185, Florence, Ala.

OL Christian Beard - 6-4, 260, Waco (Texas) Midway

OL Jhamahl Bell - 6-4, 295, Warren

RB Brandon Byner - 5-11, 177, Bessemer (Ala.) City

DE Caleb Caston - 6-1, 190, Pasagoula, Miss.

DE Jarrod Chandler - 6-2, 205, Barton

LB Carderious Dean - 6-3, 245, Itawamba (Miss.) C.C.*

DB Charles Gaskins - 6-0, 180, Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby

DB Charles Grant - 5-10, 180, Mesquite (Texas)

OL Kyle Harris - 6-3, 285, Itawamba C.C.*

RB Terrance Hollingsworth - 5-8, 175, Berry (Ala.)

DT Marcus Hudson - 6-4, 265, Manor (Texas)

OL Daniel Keith- 6-5, 260, Florence (Ala.)

DB Khari Lain - 5-10, 188, Sandy Creek (Ga.)

WR Blake Mack - 6-3, 193, Lonoke

DT Chuks Ota - 6-2, 285, Jonesboro

RB Daryl Rollins-Davis - 5-7, 175, Knoxville (Tenn.) Fulton

DE Kyle Strickland - 6-4, 245, Brandon, Miss.

DT E.J. Sutton - 6-2, 270, Samuel (Texas) Clemens

QB James Tabary - 6-2, 190, New Orleans (La.) Holy Cross

WR Blaise Taylor - 5-9, 160, Auburn (Ala.)*

LB A.J. Turner - 6-2, 210, East Poinsett County (Univ. of Arkansas)*

DB Nehemiah Wagner - 6-0, 170, Mesquite (Texas) Horn

DT Kyle Strickland - 6-5, 245, Brandon, (Miss.)

Walk-on

K Dallas Kepler - 6-1, 195, Fr., K, Roswell (Ga.) Mt. Paran Christian School

*Mid-year signee availabel for spring practice

NOTE: Strickland also signed with Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community

College

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