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story.lead_photo.caption In this file photo Pulaski Academy football coach Kevin Kelley and quarterback Layne Hatcher (right) celebrate their 5A High School Football State Championship against McClellan. - Photo by Benjamin Krain

Blake Anderson thinks his new recruiting class is "quite possibly our best class" since he was named the head football coach at Arkansas State Universty on Dec. 19, 2013.

The Red Wolves added five players on national signing day Wednesday -- including the all-time leading passer in Arkansas high school history -- to boost the ASU 2018 football signing class to 28 players.

Arkansas State signees

PLAYER POS. HT. WT. HOMETOWN/SCHOOL

Tukua Ahoia* DL 6-0 310 Mountain View, Calif. (College of San Mateo)

Triston Anderson CB 6-0 167 Rockwall, Texas (Rockwall)

Derrick Bean LB 6-2 195 Pinson, Ala. (Clay-Chalkville)

Antonio Fletcher S 6-0 183 Lithonia, Ga. (Martin Luther King)

Jax Gasaway OL 6-7 265 Star City (Star City)

Cody Grace*** P 6-2 223 Perth, Western Australia (Warwick Senior)

Dahu Green** WR 6-5 193 Oklahoma City (Oklahoma)

Detravion Green S 6-0 175 Ashdown (Ashdown)

Terry Hampton DL 6-0 254 El Dorado (El Dorado)

Jaden Harris DB 6-2 190 Monroe, La. (Ouachita Parish)

Layne Hatcher QB 6-1 204 Little Rock (Pulaski Academy)

Christian Howard*** DL 6-2 281 Indianapolis (Independence [Kan.] CC)

Christian Hoz OL 6-5 308 Covington, La. (Archbishop Hannan)

Noel Iwuchukwu DE 6-2 220 Los Angeles (College of the Canyons [Calif.])

Jevon Jones CB 6-0 160 Allen, Texas (Allen)

Donovan Marshall RB 5-11 179 St. Louis (Lutheran North)

Demari Medley*** S 5-10 175 Gainesville, Fla. (Gainesville)

Kirk Merritt* WR 5-11 205 Destrehan, La. (East Mississippi Community College)

Hunter Moreton*** DL 6-1 293 Fort Smith (Southside)

Marcel Murray RB 5-10 200 Hiram, Ga. (Hiram)

Bubba Ogbebor** WR 6-0 189 Frisco, Texas (Boise State)

Nathan Page CB 6-0 175 Roland (Robinson)

Ross Painter* TE 6-4 225 Hernando, Miss. (NW Miss. Community College)

Kevin Powers*** LB 6-0 213 Sacramento, Calif. (College of San Mateo [Calif.])

Ryan Taylor DL 6-2 311 Loganville, Ga. (Grayson)

Kevin Thurmon** DL 6-3 288 Chicago (Ball State)

Thomas Toki DL 6-1 290 Mountain View, Calif. (College of San Mateo [Calif.])

Reed Tyler* TE 6-3 236 Brandon, Miss. (Brandon)

Bold represents Feb. signings *mid-year signee available for spring camp

**already enrolled; sat out 2017 season due to NCAA transfer rules

***enrolled fall 2017 and participated in the 2017 season, but counted toward the 2018 signing class

The other 23 players signed during the NCAA's first early signing period Dec. 20.

Pulaski Academy quarterback Layne Hatcher headlined the newest recruits, signing after he tweeted Sunday that he would commit to ASU.

The state's all-time leader in passing yards (15,483) and touchdowns (185) said he will blueshirt for the 2018 season, which means his scholarship will count toward the 2019 recruiting class if he does not play during the upcoming season.

Hatcher (6-1, 204 pounds) was a three-star dual-threat quarterback, according to 247 Sports, which ranked him the No. 23 recruit in Arkansas. He had other offers from Eastern Illinois and Murray State.

"Why not ASU?" Hatcher said. "You got great coaches. A great offensive system. New facilities. It's crazy up there, there's so much support. Who doesn't want to go play for them?"

ASU starting quarterback Justice Hansen, who just set a single-season Sun Belt Conference record with 37 touchdown passes, will be a senior next season. Logan Bonner played in four games during his redshirt freshman season.

"I think the best thing about [Hatcher] is he's a winner," Anderson said. "He doesn't know how to lose. I can count how many times he's lost a match on one hand.

"And he's an overachiever. He's not tall enough, not fast enough, not million things enough. The more you're around him, the more you realize he's motivated."

Anderson added another top in-state talent with Nathan Page, who finished his high school career at Joe T. Robinson in Little Rock with 108 catches, 2,208 yards and 28 touchdowns at wide receiver. He also recorded 14 career interceptions and 19 passes defended at defensive back.

Page (6-0, 175) was a three-star athlete, according to 247 Sports, which ranked him the No. 7 recruit in Arkansas. Page received interest from Power 5 programs such as Arkansas and TCU, and had offers from Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe and New Mexico State.

Page said he will play defense at ASU and that he was mostly in contact with Trooper Taylor, the Red Wolves' assistant head coach and cornerbacks coach. Page said Taylor told him, "If I come up there, work my tail off and learn all the plays and everything, I should be up there getting playing time my first year."

"If he truly wants to have a long future, potentially next level, 'press corner' is written all over him," Anderson said of Page. "He has quick feet, he'll hit you, and he doesn't mind tackling. We've got holes to fill at corner, and he may pick up a role."

Information for this article was contributed by Jeremy Muck of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Sports on 02/08/2018

Print Headline: In-state talent fills ASU's spots

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