By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Hatcher expects maximum recruiting class
Placeholder Image
    For Georgia Southern’s football coaches, Nation Signing Day is definitely a relief.
    Though they never stop recruiting, a relentless stretch concludes today, the first day high school seniors can ink national letters of intent.
    “Every coach on this staff has worked like crazy to try to get the best prospects in that best fit Georgia Southern — that’s for sure,” Eagle defensive coordinator Ashley Anders said.
    This afternoon second-year GSU coach Chris Hatcher will unveil the 2008 class, a large group of around 30 players, the NCAA maximum. The class is expected to include several high-profile high school players as well as a few transfers, including South Florida running back, Ricky Ponton, who last played in 2006.
    Ponton’s brother, a standout linebacker from Hillsborough High (Fla.), is also planning to come to GSU along with Savannah Christian wide receiver Tyler Sumner and running back David Arnold out of Valdosta High.
    Two players from Georgia Military College — defensive lineman Markeith Wylie and cornerback Elbert Lee — along with Roswell High safety LaVelle Larry, Jenkins High running back Franklin Green, Gaffney High (S.C.) linebacker J.B. Shippy, Irmo High (S.C.) athlete Leander Barney, Brandon High (Fla.) receiver Samir Baker and Lowndes High linebacker Tavares Williams are also projected to sign with the Eagles today.
    With deep Georgia ties and a reputation as a strong recruiter, Eagle fans are anxious to learn what kind of group Hatcher pulls in given a full recruiting season. Last year he had just 10 days to assemble his first GSU signing class after taking the job in mid-January.
    Throughout the last few months Hatcher’s name was tossed around for various head coaching and coordinator jobs. Some high school coaches believed the talk hurt the Eagles’ recruiting efforts, but Hatcher said it didn’t have an impact.
    “We are really excited and feel pretty good,” he said. “We think we have a chance to have a good class.”

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.