By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Georgia Southern rounds out 2023 football recruiting class
Georgia Southern Football coach Clay Helton speaks during Wednesday's National Signing Day festivities in Statesboro. - photo by JOSH AUBREY/staff

The Georgia Southern football team has now officially put an end to their 2023 signing class with the latest two players coming in the final signing period Wednesday morning. Head coach Clay Helton announced the signing of wide receiver Keion Wallace from Effingham County and defensive back Caimon Mathis from DeSoto Texas. 

“These are two young men we really had to fight for all the way up until 10:30 this morning,” Helton said. “Keion is a 6-3 205-pound athlete who is a two-sport player and is going to be a tremendous receiver for us. He had multiple Power-5 offers and came and had a great visit last weekend. We also are bringing in Caimon Mathis who we feel is one of the top defensive backs in the country. He also had multiple Power-5 offers We wanted to get the best of the best to finish this class out and I think we did.” 

Keion Wallace
Rebels receiver Keion Wallace makes a leaping snag between Statesboro Blue Devils Caleb Tisby (6) and Dennim Fair-Mincey. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

The Eagles officially now have 36 new players on the 2023 team. Georgia Southern signed 19 players in the early signing period in December. They added 15 players out of the transfer portal in January and then two on Wednesday. Helton admits things have changed quite a bit from the days of having only one signing period. 

“I think the main job of a head coach now, in addition to being the CEO of a football team, is being a roster manager,” Helton said. “You are almost like a general manager, as players go on the free agent market. You look at this as not just the three phases but there is also a fourth. In addition to what we just wrapped up, there is also a phase that will occur after spring football when the transfer portal opens up again.” 

Helton said it is now a part of college football and you can either get upset about where things have gone, or you can learn to adapt. 

“I feel like if we stick to our blueprint of being a developmental football team and then just target the specific needs at certain positions we will do well,” Helton said. “I believe doing that we will build a championship football team and come up smelling like roses.” 

Helton made it clear from the moment he took the head coaching position at Georgia Southern that he would scour the state of Georgia for the top talent, and that has been evident in the fact that the Eagles have 14 players from the Peach State among their 36 signees. 

“You look at the high school talent in this state and how well coached they are and they are college ready,” Helton said. “You look at our guys like Marcus Sanders and Jett Thompson and Dalen Cobb. Even our big men like Latrell Bullard and Pichon Wimberly and they are tremendously ready to play a college football game. When you look up and see six national championships, the first thing you need to ask is how did that get done? That got done by staying home and acquiring great local talent.” 

Helton also introduced the Eagles three newest members of their coaching staff Wednesday. Taylor Reed comes on as the new running backs coach after spending the last two seasons at Illinois. T.J. Woods takes over as offensive line coach and run game coordinator. Woods was the co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at UNLV the past two seasons. The Eagles also welcome back former player B.J. Johnson, who takes over as the Eagles wide receiver coach. Johnson was wide receiver coach at Gardner Webb last year.