Twenty-five was the big number for the East Tennessee State University football team on signing day Wednesday.
The team brings in a young crew as 23 of the players are freshmen and only two are transfers. The recruits come from nine different states.
One thing is for sure, the class coming in will be full of athleticism as 14 of the students were multi-sport athletes in high school.
On offense, the team brings in 10 students.
“We went in recruiting offense with two main objectives,” said Offensive Coordinator Mike O’Cain. “Number one was to get bigger and number two, to get faster. We ended this recruiting class meeting this objective … in all positions.”
On the offensive line, the Bucs got Isaiah Jones (Clemmons, N.C.), Dadley Louis (Delray Beach, Fla.) and Tre’mond Shorts (Hampton, Ga.).
Two quarterbacks will be added to the roster for the Bucs: Drew Johnson (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Tyrique Sandusky (Memphis, Tenn.).
To get the ball rolling on the ground for the Bucs, the team added running backs Quay Holmes (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Hunter Thomas (Pulaski, Va.), fullback Jibrell Jackson (LaGrange, Ga.), tight end Evan Wick (Hallettsville, Texas) and wide receiver Drae Butts (Gray, Ga.).
With a few athletes more than offense, the defense has added 14 players this year in the recruiting class.
“What’s really been exciting about recruiting this year is our depth chart,” said Defensive Coordinator Billy Taylor. “Now we’re starting to not just recruit. Before, in the first three years, we recruited the players that are on the field right now so we could compete. Now we’re not just recruiting, we’re starting to reload a little bit.”
Six defensive backs are now a part of the ETSU Buccaneers. Coming in are Kaman Cooper (Warner Robins, Ga.), Karon Delince (Phenix City, Ala.), Thomas Henderson (Dublin, Ohio), Tyler Richardson (Cincinnati, Ohio), Tyree Robinson (Gainesville, Ga.) and Titus Tucker (Lenoir, N.C.)
The Bucs also added linebacker Austin Hicks (Elizabethton, Tenn.), defensive end/linebacker Chei Hill (Homestead, Fla.), linebacker Chris Ross (Enterprise, Ala.) and linebacker Zack Yancey (Opelika, Ala.)
The Bucs bring in three defensive linemen: Bryson Blevins (Morristown, Tenn.), Keilend Clayton (Pinson, Ala.), Miles Manigault (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Johnny Ray Woodby (Elizabethton, Tenn.).
One Buc is still undecided on whether he will play offense or defense.
Dylan Noe (Morristown, Tenn.) lettered in football and basketball at Morristown East and holds school records for most career yards, completions and attempts.
The season opener will be Sept. 2, 2017, in the new on-campus stadium against Limestone.