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7 February 2008

Crowe Optimistic about JSU's Class

By Andy Johns
Star Staff Writer
02-07-2008


Reprinted here in its entirety.

JACKSONVILLE The Gamecocks are learning to compete with the big boys.

Jacksonville State's football recruiting class has several players who were recruited by strong programs in both the bowl and championship subdivisions, such as Marshall (FBS), Appalachian State (FCS), Georgia Southern (FCS), UAB (FBS), Clemson (FBS) and Vanderbilt (FBS).

Coach Jack Crowe said fans should get used to that.

"Our ambition is to be recruiting in Division I," he said. "We really push the envelope very hard by saying 'What's the real difference?'"

At an event for boosters at the Gamecock Fieldhouse, Crowe said this year's class is "without a doubt" the best since he has been at the school. The school released a list of 23 players who had signed letters of intent, but Crowe said there might be one or two more players added. The staff was pursuing a player who had committed to Kentucky, after the Wildcats withdrew their interest Wednesday morning.

"I think there're some guys here that a lot of people want," Crowe said.

He praised the potential of quarterback signees Casey Weston from Prattville High School and Marques Ivory from Northside High School in Warner Robins, Ga.

"I think you've got to know their names pretty quick," he said.

Crowe said another strength of the class is a "raw core of talent." He said there are about eight recruits who are athletic and versatile enough to play six different positions. He said some bigger schools might have passed on the players because their versatility made them difficult to evaluate.

Though optimistic, Crowe said a good year of recruiting will not fix everything for a Jacksonville State team that has finished 6-5 and out of the FCS playoffs three years in a row.

"It's not going to change one September because of what happened the year before," he said. "It's going to have to be built."


By the numbers

Defensive end: 1

Defensive linemen: 3

Offensive line: 6

Wide recievers: 3

Linebackers: 3

Safety: 2

Quarteback: 2

Running back: 2

Defensive back: 1

Athlete: 1

About Andy Johns

Andy Johns is the mobile reporter for The Star. He is a graduate of Berry College in Rome, Ga.

See story at The Anniston Star's website: www.annistonstar.com .

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