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
"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
Running back: 2
Defensive back: 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