published Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Live Updates: 2012 National Signing Day

Click here for Patrick Brown's UT Vols updates.

Click here for John Frierson's UTC updates.

2:56

Local signees

Three Signal Mountain players signed college scholarships, linebacker Zack Bowman with Tusculum, defensive tackle Drew Chambers with the University of the Cumberlands and linebacker Tim McClendon with College of the Sequoias.

Cleveland quarterback Chad Voytik, the state of Tennessee’s top-ranked prospect according to Rivals.com, has faxed his paperwork in to Pitt as well.

Also, Ringgold High running back Shaun Anderson signed with Reinhardt, receiver Mark Fairbanks with Mercer and defensive back Desmond Harris with Tusculum. Dade County athlete David Page signed with Georgia Southern and North Jackson defensive back Kahne Cooper signed with Faulkner University.

Gordon Central linebacker C.J. Bell signed with Tusculum and offensive lineman Matt Chastain signed with Mercer.


2:32

David Paschall on UGA

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia football coach Mark Richt and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner just finished addressing the media about the 2012 signing class.

The Bulldogs have received letters-of-intent from 18 players, but they have not posted linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons of Valdosta yet as a signee. Harvey-Clemons announced this morning on ESPNU that he was signing with Georgia.

Richt and Garner expressed delight with this class, but Richt was brief in his answers on questions concerning Harvey-Clemons.

Georgia was able to sign Tucker defensive end Josh Dawson, who had been committed to Vanderbilt, but the Bulldogs did not land tackle Avery Young of Palm Beach Gardens. Young announced moments ago that he was picking Auburn over Georgia and Florida.


1:04

John Frierson on UTC

Final List of Signees:

OL Corey Levin, Dacula (Ga.) High School — Picked the Mocs over Appalachian State and Georgia Southern.

DE Vantrel McMillan, Monroe (Ga.) High School — Voted to the Georgia Class AAA all-state second team.

RB Tolerance Shepherd, Fitzgerald (Ga.) High School — Rushed for more than 1,500 yards and 24 touchdowns

TE Kevin Niethammer, Maryville High School — Mocs think Niethammer has, to steal a line from Mel Kiper Jr., “a lot of upside.”

DE Keionta Davis, Red Bank — Missed his senior season with an ACL injury after a big junior year. Was a Times Free Press Dynamite Dozen pick.

OL Robert Hill, Buford (Ga.) High School — Hill made the Gwinnett Touchdown Club’s All-Gwinnett second team and was named honorable mention all-area by the Gainesville Times.

DB Will Johnson, Chattahoochee (Ga.) High School — Johnson earned Class AAAA second-team all-state honors after just his second season of high school football.

DB Cedric Nettles, Jonesboro (Ga.) High School — A quarterback/defensive back, Nettles had more than 1,700 yards of offense and 20 touchdowns as a senior.

(Sorry for the delay. I was over at McKenzie Arena doing some interviews)

DB Nakevion Lesie, Hillgrove (Ga.) High School — He returned two fumbles for touchdowns against South Cobb, including an 85-yarder.

WR C.J. Board, West Creek (Tenn.) High School — Board is a receiver in the Joel Bradford mold. He earned Class 5A all-state honors as a junior.

DB Dee Virgin, Seminole County (Ga.) High School — Voted Class A second-team all-state.

WR Al Thompson, Brentwood Academy — Originally committed to Arizona State, Thompson found UTC after the Sun Devils made a coaching change.

WR Tray James, Bannaker (Ga.) High School — A big target at 6-foot-4, James was limited as a senior because of an ankle injury.

LB Alex Kirby, Calhoun (Ga.) High School — The Mocs’ first commitment, Kirby decided on UTC in November.

Along with the signees, the Mocs also have early enrollee D’Eddric Williams, a linebacker from Hillcrest (Ala.) High School.


11:36

Stephen Hargis on local signee

Ooltewah High School had six players sign college football scholarships Wednesday morning. Receiver Mikhail Creech signed with Austin Peay, linebacker Jay Rudwall with Tennessee Tech, linebacker T.J. Warren with Furman, linebacker Drew Manning, tight end James Stone and receiver Matt Sealor each signed with Carson-Newman.


11:22

Stephen Hargis on local signee

Bradley Central receiver James Stovall officially signed his letter of intent with the Naval Academy on Wednesday morning. Two other Bears, offensive lineman Patrick Benson and running back Justin Houston have also sent in their signed papers to Tusculum University.

Red Bank linebacker Keionta Davis has signed with UT-Chattanooga and Lions defensive back Deres Benn signed with Tusculum.

McMinn County linebacker Trevor Guthrie has signed with Campbellsville State.


10:31

John Frierson on UTC:

Signees:

OL Corey Levin, Dacula (Ga.) High School — Picked the Mocs over Appalachian State and Georgia Southern.

DE Vantrel McMillan, Monroe (Ga.) High School — Voted to the Georgia Class AAA all-state second team.

RB Tolerance Shepherd, Fitzgerald (Ga.) High School — Rushed for more than 1,500 yards and 24 touchdowns

TE Kevin Niethammer, Maryville High School — Mocs think Niethammer has, to steal a line from Mel Kiper Jr., “a lot of upside.”

DE Keionta Davis, Red Bank — Missed his senior season with an ACL injury after a big junior year. Was a Times Free Press Dynamite Dozen pick.

OL Robert Hill, Buford (Ga.) High School — Hill made the Gwinnett Touchdown Club’s All-Gwinnett second team and was named honorable mention all-area by the Gainesville Times.

DB Will Johnson, Chattahoochee (Ga.) High School — Johnson earned Class AAAA second-team all-state honors after just his second season of high school football.

DB Cedric Nettles, Jonesboro (Ga.) High School — A quarterback/defensive back, Nettles had more than 1,700 yards of offense and 20 touchdowns as a senior.

Along with the signees, the Mocs also have early enrollee D’Eddric Williams, a defensive end from Hillcrest (Ala.) High School.


10:01

Patrick Brown on UT Vols

WHO'S SIGNED

Here's a list of players that have signed with Tennessee. I'll keep updating it throughout the day. As of 9:15 ET, Tennessee had just two committed players -- Patterson Crowley (La.) RB Davante Bourque -- that had yet to fax in their respective letters of intent:

WR Jason Croom (Norcross, Ga.)

CB Deion Bonner (Columbus, Ga.)

LB Justin King (Dunwoody, Ga.)

RB Quenshaun Watson (Athens, Ga.)

K George Bullock (Knoxville)

DE/LB LaTroy Lewis (Akron, Ohio)

WR Alton "Pig" Howard (Orlando, Fla.)

CB Daniel Gray (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.)

DT Danny O'Brien (Flint, Mich.)

DT Daniel McCullers (Georgia Military College via Raleigh, N.C.)

S LaDarrell McNeil (Dallas, Texas)

WR Drae Bowles (Jackson)

9:26

David Paschall on UGA

Georgia lands Josh Harvey-Clemons

The Georgia Bulldogs topped Florida, FSU and Miami for in-state linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons.

The Bulldogs were unable to turn four-star wide out JaQuay Williams from his Auburn pledge, however.

Dynamie Dozen update

From the TFP staff

Here’s a look at the Times Free Press’ Dynamite Dozen for the class of 2012 and where they are committed heading into today’s signing day festivities:

  1. Chad Voytik Cleveland QB Pitt
  2. Adam Griffith Calhoun K Alabama
  3. Barrett Gouger Baylor OL Vanderbilt
  4. Reed Allen Calhoun DL Air Force
  5. James Stovall Bradley Central WR Navy
  6. D.J. Roberson South Pittsburg OL unsigned
  7. Tye Youngblood McCallie OL Wofford
  8. Jon Patton Signal Mountain WR uncommitted
  9. Keionta Davis Red Bank LB UTC
  10. Tre Beck Dalton RB unsigned
  11. Alex Kirby Calhoun LB UTC
  12. Deres Benn Red Bank DB Tusculum

9:03

John Frierson on UTC:

Signees:

OL Corey Levin, Dacula (Ga.) High School — Picked the Mocs over Appalachian State and Georgia Southern.

DE Vantrel McMillan, Monroe (Ga.) High School — Voted to the Georgia Class AAA all-state second team.

RB Tolerance Shepherd, Fitzgerald (Ga.) High School — Rushed for more than 1,500 yards and 24 touchdowns

TE Kevin Niethammer, Maryville High School — Mocs think Niethammer has, to steal a line from Mel Kiper Jr., “a lot of upside.” He knows about winning coming out of Maryville's program.

DE Keionta Davis, Red Bank — Missed his senior season with an ACL injury after a big junior year. Was a Times Free Press Dynamite Dozen pick.

OL Robert Hill, Buford (Ga.) High School — Hill made the Gwinnett Touchdown Club’s All-Gwinnett second team and was named honorable mention all-area by the Gainesville Times.


8:48

Patrick Brown on UT Vols

KNOXVILLE - After losing two linebackers in the days leading up to Wednesday's national signing day, it didn't take long for Tennessee to get some good news.

Cordarrelle Patterson, a highly-rated receiver from Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, told ESPN he will sign with the Volunteers during a news conference later this morning (11:30 a.m. ET). That ceremony will be streamed live here. At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Patterson is one of the nation's elite junior-college prospects.

He's rated as the top JUCO player and a five-star prospect by 247sports, and Rivals rates him as a four-star prospect. His other finalists were Georgia, Ole Miss, LSU and Auburn. Darin Hinshaw, Tennessee's quarterback-turned-receivers coach, deserves credit for getting the Vols into it early and sustaining a relationship with a player who could help turn the dangerous receiving duo of Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter into a talented trio.

"The first phone call came from Tennessee last year on signing day," Patterson told ESPN. "They never gave up. With some other teams, I would talk to the coaches once a week or something like that. Tennessee was different. They would call me almost every day, and they kept rolling with me. They kept sticking by me."

FOUR TO WATCH

As I wrote in today's Times Free Press, there were four prospects out there that Tennessee would be keeping an eye on today. Patterson was the first.

Korren Kirven, the defensive tackle from Lynchburg, Va., made the Vols one of two. Kirven announced he would sign with Alabama, according to the Lynchburg News & Advance.

WHO'S SIGNED

Here's a list of players that have signed with Tennessee. I'll keep updating it throughout the day:

WR Jason Croom (Norcross, Ga.)

CB Deion Bonner (Columbus, Ga.)

LB Justin King (Dunwoody, Ga.)

RB Quenshaun Watson (Athens, Ga.)

K George Bullock (Knoxville)

DE/LB LaTroy Lewis (Akron, Ohio)

WR Alton "Pig" Howard (Orlando, Fla.)

CB Daniel Gray (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.)

DT Danny O'Brien (Flint, Mich.)

DT Daniel McCullers (Georgia Military College via Raleigh, N.C.)

S LaDarrell McNeil (Dallas, Texas)

In addition, here's the six players from this class who have already enrolled in school and been on campus for a month: QB Nathan Peterman, RB Alden Hill, TE Justin Meredith, ATH Cody Blanc, DL Darrington Sentimore and DL Trent Taylor.


8:39

John Frierson on UTC:

Like all other college football teams, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is expecting a busy signing day. Check back often for updates on the Mocs’ class as the signed letters of intent arrive.

Signees:

OL Corey Levin, Dacula (Ga.) High School — Picked the Mocs over Appalachian State and Georgia Southern.

DE Vantrel McMillan, Monroe (Ga.) High School — Voted to the Georgia Class AAA all-state second team.


8:30

Patrick Brown via Twitter: the last four-star high-school DT that the Vols signed came in 2007 (Rolando Melancon and Donald Langley) #yeahiwentthere


8:26

Patrick Brown via Twitter: Michigan's own Danny O'Brien, a four-star DT, has signed with Tennessee.


8:23

Patrick Brown via Twitter: Lauderdale Lakes (FL) cornerback Daniel Gray has signed with Tennessee. I hear he's fast at football, too.


8:20

Patrick Brown via Twitter: Alton 'Pig' Howard from down in Orlando has signed with Tennessee. he's fast and stuff.


8:19

Patrick Brown via Twitter: It's official: Korren Kirven signing with Alabama.


8:17

Patrick Brown via Twitter: Akron DE/LB LaTroy Lewis has signed with Tennessee.

8:16

Patrick Brown via Twitter: Knoxville's own George Bullock, about three minutes from my apartment over at West, has signed with Tennessee #thekicker


8:13

Patrick Brown via Twitter: Athens RB Quenshaun Watson has signed with Tennessee. that's four this morning, all from Georgia interestingly enough.


8:11

Patrick Brown via Twitter: Patterson to ESPN: 'The first phone call came from Tennessee last year on signing day. They never gave up.' give Darin Hinshaw credit there.


8:08

Patrick Brown via Twitter: Columbus (Ga.) Carver's Deion Bonner is in per UT, making it three officially.


8:08

Patrick Brown via Twitter: Clearly already day's biggest news for Tennessee. big-time get, per ESPN and others.


  • photo
    Middle linebacker of Signal Mountain High School Tim McClendon tracks the offense of Bradley High School during the 7-on-7 Passing Camp at Signal Mountain High School on Saturday, July 16, 2011.
    Photo by Alex Washburn /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Ward Gossett on Tim McClendon of Signal Mountain

Aspiring college football players, many along with their families, will celebrate National Signing Day with life-changing signature parties today.

Of the more than three dozen players in the Chattanooga area expected to sign with college programs, none will be going farther or will have come further than Tim McClendon, the Signal Mountain Middle High School linebacker and running back whose transfer from Lake-view-Fort Oglethorpe High School raised eligibility questions last year.

Those questions eventually cost the Eagles seven victories, a district championship and a likely run deep into the state playoffs.

"I'm sorry that my team had to go through what it went through and for the way things worked out," the 6-foot-2, 240-pound McClendon said Tuesday night. "The whole situation has made me a better person, and I think I'm a stronger person. I have learned to overcome setbacks."

McClendon, who said he transferred to Signal Mountain for better educational opportunities, will set aside his regrets to sign scholarship papers with College of Sequoias in Visalia, Calif.

College of Sequoias is a two-year school, but it is another step in a long process for McClendon, who is well on his way to a diploma while continuing to overcome learning disabilities.

"I definitely made the right choice going to Signal Mountain," he said. "The reason is that I'm getting a lot of help I wouldn't have gotten elsewhere. They're keeping me on track. I'm getting a lot of support."

Signal Mountain football coach Bill Price said the school and team are proud of what McClendon has accomplished.

"He'll have a chance to develop into a four-year player. This gives him an opportunity to work on his grades and improve his skills so he can go play [NCAA] Division I. He still has a tough time ahead of him and he needs to improve his study habits, but he's graduating and moving on to the next level."

McClendon, who talked with recruiters from University of the Cumberlands, Eastern Kentucky and others, figured out quickly that academic shortcomings would keep him from playing football at most four-year schools.

He liked what College of the Sequoias had to offer and felt even better after his mother did some further investigation.

"I considered some other [junior colleges] but I fell in love with this college because of what they have going, plus the academics and the football," McClendon said. "When I get there, I'll take a test to see where my [academic] skill level is so I don't get over my head in class, and they have tutors."

He said his priorities haven't changed from the time he made a decision last spring to transfer to Signal Mountain.

"I want to get out there, do my best and stay focused," he said. "I'm talking focused academically. My grades have to be first and football second. There will be a lot of studying and tutoring going on."

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