• Rafael Gaglianone (Baylor), 6-0, 220, K — Wisconsin
• Chandler Gouger (Baylor), 6-4, 230, TE — Wofford
• Emory Norred (Baylor), 6-0, 190, LS — UTC
• Ben Pettway (Baylor), 6-5, 280 — Wheaton
• Will Thomas (Baylor), 6-2, 275, DL — Davidson
• Dee Crisp (Bradley Central), 6-1, 190, WR/DB — Tusculum
• Brett Standifer (Bradley Central), 6-2, 210, QB — Stillman
• Jordan Timmons (Bradley Central), 6-1, 210, LB — Lindsey Wilson
• Austin Byrd (Calhoun), 6-3, 230, DL — Kennesaw State
• Chandler Curtis (Calhoun), 6-0, 180, CB/WR — Mercer
• Tydus Curtis (Calhoun), 5-9, 180, WR — Ga. Prep Academy
• Katrova Dew (Calhoun), 6-0, 260, OL — Kennesaw State
• Chris Childs (Dalton), 6-0, 170, CB — Tusculum
• Jordan Keener (Dalton), 6-2, 250, DL — Tusculum
• Elijah Stidmon (Dalton), 6-1, 187, SS — Averett
• Alonzo Francois (East Hamilton), 5-8, 160, DB — ETSU
• Austin Gatewood (East Hamilton), 6-1, 215, LB — ETSU
• Tre Herndon (East Hamilton), 6-0, 180, DB — Vanderbilt
• Bailey Lenoir (East Hamilton), 6-4, 240, TE — UTC
• Hunter Moore (East Hamilton), QB – Central Arkansas
• C.J. Fritz (McCallie), 5-10, 175, WR-DB — UTC
• Cameron Walker (McCallie), 6-4, 250, OL — UTC
• Denzell Boyd (McMinn Central), DB — ETSU
• Trevor Crisp (McMinn County), DB — Carson-Newman
• Dorian Simpson (McMinn County), DB — Ridgewater College
• Caleb Bowie (Northwest Whitfield), 6-2, 220, DL — Shorter
• Isaiah Mack (Northwest Whitfield), 6-2, 265, DL — UTC
• David Nobles (Ooltewah), OL — Lindsey Wilson
• Zach Miller (Polk County), 6-0, 235 RB — Carson-Newman
• Jermane Conyers (Ridgeland), 6-3, 290 OL — Indiana
• Dakota Baer (Ringgold), 6-1, 220, LB — Chowan
• Ryan Emmer (Ringgold), 6-3, 280, OL — Carson-Newman
• Dallas McGee (Ringgold), 6-3, 225, TE — Kennesaw State
• Caleb Peters (Ringgold), WR/P — Averett
• Chris Watts (Ringgold), K — Tusculum
• Micah Pressley (Signal Mountain), 6-3, 225, OL— Carson-Newman
• James McClellan (Signal Mountain), 6-3, 265, FB — Bethel
• Kahlil Mitchell (South Pittsburg), 5-11, 200, LB — ETSU
The area's busiest Tennessee campuses during signing day were Baylor and East Hamilton, which had five players each who signed scholarships Wednesday.
At Baylor were Rafael Gaglianone, the state's Mr. Football Kicker of the Year who will play at Wisconsin, as well as tight end Chandler Gouger, who had been committed to Wofford for several weeks.
Joining those two were offensive lineman Ben Pettway, who signed with Wheaton College, defensive lineman Will Thomas, who signed with Davidson, and long-snapper Emory Norred, who will play for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Thomas is the third Red Raiders player in the last five years to sign with Davidson, joining former cornerback Landry Taylor and linebacker Ben Prater. Pettway chose Wheaton over offers from Southern Miss, Dartmouth and Davidson.
"Will and Ben are both excellent students who decided that those schools offered the best academic and athletic packages," Baylor coach Phil Massey said.
At East Hamilton, three players who had been committed for several months -- Tre Herndon (Vanderbilt), Bailey Lenoir (UTC) and Hunter Moore (Central Arkansas) -- signed along with teammates Austin Gatewood and Alonzo Francois, who both recently committed to East Tennessee State.
Francois, who will play either cornerback or safety, committed just two days ago. He was second on the team with 95 total tackles, 10 pass breakups, nine tackles for loss and two interceptions.
"It's exciting because it's a new program and I feel like I can go there and work to win a job and play a lot," Francois said. "It's a good situation because everybody will be in their first year, so you're not competing for playing time against guys who are years older than you."
Cardwell to MTSU
Boyd-Buchanan two-time all-state athlete Jim Cardwell, who had scholarship offers from Division II programs Tusculum and Carson-Newman, instead chose to accept an invitation to be a preferred walk-on at FBS member Middle Tennessee State.
A four-year starter at quarterback and safety, the 5-9, 180-pound Cardwell led the Buccaneers to the state semifinals twice and the quarterfinals another time and may play slot receiver in college. Last season he threw for more than 1,200 yards, ran for more than 700 and had 38 tackles and four interceptions on defense.
"He sees an opportunity to play at a big program and believes he can work his way into playing at that level," Bucs coach Grant Reynolds said. "His height was the only thing that kept some of the bigger schools from offering. But Jim is a great leader and a gritty competitor that I think can help them."
Bradley has three sign
Bradley Central had three players sign football scholarships Wednesday. Quarterback Brett Standifer, who played his final year with the Bears after three years at Soddy-Daisy, signed with NCAA Division II Stillman College in Alabama; receiver/defensive back Dee Crisp with Tusculum; and Jordan Timmons with the NAIA's Lindsey Wilson.
Standifer, a 6-2, 210-pounder, had 2,239 yards and 19 touchdowns passing as a senior, while rushing for 419 yards and seven more scores. Fifty-five of his completions and 11 of his touchdowns went to Crisp, who had 671 yards receiving.
Timmons had 111 total tackles and recovered three fumbles.
"The thing that stood out about this group is that they really took care of business," Bradley coach Damon Floyd said. "They each had high GPAs and ACT scores, so education is important to them."
Largest Ringgold group
After the most successful football season in school history, Ringgold had a historic signing day with five signees. None are headed to major college programs, but coach Robert Akins said in each case the fit was right.
"It really epitomizes what this group is all about," Akins said of the small-school flavor. "They weren't real flashy, but they were great players for us who were consistent, and the big thing with this week is they don't want to be away from the game. My advice to all of them was to find a place where they can play and not somewhere they have to sit for three years and in each case they did that. The big thing is the academic value of what they're getting, which is invaluable."
Defensive stalwart Dakota Baer headlines the group and is headed to North Carolina's Chowan University, while tight end Dallas McGee will attend Kennesaw State, offensive lineman Ryan Emmer is going to Carson-Newman, receiver/punter Caleb Peters to Averett and kicker Chris Watts to Tusculum. Akins said lineman Chase Burkealso is likely to sign soon.
Junior defensive end Zach Morris already has committed to Duke, while offensive linemen Bryan Derben and Hunter Sosebee are getting FBS interest.
Another Lamb on sideline
Tre Lamb, Calhoun coach Hal Lamb's son and former Tennessee Tech quarterback, has joined uncle Bobby Lamb's staff at Mercer University and had an immediate recruiting impact with the signing Wednesday of Calhoun star cornerback Chandler Curtis.
"Yeah, we have another Calhoun connection at Mercer," Hal Lamb said. "He coached at Tennessee Tech last year and now he's coaching quarterbacks. They've gotten a good class this year."
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...