UT MARTIN FOOTBALL PROGRAM ADDS EIGHT PLAYERS ON NATIONAL SIGNING DAY

February 7, 2018

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2018 Football Signing Class


MARTIN, Tenn. –
In conjunction with National Signing Day, University of Tennessee at Martin head football coach Jason Simpson announced the signings of eight players at a press conference in the Champions Club in the Hardy M. Graham Stadium Press Box this afternoon.

The aforementioned eight players, in addition to 16 signees who joined the program during the Mid-Year Signing Period in December, were highlighted in short video clips with analysis from Simpson at the press conference.

“It was certainly different with the new early signing period, but adding these eight here in the regular signing period really puts a nice touch on our overall class,” Simpson said. “This class does a great job of replenishing some spots we had on our roster due to graduation. You can see if it is heavy in the areas of defensive backs and offensive linemen, but we added quality over quantity at our specialty positions. Our staff did a great job of identifying the players that would fit our program and brought in a talented class. This is my 13th signing class, meaning we have signed close to 300 kids over the years and it never gets old selling our community to our recruits. These kids know they can grow in our atmosphere and we look forward to plugging them in.”

Overall, Simpson and his staff added 12 players on offense, 11 players on defense and one specialist. The UT Martin coaching staff signed 12 high schoolers, 10 junior college transfers and two FBS transfer to make up the decorated class. The Skyhawks signed eight players from the state of Mississippi, five from Tennessee, four from Florida, three from Georgia, two from Missouri and one from Maryland and Ohio, respectively.

The winningest active coach in the Ohio Valley Conference, Simpson boasts a 78-59 record in his Skyhawk tenure and has posted a .629 winning percentage in OVC games (61-36). The Skyhawks are coming off a season in which the squad finished the season ranked in the top-10 nationally in eight categories and notched a 6-5 overall mark.


2018 UT Martin Football Signees

John Bachus III, QB, 6-2, 210, Fr., Pulaski, Tenn. (Giles County HS)

Prepped at Giles County High School, playing for head coach David O’Connor…As a senior, completed 215-of-341 pass attempts for 3,055 yards…Tallied 38 touchdowns and just seven interceptions…Averaged 277.7 yards per game and 14.2 yards per completion…Averaged 3.5 touchdowns per game…Tallied a quarterback rating of 120.5…Notched 90 carries for 434 yards and two touchdowns…Between his junior and senior campaigns, completed 433-of-680 attempts for 6,362 yards and 67 touchdowns…Tallied 185 carries for 1,032 yards and five touchdowns in two seasons…Member of the Elite 3 Foundation…Named to TSWA All-State Class 3A first team…Played in the Toyota East vs. West Tennessee All Star Classic…Named Toyota East vs. West Tennessee All Star Classic Offensive MVP…Named Gentle Giant Performer of the Week after passing for 399 yards and five touchdowns against East Nashville Magnet…Eclipsed three passing touchdowns in eight of 12 games – including three games with five touchdowns…Ranked as a two-star quarterback by 247Sports.


Philip Benker, WR, 6-2, 200, R-So., Jacksonville, Fla. (Indiana)

Joins the Skyhawks from Indiana where he spent the past two seasons playing for head coach Kevin Wilson and Tom Allen…Did not see game action in 2017…Named scout team player of the week against Wisconsin…Redshirted the 2016 season…Scout team player of the week against Purdue…Prepped at Sandalwood High School, playing for head coach Adam Geis…Posted 104 receptions, 1,914 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career…The school’s all-time leader in catches and receiving yardage…Named an all-state selection…Selected to the 2015 Times-Union Super 24 team…Two-time all-conference and All-First Coast honoree…Named Sandalwood’s most valuable player in 2014 and 2015…Made 59 receptions for 1,061 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior…Ranked as a three-star wide receiver by 247Sports.


Kameron Bowdry, DL, 6-2, 305, Fr., St. Louis, Mo. (St. Louis University HS)

Prepped at St. Louis University High School, playing for head coach Mike Jones…Ranked as one of the top players in the metro area, notching 35 total tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery despite constant double-teams…Named to the Metro Catholic Conference first team defense as both a junior and senior…Tabbed to the Missouri Media 6A All-State second team defense…As a junior, compiled 85 total tackles along with three sacks…Tallied 178 tackles, 12 sacks and four fumble recoveries for his prep career.


Tyree Bryant, LB, 6-2, 230, Jr., Southaven, Miss. (Itawamba CC)

Joins the Skyhawks from Itawamba Community College, playing for head coach Sean Cannon…Finished his sophomore season with 31 total tackles – including 20 solos and 11 assists…Notched 4.5 sacks for a loss of 27 yards…Tallied two forced fumbles against Holmes Community College…Notched three pass breakups – two against Northeast Mississippi Community College and one against Pearl River Community College…Tallied a blocked kick against Mississippi Delta Community College…Tallied a season-high seven tackles against Northeast Mississippi Community College, including one sack...Prepped at North Point Christian, playing for head coach Greg Wallace…Compiled 212 total tackles – including 171 solos and 35 assists…Notched 33.0 tackles for loss, including 27.5 sacks totaling 171 yards…Tallied 22 hurries, four pass breakups, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two blocked punts.


Landon Carter, P, 6-4, 205, Fr., Franklin, Tenn. (Franklin HS)

Prepped at Franklin High School, playing for head coach Donnie Webb…An elite specialist which tallied 45 punts as a senior totalying 1,534 yards for an average of 34.1 yards per punt…Pinned 11 punts inside the 20-yard line…Tallied 109 punts for 3,520 yards for an average of 32.3 yards per punt for his career…Pinned nearly 25 percent of all punts inside the 20-yard line…Notched 19 career kickoffs for 905 yards, averaging 47.6 yards per kickoff attempt…Product of the Chris Sailer Kicking organization…Attended the Southern Showcase Camp in 2017.


Keenen Davis, OL, 6-3, 315, R-Jr., Horn Lake, Miss. (Northwest Mississippi CC)

Joins the Skyhawks from Northwest Mississippi Community College, playing for head coach Benjy Parker…Helped pave the way for the nation’s sixth-ranked offense at 485.5 yards per game…Guided a Rangers program which finished the 2017 season ranked seventh nationally…Signed with Memphis out of high school…Redshirted the 2016 season…Did not see game action as a true freshman at Memphis, a team which played in the Birmingham Bowl…Prepped at Horn Lake High School, playing for head coach Brad Boyette…Named a 2013 MHSAA All-Region 1 Class 6A first team selection…Earned 2013 Commercial Appeal Best of Preps and all-district honors…Named Offensive Line MVP…Blocked for an Eagles offense that averaged nearly 360 yards of total offense as a senior…Ranked as a two-star offensive lineman by 247Sports.


Nonte Davis, DL, 6-5, 260, Fr., Columbia, Tenn. (Columbia Central HS)

Prepped at Columbia Central High School, playing for head coach Jason Hoath…Missed the majority of his senior campaign with an injury…Named to the 2017 Murphy Fair’s 5A Preseason All-State team…2016 all-region section…Finalist for All-Maury Awards…Ranked as a three-star defensive end by 247Sports.com and No. 35 prospect in the state by The Tennessean newspaper.


Josh Dodd, DB, 6-1, 210, Jr., Kosciusko, Miss. (Holmes CC)

Joins the Skyhawks from Holmes Community College, playing for head coach Jeff Koonz…Helped lead the Bulldogs to their first NJCAA Bowl Game in school history, winning the Graphic Edge Bowl…Will make a switch to defense after playing quarterback at throughout his prep and collegiate career…Finished his sophomore season by completing 23-of-50 pass attempts for 414 yards and two touchdowns…Tallied 64 carries for 405 rushing yards and two touchdowns…Finished the season ranked seventh in the nation as a freshman…Prepped at Kosciusko High School, playing for head coach Trac Baughn…Completed 76-of-154 pass attempts for 1,089 yards and 11 touchdowns…Tallied 302 carries for 2,159 yards and 38 touchdowns…Averaged 112.8 yards per carry…Notched seven 100-yard rushing games…Tallied 29 receptions for 373 yards and three touchdowns.


Davin Dyal, TE, 6-5, 230, Fr., Cookeville, Tenn. (Cookeville HS)

Prepped at Cookeville High School, playing for head coach Jimmy Maynord…Tallied 12 receptions for 212 yards and three touchdowns…Averaged 17.7 yards per catch…Tallied 17 career carries for 171 yards…Best game came against White County, catching four passes for 90 yards and a touchdown…Notched 46 total tackles – including 29 solos and 17 assists…Tallied 8.0 tackles for loss, including four sacks as a senior…For his career, he tallied 121 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks, two interception, six fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and a blocked punt…Named Cookeville HS Offensive Receiver of the Year…Placed in the top five for tight ends at the Nike Football/The Opening Regionals…Played in the Toyota East vs. West Tennessee All Star Classic…Named to the 2017 Region 3-6A team…Named an All-Region 2-6A honorable mention selection as a junior…Ranked as a two-star tight end by 247Sports.


Dion Goldbourne, LB, 6-4, 218, R-So., Delray Beach, Fla. (Maryland)

Joins the Skyhawks from Maryland where he spent parts of two seasons, playing for head coach DJ Durkin…Contributed on special teams, blocking a field goal which was returned 71-yards against Texas in the season-opener…Granted a redshirt in 2016…Prepped at Atlantic Community High School, playing for head coach TJ Jackson…Helped lead the Eagles to the Zone 6 2015 District and County Championship…Tallied 17 sacks and four forced fumbles as a high school senior…Played in the Florida/Georgia All-Star Game…Late bloomer for football after focusing on basketball for much of his prep career…Rated a two-star recruit by 247Sports.com.


Korbin Harmon, DE, 6-5, 255, R-So., Oxford, Miss. (Pearl River CC)

Joins the Skyhawks from Pearl River Community College, playing for head coach Ted Egger…Tallied 33 total tackles, including 16 solos and 17 assists…Notched 2.5 tackles for loss, including 2.0 sacks against East Central Community College and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College…Notched fumble recoveries against Southwest Mississippi Community College and Copiah-Lincoln Community College– which he returned for a touchdown…Tallied one pass breakup at Southwest Mississippi Community College…Tallied a season-high six tackles and 1.5 sacks at East Central Community College…Named to MACJC All-State second team…Preferred walk-on at Ole Miss out of high school…Prepped at Oxford High School, playing for head coach Johnny Hill…As a senior, tallied 95 total tackles, including 29 solos and 66 assists…Notched 3.5 sacks, four quarterback hurries, one pass breakup and two fumble recoveries…For his prep career, he tallied 249 tackles, 16.0 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles and one blocked field goal…Ranked as a three-star defensive end by 247Sports.


Devan Hollins, DB, 5-11, 205, Jr., Southaven, Miss. (Itawamba CC)

Joins the Skyhawks from Itawamba Community College, playing for head coach Sean Cannon…Finished his sophomore season with a team-high 71 tackles – including 48 solos and 23 assists…Notched two tackles for loss, including a sack against Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College…Recorded one forced fumble at Coahoma Community College…Named MACJC Defensive Player of the Week after tallying a career-high 18 tackles, including on tackle for loss against No. 5 Northwest Mississippi Community College…Named to the MACJC All-State second team…Prepped at Southaven High School, playing for head coach Ed Rich…Played in the 29th annual Mississippi-Alabama All Star game.


Jeremy Horton, WR, 5-9, 175, Fr., Bonaire, Ga. (Veterans HS)

Prepped at Veterans High School, playing for head coach David Bruce…Notched 945 all-purpose yards as a senior, including 412 receiving yards, 275 rushing yards and 358 yards on kick returns…As a junior, tallied 1,089 all-purpose yards along with four touchdowns…Averaged 12.27 yards per touch…Tallied a pair of 100-yard rushing performances…Named to the all-region second team…Best game came against Worth County where he tallied nine carries for 119 yards and a touchdown while collecting three receptions for 108 yards a touchdown…Named 2017 Golden Helmet Team MVP…2016 Region 1-5A Special Teams Player of the Year…2016 All-Middle Georgia honorable mention…Named Veterans Best Varsity Back/Receiver/Specialist of the Year…Ranked as a four-star wide receiver by RecruitGeorgia.com and a three-star athlete by 247Sports.


Jarious Johnson, RB, 6-2, 210, Fr., Decherd, Tenn. (Franklin County HS)

Prepped at Franklin County High School, playing for head coach Eddie James…Tallied 377 career carries for 2,482 yards and 35 touchdowns…Averaged 82.7 yards per game and 6.6 yards per carry…Accumulated 62 career tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups and one interception on defense…As a senior, tallied 201 carries for 1,290 yards and 24 touchdowns…Averaged 129 yards per game and 6.4 yards per carry…Tallied a pair of 200-yard rushing performance along with five touchdowns each against Tullahoma and Columbia Central…Named to the Region 5-5A first team…Invited to the NoKaOi Senior Bowl.


David Little, DB, 5-10, 175, Jr., Saltillo, Miss. (Itawamba CC)

Joins the Skyhawks from Itawamba Community College, playing for head coach Sean Cannon…Finished his sophomore season with 37 total tackles – including 29 solos and eight assists…Notched nine pass breakups…Recorded an interception against Hinds Community College…Blocked a pair of kicks against Hinds Community College and No. 5 ranked Northwest Mississippi Community College…Tallied a season-high seven tackles against Holmes Community College…Notched a season-high five pass breakups against No. 5 ranked Northwest Mississippi Community College...Prepped at Saltillo High School, playing for Pat Byrd…As a senior, tallied 38 receptions for 683 yards and eight touchdowns…Notched 108 career tackles, eight interceptions – including three returned for a touchdown, 12 pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and a blocked field goal.


DaVonte Maura, DB, 6-0, 175, R-Jr., Baltimore, Md. (Butler CC)

Joins the Skyhawks from Butler Community College, playing for head coach Tim Schaffner…Tallied 15 total tackles, including 13 solos and two assists…Notched four pass breakups, including three against Garden City Community College…Tallied a season-high six tackles against Iowa Western…Helped lead the Grizzlies to a No. 15 ranking in the country…Sat out the 2016 season…Transferred to Butler from Globe Tech Community College…Tallied 14 tackles as a freshman…Tallied an interception – which was returned 35-yard for a touchdown – against Stevenson College…Recovered a fumble for a touchdown against Ellsworth…Prepped at Mount St. Joseph High School, playing for head coach Rich Holzer.


Tamel McCall, DB, 6-0, 160, Fr., Riverview, Fla. (Riverview HS)

Prepped at Riverview High School, playing for head coach William Mosel…Tallied 18 tackles in seven games as a senior while notching a pair of interceptions, three pass breakups and a forced fumble…Notched 120 combined tackles, including 59 solos and 61 assists for his career…Tallied nine career interceptions along with 22 pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and a pair of blocked field goals…Tallied 16 kickoff returns for 273 yards…Notched 58 carries for 479 yards and five touchdowns as a junior…Ranked as the top defensive back prospect at the Pylon 7-on-7 Southeast Regional, earning all-tournament honors.


Shane McGroarty, OL, 6-4, 285, Fr., St. Louis, Mo. (Mehlville HS)

Prepped at Mehlville High School, playing for head coach Kent Heinemann…Named to the Suburban West National Division 2017 all-conference first team offense…Trained at Elite Football Academy…Also served as long snapper…Started for three seasons on the offensive line…Was elected team captain as a senior…Named to the all-conference second team as a junior along with being selected as the team’s Outstanding Offensive Lineman.


Benjamin Phillips, Jr., WR, 6-2, 190, R-Jr., Youngstown, Ohio (Garden City CC)

Joins the Skyhawks from Garden City Community College, playing for head coach Jeff Sims…Helped the team to a 2016 NJCAA national championship…For his career, he tallied a total of 92 receptions for 2,100 yards and 23 touchdowns…Averaged 20 yards per catch…His best game came against Coffeyville Community College with 10 receptions, 165 yards and two touchdown...Prepped at Liberty High School, where he was a two-way player, notching 525 rushing yards and 503 receiving yards…Notched 16 touchdowns…Defensively, notched five interceptions, six pass breakups, 24 solo tackles and a tackle for loss…Returned four punts for touchdowns.


Dustin Pope, OL, 6-6, 300, Fr., Summerville, Ga. (Chattooga HS)

Prepped at Chattooga High School, playing for head coach Charles Hammon…Two-time Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class AA all-state honoree…Named to the scoutSMART All-Academic second team…Selected to the 7AA All-Region first team offense…Played in the GACA Football All-Star Classic…Ranked as a two-star offensive lineman by 247sports.com


Parker Pulliam, OL, 6-5, 270, Fr., Olive Branch, Miss. (Lausanne High School)

Prepped at Lausanne Collegiate High School, playing for head coach Kevin Locastro…Helped lead the team to back-to-back TSSAA Division 2 Class AA state championships as a junior and senior, posting a perfect 27-0 record…Served as a key part of an offensive line which blocked for an offense which compiled 5,513 yards on the season for an average of 424.1 yards per game…Named to the Division II-AA All-West Region first team offense…Garnered Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State honors...Played in 16th Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl High School All-Star Game.


Michael Shanahan, TE, 6-5, 250, Fr., Orlando, Fla. (First Academy HS)

Prepped at The First Academy High School, playing for head coach Leroy Kinard…Helped his team to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons…Tallied 13 career receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns…Averaged 12.2 yards per reception…Played on both the offensive and defensive line as a senior…Named to the Sentinel Varsity All-Area Offense first team...Played in the Polynesian All-American Bowl…Played in the 2017 Central Florida All-Star Game…Selected to the NoKaOi Senior Bowl.


Terry Williams, WR, 5-10, 175, Jr., Southaven, Miss. (Itawamba CC)

Joins the Skyhawks from Itawamba Community College, playing for head coach Sean Cannon…Finished his sophomore season with 79 receptions for 1,095 receiving yards – ranking third in the nation - to become the Indians’ all-time leading receiver…Notched nine touchdown receptions…Averaged 121.7 receiving yards per game…Averaged 13.9 yards per catch… Named to the MACJC All-State first team…Named NJCAA All-Region 23…Named JCGridiron All-American…Named NJCAA First Team All-American… Best game came against Mississippi Gulf Coast with 10 receptions for 213 yards and three touchdowns…Tallied six 100-yard reception contests…Notched a season-high 16 receptions against No. 1 ranked East Mississippi CC to total 197 yards… Returned nine kickoffs for 191 yards and a touchdown…Averaged 31.8 yards per kick return…Returned a kickoff 69-yard for a touchdown against Northeast Mississippi CC… Named to the NJCAA All-America second team as a freshman…Tallied 66 receptions for 910 yards and four touchdowns…Prepped at Southaven High School, playing for Ed Rich…Tallied 56 receptions during his junior and senior campaigns, totaling 634 yards and two touchdowns…Ranked as a three-star wide receiver by 247Sports.


Loren Young, DL, 6-2, 255, So., Atlanta, Ga. (Highland CC)

Joins the Skyhawks from Highland Community College, playing for head coach Aaron Arnold…Finished his freshman season with 52 total tackles, including 18 solos and 34 assists…Notched 12.0 tackles for loss, including 4.5 sacks…Blocked four kicks on the season against Dodge City, Hutchinson, Grizzlies and Independence…Tallied one fumble recovery against Hutchinson…Notched a fumble recovery against Fort Scott….Tallied a season-high 10 tackles including 2.5 tackles for loss against Fort Scott…Prepped at Carver High School, playing for head coach Darren Myles…As a senior, compiled 88 total tackles, including 69 solos and 19 assists…Notched 41.0 tackles for loss and 12 sacks…Ranked as a two-star defensive lineman by 247Sports.com.



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