Towson and Morgan State introduced their newest recruiting classes as part of Wednesday's national signing day.
For Towson coach Rob Ambrose, whose team went 4-8 last year coming off a trip to the FCS title game, there was clearly an emphasis on speed.
"This may be the fastest overall class that we've ever recruited," Ambrose said in a news release. "From the linemen to skill players, they're all fast. If this class was an entire team, I'd be impressed by their team speed."
Morgan State's class is the second under coach Lee Hull, whose team finished 7-6 this fall and earned the MEAC's berth into the FCS playoffs.
Here's a look at the players who signed national letters of intent with the area's two FCS programs. (Bios provided by the teams.)
QB · 6-2 · 225
Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills HS (University of Miami)
· Transfer from the University of Miami who will have three years of eligibility
· 2013 Under Armour All-American
· Rated Four-star QB in 2013 by ESPNU, 247Sports.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com andMaxPreps.com
· Ranked No. 4 QB nationally in 2013 by Scout.com, No. 5 by both ESPNU and247Sports.com and No. 6 by MaxPreps.com
· Brother of Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl TE Greg Olsen
WR · 5-11 · 175
Frederick, Md./Governor Thomas Johnson HS (Penn State)
· Transfer from Penn State University who will have three years of eligibility
· Selected first-team all-area and second-team all-met as a senior
· Two-year team captain
· Produced more than 1,700 yards of offense and 15 touchdowns as a junior
· Helped the Patriots to the Class 3A state championship game
· Invited to play in the Big 33 Classic, the Chesapeake Bowl & the Maryland Crab Bowl
OL · 6-0 · 285
Islip, N.Y./Islip HS
· Second-team all-state and all-met selection in 2014
· Posted 72 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and seven sacks during his senior season
· Tallied 65 pancakes while leading Islip to an 8-3 record and the county finals in 2014
· First-team All-Long Island and All-county as a senior
· Selected to play in the 2015 Empire Challenge
· Three-time Football Scholar Athlete
OL · 6-1 · 275
Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton HS
· First-team all-conference
· Team captain
· Led Hammonton to the playoffs all three years on varsity
· Second-team all-county
· Named to the Honor Roll 15 times
· Three-time winner of Hammonton Academic Excellence Award
DL · 6-2 · 260
Arlington, Va./Yorktown HS
· Second-team all-state in Virginia
· Posted 17.5 sacks during his senior season
· Also made 100 tackles, including 36 for a loss, in 2014
ATH · 6-0 · 180
Cooksville, Md./Glenelg HS
· Captain of Glenelg's 2014 Maryland 3A state semifinalist team
· Posted 1,251 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior. Also, made 45 tackles
LB · 6-0 · 240
Odenton, Md./Arundel HS
· First-team all-state and all-met
· Led Arundel in tackles all four years on varsity
· Team captain
· Scored 18 rushing touchdowns
· Boasted a 3.5 grade-point-average
· Will be playing in the Big 33 game this summer
LB · 6-0 · 215
Henrico, Va./Varina HS
· Two-time First-team all-conference selection
· Posted 92 tackles and five sacks during his senior season
· U.S. Army Leadership Award recipient
LB · 6-2 · 200
Upper Marlboro, Md./Wise HS (ASA Junior College)
· Posted 93 tackles and 11 sacks in two seasons at ASA
· Tallied 132 tackles, nine sacks and two interceptions during his senior season at Wise
· Big 33 and Crab Bowl All-Star
· Second-team all-met selection
LB · 6-2 · 225
Ontario, Canada/John Carroll School
· Scored six touchdowns in his only season playing football at John Carroll
· All-conference performer in basketball
· Honor Roll student
ATH · 5-9 · 185
Easton, Pa./Easton HS
· First-team all-state in Pennsylvania
· Scored 85 career touchdowns, including 41 as a senior in 2014
· Over 6,000 combined rushing and receiving yards during his career
· Will take part in the Big 33 game this summer
· State finalist in the 100-meter dash last spring
Safety · 5-9 · 185
Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone HS
· Posted over 1,300 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns and 190 tackles at Thomas Stone
· SMAC Conference MVP, Crab Bowl participant and Honor Roll student
· SMAC vs PG All-Star Participant; SMAC & Regional Champion
Safety · 5-11 · 185
Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway HS
· Recorded 82 tackles, five interceptions, six pass break-ups and two forced fumbles during his senior season
· Also saw time at receiver and as a punt returner
· Honorable Mention All-NJ Team
· Honor Roll student
CB · 5-11 · 180
Columbia, Md./St. Frances Academy
· Ranked as the 34th best recruit out of the state of Maryland according toRivals.com
· Rated a three-star recruit and No. 93 at his position by ESPN
· Played both outside linebacker and cornerback in high school
CB · 5-10 · 175
Lyman, S.C./Byrnes HS
· All-State performer that posted over 2,000 career return yards
· Ran back 10 career kickoffs for touchdowns
· Member of Byrnes' 2011 State Championship team
· Had the longest kickoff return for a touchdown in Byrnes history (98 yards)
· Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas participant
WR · 6-3 · 215
Drexel Hill, Pa./Monsignor Bonner HS (Valley Forge Military College)
· Posted 98 catches, 1,854 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in two years at Valley Forge
· Made 31 catches for 716 yards and seven touchdowns during his season at Monsignor Bonner
· Played wide receiver and safety in high school
WR · 6-2 · 175
Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall HS
· First-team all-district in Texas
· Member of undefeated district championship team
· Posted 31 catches for 730 yards as a senior
· Averaged 21.5 yards per catch and scored 10 touchdowns in 2014
· High jump area finalist
WR · 6-0 · 185
Columbia, MD/Good Counsel HS
· First-team all-state and second-team all-met
· Tallied 64 catches for 893 yards during his senior season
· Caught 10 touchdowns in 2014
· First-team all-Montgomery County and all-WCAC
Kirby Linscomb IV – WR | 6'5 | 215 | Houston, Texas
Morgan State's early enrollees are highlighted by Kirby Linscomb IV, a transfer from San Jose City College. The 6'5, 215-pound was a two-sport athlete at Lawrence E. Elkins High School in Texas before becoming a JUCO standout receiver at San Jose City in California. He represents a significant leap in athleticism for the Bears and is expected to make an immediate impact in the Bears' passing game.
Phillip Brown Jr. - TE | 6'4 | 220 | Birmingham, Ala.
Brown, a 6'4, 220-pound tight end brings every bit the quickness (4.5 speed) and has a tremendous upside. He was a two-sport athlete at Spain Park HS where he played football and was a small forward on the basketball team. He is an athletic tight end who will stretch the field vertically and will be a good addition to the passing game.
Daylan Williams – LB | 6'0 | 220 | Louisville, Ga.
The 6'0, 220 pounder had an outstanding prep career at Jefferson County HS where he helped lead the Warriors to an 8-4 record during a senior year in which he collected 118 tackles. He's a big-time hitter, who has a high football I.Q. and will strengthen the LB corps. Was a member of the Augusta Chronicle's Dream 16 for 2014 and was selected All-State honorable mention.
Jai Franklin – DL | 6'3 | 285 | Upper Marlboro, Md.
Franklin, 6'3, 285, transferred from Old Dominion and has three years of eligibility remaining when he arrives on campus. He was a three-year starter at Wise HS where he helped lead Wise HS to an undefeated state championship, going 14-0. He was a First-Team All-County selection, Second-Team All-Gazette and Third-Team All-State. He brings some playing experience at the FBS level that will be needed for the Bears young defensive line. He's expected to make an immediate impact in the trenches.
Cooper Clarkin - OL | 6'3 | 260 | Middleton, Conn.
Clarkin is a 6'3, 260-pounder who was had a solid prep career as a two-way lineman at Xavier HS. He can help the Bears both on offensive line or defensive line. He is expected to begin his career providing quality depth for the Bears O-line. He is a very good student and that will help him during his transition to the collegiate level.
Khalil Trotman – QB | 6'1 |185 | Burlington, N.J.
Trotman is a 6'1, 185-pounder was a standout at Timber Creek HS, a N.J. perennial state power, where he helped lead the Dragons to an 11-1 season and runner-up in the South Jersey Group 4 finals. He was one of three QBs to pass over 2,000 yards. In 2014, he completed 135-of-225 passes for 2,373 yards. He led the Dragons to a big 47-29 win over Kingsway, a game in which he threw for over 350 yards and three touchdowns (from 48, 50 and 51 yards out). He is a poised passer with good fundamentals and has a high football I.Q.
Rudy Norwood – QB | 6'3 |190 | Orlando, FL | Watch
Norwood is a 6'3, 190-pound dual-threat quarterback from Dr. Phillips HS in Orlando, Fla. He threw for more than 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns during his junior season. He led DP to a 12-1 record, was a perfect 4-0 in District and completed his senior season ranked as the No. 25 QB in the state of Florida.He was also recruited by Temple, UAB, Western Michigan and Georgia Southern.
Malachi Washington – DE | 6'3 |220 | Waldorf, Md.
Washington is a 6'2, 220-pound All-Conference defensive end from Westlake HS. In his senior season at Westlake, Washington compiled 74 tackles, 36 tackles for loss, 16 sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, two of which he returned for touchdowns. He was also recruited by Old Dominion, Toledo, Bowie State and Central Connecticut.
Brian Gentry – WR | 6'3 |195 | Kennersville, N.C.
Gentry is a 6'3, 195-pounder who was a standout prep athlete at East Forsyth HS. The big target also runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds and has a 37 inch vertical. He helped lead East Forsyth to an 11-2 record during his senior season. In his very first start during his junior year, he scored three touchdowns to lead his team to victory. He has the athletic ability to lineup in multiple positions on the field. He also ran track and played basketball for the Eagles.
Tra Revell – CB | 6'1 |180 | Suffolk, Va.
Revell is a 6'1, 180-pound cornerback who played at Lakeland HS in Suffolk, Va. He has 4.4 speed and was a key part of the Cavalier's secondary. He capped his senior season as an All-conference selection and led the area with nine (9) interceptions. Has great ball skills and has big playmaker abilities.
Adrian Allen – OL | 6'3 |325 | Baltimore, Md.
Allen was an all-conference lineman at Milford Mills Academy where he played both sides of the line. He played in multiple all-star games. He was selected by the Baltimore Touchdown Club as a Super 22 during his junior year.
Carl Garnes – DB | 6'1 |175 | Cherry Hill, N.J.
Garnes is a 6'1, 175-pound cornerback hailing from Cherry Hill, N.J. He was a standout at Camden Catholic HS where he played safety and wideout. He is an absolute ball-hawk and a high-volume playmakers. Has tremendous instincts and ball skills. Has the ability to play anywhere in the secondary. Recorded 45 tackles and four interceptions during his senior season and had three picks as a junior. He started at Camden as a sophomore at defensive back.
Damien Oliver – OL | 6'3 |270 | Detroit, Mich.
He was an O-lineman at Cass Tech HS, one of the top programs in the state of Michigan. He helped lead the Technicians to a 12 -1 record during his senior season. He was heavily recruited by some MAC schools.
Antoine McCray – DL | 6'3 |320 | Forestville, Md.
McCray is a 6-3, 310-pounder from Forestville Military Academy. He actually started as a basketball player before switching to football. Has great agility for a lineman his size and has a tremendous upside. He's nasty and aggressive.