North Greenville University and head coach Jamey Chadwell, coming off a championship in the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) and a 9-3 record with a record eight game win streak, signed 21 players on the National Signing Day for NCAA Division II programs.
Heavily laden with offensive linemen and linebackers, a kicker and a marquee quarterback from an Upstate powerhouse, the Crusaders filled needs left by graduation. Chadwell noted on NGU’s live signing day show Wednesday afternoon that the Crusaders return a full house of offensive talent, but needed to get additional depth on the line of scrimmage. NGU signed eight offensive linemen, ten defensive players, kicker Justin Gravely from Pickens High School, running back Darius Custard from Lugoff-Elgin High School and quarterback Nelson Hughes from Dorman High School.
“Our staff has worked extremely hard in evaluating players that fit our program athletically, academically, and socially,” Chadwell said. “In addition to being young men that want to be in a Christ centered environment, this signing class possesses an average of a 3.7 grade point average and a 1070 SAT score. We are proud to have one of the finest combinations of football and academics in the Carolina’s and in our future affiliation with the South Atlantic Conference.”
Chadwell went on to note, “Coming off our NCCAA National Championship, we felt like it was imperative that we address our program’s needs that will allow us to make strides to the next level of college football, that being the NCAA Division II national playoffs. Our goals extend beyond being a force regionally, but into the national domain. We believe this class will continue to build on the promising foundation set by those already established in the Crusader football family.”
2011 NGU FOOTBALL RECRUITING CLASS:
Taylor Anderson- Boiling Springs High School- Defensive Back- Boiling Springs, SC: A team oriented player that played multiple positions for Coach Bruce Clark. Saw time as a Runningback, Linebacker, and Safety for the Bulldogs. An All-Region and All-Area Selection. Voted the Bulldogs Most Outstanding Linebacker and Team Captain. Defensive Player of the Week Selection. Led the team in Tackles. An outstanding student who possesses nearly a 4.0 GPA. The son of Andy and Laurie Anderson.
Antonio Barron- Landrum High School- Defensive Line- Landrum, SC: Played for Coach Russell Mahaffey. A two time All-Region performer and Defensive MVP for the Cardinals. Team Captain as a junior and a senior. Also wrestles and is on the Track team at LHS. The son of Andreas and Ashley Barron.
Dustin Belk- Lancaster High School- Offensive Line- Lancaster, SC: Top Offensive Lineman for Coach Bennie McMurry. Started multiple years for the Bruins. Also participated in Track and Field. The son of James David and Leigh Ann Belk.
Darius Custard- Lugoff- Elgin High School- Runningback- Lugoff, SC: Solid two-way player for Coach Scott Jones. Rushed for over 1,000 yards as a senior. Led LEHS to their first Region Championship since moving to 4A. Averages 12.3 points per game for the basketball team. The son of Joaquin and Louise Custard.
Justin Gravely- Pickens High School- Kicker- Pickens, SC: A three time first team All-Region Selection for Coach Chad Seaborn. Possesses a very strong leg with range past 50 yards. Made 8 of 11 attempts in his senior year while handling all place kicking and punting duties for the Blue Flame. Also a star on the Soccer Team. The son of Bill and Tanya Gravely.
John Higgins- Summerville High School- Defensive Line- Summerville, SC: All-State, All-Region, and All-County performer for Coach John McKissick. Represented the Green Wave in the South Carolina North-South Game. Had seven sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown. Also forced four fumbles and recovered three more. Named team MVP for the Defensive Line. The son of Scott and Kathryn Higgins.
Nelson Hughes- Dorman High School- Quarterback- Roebuck, SC: Consummate winner for Coach David Gutshall. Led Dorman to the 4AA State Championship Game and an undefeated regular season in one year as the starting quarterback. Also a member of the 2009 Cavalier team which won the State Championship. All-Region selection and All-Area First Team. A standout in basketball as well. Possesses a strong academic background. The son of Paul and Penny Hughes.
Tim King- Berea High School- Offensive Line- Greenville, SC: Two year starter for Coach Bryan Davis. Possesses good feet and tenacity.
Devin Lindsey- Byrnes High School- Defensive Back- Duncan, SC: Four year letterman for Coach Chris Miller. A two time State Champion. Team Captain in 2010. Player of the Week recipient. Spartanburg County Track and Field Champion. The son of Alfred Miller and Kimberly Lindsey.
Cameron Lipscomb- Broome High School-Two-Way Athlete- Cowpens, SC: Versatile two way star for Coach Todd Staley. Three time All-Region and two time All-Area selection for the Centurions. An All-State performer in Track and Field. Possesses strong academic background as a member of the National Honor Society and the Beta Club. The son of Lisa Lipscomb.
Bryson Long- York High School- Offensive Line- York, SC: Fixture on the Offensive Line at York High School. Garnered Player of the Week honors vs. Clover. Also an excellent student who has been recognized as York High Schools Academic Student of the Week. The son of Marshall Long and Rebecca Roderick.
Griffin Marsh- Clover High School- Offensive Line- Lake Wylie, SC: Two year starter for Coach Jett Turner. Recipient of Clovers’ Offensive Lineman of the Year and All-Region selection. Strong Christian who has gone on three mission trips to Mexico. Excels Academically as a member of the National Honor Society and a Junior Marshall. Member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The son of Tim and Ann Marsh.
Joseph McDougall- Hammond School- Defensive Line- Columbia, SC: Three year starter for Coach Eric Kimrey. A captain for both the Football and Wrestling teams at Hammond. Participates in Track and Lacrosse in addition to Football and Wrestling. A SCISA All State recipient. The son of John and Jodie McDougall.
Matt Rochester- Greer High School- Offensive Line- Greer, SC: All-Region and All-County performer for Coach Will Young. State Playoff participant. Named All-Region and All-State as a senior. Three time recipient of the program’s Academic Award for Varsity Football. Also throws discus for the Yellow Jacket Track Team. The son of Carroll and Vickie Rochester.
Nick Rodgers- Dorman High School- Linebacker- Moore, SC: Two year starter at Dorman for Coach David Gutshall. Played in two State Championship games, winning in 2011. An All-Region II 4A selection and a member of the Herald Journal All-Area Team. Middle Tyger Tymes All-Area and Honorable Mention Defensive Player of the Year. All-State performer who owns the single season tackle record at Dorman with 178. Member of the Beta Club and the Star Reader Program. Dorman Male Athlete of the Week Winner. The son of Donald and Lisa Rodgers.
JR Ryans- Williston-Elko High School- Offensive Line - Williston, SC: A staple on the Offensive Line for Coach Dwayne Garrick. State Runner Up as a senior in 2010 and a State Champion in 2009. Also a Palmetto Boys State participant and a member of the Beta Club and the Math Club. The son of Joseph and Patricia Ryans.
Derek Smith- Pickens High School- Offensive Line- Pickens, SC: Physical Offensive Lineman for Coach Chad Seaborn. Recorded 70 knockdowns in three years as a starter. Three time All-County performer. Voted Best Offensive Lineman and a recipient of the Blue Flame Character Award. Also participated in Palmetto Boys State. The son of Randy and Jill Smith.
Mac Stedman- Spring Valley High School- Offensive Line- Columbia, SC: All-Region Selection for Coach Miles Aldridge at Spring Valley High School. Team Captain during Senior Year. Twice named the team’s Player of the Week and the Offensive Line MVP for the 2010 Season. Possesses a 3.7 GPA and a member of the National Honors Art Society. The son of Bobby and Stacey Stedman.
Tony Stepney- Strom Thurmond High School-Linebacker- Edgefield, SC: Starred for Coach Lee Sawyer. Voted #7 athlete in the state going into his senior Year. A first team All-Region Linebacker as a junior. Also competes in Track and Field in the Discuss where he finished third in the state. The son of Christine Stepney.
Cody Stevens- Loris High School- Linebacker- Loris, SC: A four year starter for Coach Jimmy Longerbeam. Two time selection for All-Region at Linebacker who led the team in tackles for two years. Also excelled on the baseball team as a four year starter. Program leader who is also a standout in the classroom. The son of Randall and Brenda Stevens.
Chad Thomas- Boiling Springs High School- Linebacker- Inman, SC: An All-Area and All-Region Selection for Coach Bruce Clark. Finished second in region in sacks (12.5). Also accumulated 91.5 tackles and 3 TFL’s. The son of Denorris and Sharon Thomas.