Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tigerville, SC – New North Greenville University Carroll McCray head football coach Carroll McCray hasn’t been in his office much the last two weeks because after being hired a mere 14 days ago, he hit the recruiting trail hard. His hard work and persistence paid off as the Crusaders signed 14 players to national letters of intent on the official NCAA national signing day for college football.

McCray, who is still in the process of hiring his staff and organizing spring football drills, focused on the state of South Carolina in his recruiting efforts, and it paid off. All 14 players inked by McCray and North Greenville hail from the state of South Carolina.

Two players are from the Upstate of South Carolina in Parks Wallington (6-3 270 OL Spartanburg/Dorman HS) and Brendon Miller (6-0 245 DL Boiling Springs HS).

“In the short period of time we’ve been at North Greenville, we signed a very talented group of young men with speed on offense and some size on the defensive line,” McCray said. “The coaching staff that remained did a tremendous job keeping these focused on NGU. It’s a very solid group that we’re bringing in, but we still have some needs, and have a few specific areas we need to address. We should be able to bring in a few more players in the next few weeks. This group of recruits is exactly the type of student-athlete that North Greenville will be proud of.”

NGU’s 2012 National Signing Day Class:

LeeShawn Cromedy- Defensive Line- Georgetown High School (6-0 250 DL) - An All-Region and All-Zone performer for coach Bradley Adams. Also a participant in the prestigious North-South All-Star Game in Myrtle Beach. Recorded 79 Tackles, 3 Sacks and 28 TFL’s as a senior. Extremely explosive and quick. Georgetown went 8-3 and advanced to the state playoffs.

Ashton Heard- Running Back- Abbeville High School (5-9 175 RB) - One of South Carolina’s most accomplished prep players. The catalyst for back-to-back 1AA state championship teams. Coached by Jamie Nickles. A two-time Regional Player of the Year and All-Lakelands Player of the Year. Also an All-State performer. Rushed for 1,685 yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior, and 1,400 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior. In two state championship appearances, Heard rushed for over a combined 400 yards and four touchdowns.

Darius Paulk- Running Back- Richland Northeast High School (5-8 170 RB) - Star running back for coach Jay Frye at Richland Northeast High School. An All-Region performer who rushed for over 1,000 yards on 155 carries. Also scored nine touchdowns. Brothers Rodney (South Carolina) and Leonard (East Carolina) both played college football. 

Classe Thompson- Athlete- Timberland High School (5-8 170 RB) – Multi-purpose offensive threat for coach Art Craig. Won the Class 2A state championship. Rushed for over 1,000 yards on 98 carries and also added 205 receiving yards. Strong in the weight room as he finished fourth in the state in his weight division.

Brendon Miller- Defensive Line- Boiling Springs High School (6-0 245 DL) - A dominating force up front for Coach Bruce Clark. Miller was a key ingredient in leading the Bulldogs to their first ever trip to the Upper State Championship in Class 4AA. An honor student in the classroom as well as an accomplished athlete. Miller racked up 86 tackles and ten TFL’s and five sacks in 2011.

Tyrell Hillary- Quarterback- North Augusta (5-10 160 QB) - A proven leader with a dynamic personality for Coach Dan Pippin. Threw for 2,548 yards for the Yellow Jackets and led them to the third round of the 4A State Playoffs for the second consecutive year. Voted the team’s offensive player of the year. Possesses great quickness and an ability to electrify with both his feet and his arm. Has a very strong arm. Teammate of fellow Crusader signee DeVontez Rouse.

DeVontez Rouse- Defensive Back- North Augusta (6-1 170 FS) - A ball-hawking safety for Coach Dan Pippin. Totaled 118 tackles, one sack, and six interceptions. Highly recruited athlete who could contend for early playing time both on defense and on special teams. Also accumulated 30 catches for 476 yards and four touchdowns as a wide receiver for the Yellow Jackets. All-Area and Aiken Standard First Team performer. Also garnered All-State accolades as a senior.

Ronald Bradley- Defensive Line- Allendale-Fairfax (6-0 270 DL) - An explosive athlete who anchored the middle for coach Eddie Ford. Projects as a nose tackle in the Crusaders 3-4 defensive alignment. Had over 50 tackles and 10 sacks as he led Allendale-Fairfax to a nine win season. 

KJ McDonald- Defensive Back- Dutch Fork High School (5-9 160 DB) - Versatile and accomplished performer for Coach Tom Knotts . An All-Region performer as a junior. McDonald totaled 88 tackles and seven TFLs while adding two interceptions as a senior. Also totaled a 300 pound bench press. A great program player for the Silver Foxes.

Trevias Carter- Offensive Line- Ridge View High School (6-2 245 OL) - An athletic offensive lineman who projects to be a tackle in the Crusaders offensive system. A two-time team Player of the Week and the school’s Offensive Lineman of the Year  for Coach Raymond Jennings.

Kwashaun Ward- Athlete- Lower Richland High School (5-11 170 Ath) - A dual threat offensive and defensive player for coach Wayne Farmer. Starred at receiver and cornerback for the Diamondbacks. Had five interceptions and scored three offensive touchdowns. An All-Region performer and the recipient of the team’s Most Outstanding Defensive Back Award. Could be a threat to see early playing time depending on where the Crusader staff decides to play him. 

Brandon Smalls- Offensive Line- Keenan High School (6-0 265 OL) - Big powerful force of the offensive line for Coach Mitchell Moton. Could play center or guard in the Crusaders spread option attack. Possesses very good feet and plays with outstanding leverage. Could potentially compete for early playing time. Graded out 92 percent with 31 pancakes. Accumulated five sacks, four forced fumbles and 58 solo tackles for the Raiders.

Parks Wallington- Offensive Line- Dorman High School (6-3 270 OL) - A two years starter for Coach David Gutshall at South Carolina 4A power Dorman High School. Graded out at 91% vs. Sumter. Projects as a center or guard in the Crusaders spread option attack. A dynamic student with a vibrant personality. A candidate to receive some of the most prestigious scholarships at North Greenville University. A member of the National Honor Society and BETA CLUB.

Trey Walker- Running Back- Midland Valley (5-10 180 RB) - An electrifying threat with the ball in his hands. Played for Coach Rick Knight at Midland Valley. Starred as both a running back and a return specialist. Gained 1,040 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in nine games on his way to All-Region, All-Area, and All-CSRA (Georgia/SC Line) the last two years.