UWA pulls strong class in Gilliland’s second effort

University of West Alabama head football coach Brett Gilliland couldn’t be more pleased with the results of his second recruiting class since returning to his alma mater as head coach in December of 2014.

“I am extremely pleased with the hard work our staff has put into this recruiting class,” Gilliland said. “Their hard work has paid off with a top notch signing class. We have players from Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.

“I believe each of these student athletes fit a specific need on our football team and are all around quality young men,” Gilliland said. “This class is filled with great athletes who will also be great ambassadors for UWA.”

The class of incoming freshmen will include four linebackers, three defensive linemen, five defensive backs and a kicker. On the offensive side of the line of scrimmage the class includes three running backs, two quarterbacks/athletes, six offensive linemen, a tight end and five receivers.

Following are biographical sketches of each player. More are expected to be added.

Brandon Anderson, OL, 6-4, 270, Shades Valley HS, Irondale, Ala.
2014 NUC Offensive Lineman MVP Award … Played for Coach Bill Smith … Born Feb. 6, 1997 … Son of Mildred Posey … Three-year winner of Top 20 Award … National Honor Society … Mu Alpha Theta.

Cody Beckham, OL, 6-3, 275, Neshoba Central HS, Philadelphia, Miss.
Played for Coach Stacey Luker … Born Jan. 8, 1996 … Son of Toni Breland … Also played soccer.

Jordan Bennett, K/P, 6-1, 175, North Florida Christian HS, Tallahassee, Fla.
Converted 13-of-19 field goal attempts as a senior … Long field goal of 41 yards … Converted 35-of-40 point after touchdown attempts … Averaged 41.2 yards on 39 punts as a senior … Tallahassee Quarterback Club Special Teams Player of the Year … Two-year all-state selection … Scored 211 career points … Helped lead NFCHS to a district title in 2012 and regional championships in 2013 and 2014 … Played for Coach Robert Craft … Born July 15, 1996 … Son of Kim and John Bennett … Oldest of two children.

Tucker Cook, TE, 6-2, 205, White County HS, Cleveland, Ga.
First team all-region senior tight end … Region champion in triple jump and 300 hurdles … Participated in state track meet in 300 hurdles as a junior … Second team all-region as a sophomore and junior tight end … Played for Dr. Bill Ballard … Born Feb. 1, 1997 … Son of Kim and Bruce Cook … Has two younger siblings.

Call Dyer, OL, 6-4, 360, Gordo High School, Gordo, Ala.
Second team all-state as a senior … all-county as a senior … West Alabama All-Stars … Played for Coach Ryan Lolley … Born Oct. 31, 1996 … Son of Katy and Keith Dyer … Youngest of three brothers in his family.

Darius Ellis, DE, 6-0, 215, Tuscaloosa County HS, Northport, Ala.
First team Alabama Sports Writers 7A All-State … Honorable mention ASWA 6A All-State as a junior … 83 tackles, including 12 for loss, six sacks … Named to West Alabama All-Stars … Played for Coach Lee Gibson.

Dejuan Feagan, QB/ATH, 5-10, 178, Pleasant Grove High School, Birmingham, Ala.
Had 15 touchdown passes while throwing for 1,800 yards and running for 800 more as a senior … Had 1,700 total yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior … Helped lead his team to region championship one year and to the state finals in another … Played last five games of the year with a broken leg … Played for Coach Jim Elgin … Born Jan. 7, 1997 … Son of Terrisita Feagan …One of three children in his family.

Kejuan Feagan, RB/WR, 5-10, 185, Pleasant Grove High School, Birmingham, Ala.
Had 1,500 total yards and scored 16 touchdowns as a senior … Recorded 98 tackles and six interceptions as a senior … Broke up 12 passes as a senior … Helped lead his team to region championship one year and to the state finals in another … Played for Coach Jim Elgin … Born Jan. 7, 1997 … Son of Terrisita Feagan …One of three children in his family … Honor Society.

Devin Harris, RB, 5-9, 180, Saks High School, Anniston, Ala.
Played quarterback this past season … Passed for 654 yards as a senior … Rushed for 1,916 yards as a senior … Totaled 38 touchdowns, including passing, rushing and returns … Had six interceptions. Played for Coach Jonathan Miller … Born Sept. 18, 1996 … Son of Kristy Thomas and Leon Elston … One of five children in his family.

Tavarius Hutchinson, DB, 5-10, 175, McAdory HS, McCalla, Ala.
Recorded 140 tackles as a senior, including 10 for loss … Had three interceptions, forced six fumbles and recovered five as a senior … Made 132 tackles as a junior, seven for loss … Had five PBUs as a junior … All-State … All-Metro … All-West Jefferson County … Defensive Player of the Year … Played for Coach David Powell … Born June 10, 1997 … Son of Tashbauna Jackson, LeFreunte Hutchison and Sterling Hutchinson … MU Alpha Theta, A-Club.

Christopher “Bear” Inman, OL, 6-1, 260, Grayson HS, Monroe, Ga.
Three time all-region selection … Gwinnett County All-Star … Helped lead GHS to region championships in 2011 and 2014 … Played for Coach Mickey Conn … Born Feb. 26, 1996 … Son of Kelly and Mike Inman. Youngest of three children.

Jordan Jones, LB, 6-2, 230, Mountainview HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Led county with 11 sacks as a junior … All-region … Two-time second team all-county.

Deshon Kilpatrick, DE, 6-3, 244, Sweetwater HS, Sweetwater, Ala.
Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 2A Defensive Player of the Year … Rivals 2 Star … Starter on both sides of the ball … Member of an offensive front that led Sweet Water to 3,500 yards rushing as a senior … Recorded 87 total tackles, 16 for loss, four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and a touchdown as a senior … Played for Coach Pat Thompson … Born Oct. 22, 1996 … Son of Sandy and Michael Kilpatrick … Youngest of two boys in his family.

Seth Knotts, WR, 6-3, 215, Prattville HS, Prattville, Ala.
Had 35 receptions for 854 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior … All-time leading receiver in Prattville High history with 68 receptions for 1,517 yards … Had one fumble recovery for 23 yards … Averaged 12 yards per punt return as a senior … All-region … Played for Coach Chad Anderson.

Dominique McNealey, RB, 5-10, 165, Johnson HS, Huntsville, Ala.
Huntsville Metro Player of the Year … Rushed for 1,083 yards and 10 touchdowns on just 63 carries as a senior … Ran for 952 yards and eight TDs on 46 carries as a junior … Carried 38 times for 792 yards and eight scores as a sophomore … First team all-region and all-city three times … Played for Coach Harold Wells … Born Feb. 18, 1997 … Son of Tamara McNealey and Cordell Davis … Has four brothers and sisters … Awarded the Barack Obama Presidential Award.

Stuart Mixson, OL, 6-1, 240, Creekview HS, Canton, Ga.
Led CHS to a first place finish in the sub region … First team all-region as a senior … Played for Coach Crowder … Born July 13, 1997 … Son of Laura and David Mixson … One of four children in his family.

Skylar Mosley, LB, 6-1, 211, Saraland HS, Saraland, Ala.
Recorded 163 tackles as a senior, including 18 tackles for loss … All-State … Two-time regional defensive player of the year … All-time leading tackler at Saraland HS … Played for Coach Jeff Kelly … Born Oct. 4, 1996 … Son of Krystal and Jacob Gunter … Has three younger siblings.

Thomas Ozmint, RB, 5-11, 195, Glencoe HS, Glencoe, Ala.
Rushed for 2,356 yards as a senior … Helped lead his team to a 13-1 record and region title as a senior … First Team Alabama Sports Writers Association 3A All-State … All-region … All-county … GHS offensive MVP and player of the year … Alabama Class 3A state champion in 300 hurdles … Played for his dad, Coach Lee Ozmint … Born Dec. 28, 1995 … Oldest of two brothers … Beta Club … Key Club.

Savon Parker, LB, 6-0, 215, Jacksonville HS, Jacksonville, Ala.
Fox 6 Class 4A defensive player of the year … As a senior recorded 120 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and five sacks as a senior … Once made 21 tackles in a single game … Honorable mention all-state … Three-year all-county … Headhunter Award … Played for Coach Clint Smith … Born June 6, 1997 … Son of Denise and Menzo Parker … Has a younger brother.

Griff Ricketson, OL, 6-6, 260, Washington HS, Pensacola, Fla.
Played in Max Emfinger All-America Classic … Second team All-Area … Subway Area All-Star … Team captain as both a junior and senior … Fellowship of Christian Athletes Challenger Award … Serves on the Administrative council as the Youth Discipleship Representative at First Baptist Church of Pensacola … Played for Coach Charlie Ward … Born Dec. 6, 1996 … Son of Janice and David Ricketson … Has a younger brother, Nolan.

Terry Samuel, LB, 6-2, 197, T.R. Miller High School, Brewton, Ala.
Recorded 109 tackles, four fumble recoveries and six forced fumbles as a senior … Part of 4×100 relay championship … Track team captain … Led team to 43-5 record over last four years … Played for Coach Jamie Riggs … Born Jan. 6, 1997 … Son of Tracie Travis … One of two children in his family … SGA Vice-President.

Devonta Savage, RB/WR, 5-9, 165, Piedmont HS, Piedmont, Ala.
Three-time all-county and all-district … Two-time all-region … Helped lead track and field team to a pair of championships … Played for Coach Steve Smith … Born Nov. 15, 1996 … Son of Shareka Savage and Charles Dudley … Oldest of three siblings.

Tyler Sims, SS/LB, 5-9, 190, Saraland HS, Saraland, Ala.
All-region selection by al.com … Helped lead Saraland to championships in football (2010) and basketball (2010) … A/B Honor Roll student … Played for Coach Jeff Kelly at Saraland HS … Born Jan. 1, 1997 … Son of Senna and Ronald Sims.

Haywood Spencer, QB, 5-8, 174, Minor HS, Graysville, Ala.
Passed for 1,749 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior … Completed 107-of-201 passing attempts as a senior … Rushed for 800 more yards as a senior … Accounted for 31 total touchdowns … Played for Coach George Bates … Also plays baseball and basketball … Averages 14 points, three rebounds and two steals per game as basketball player … Had 28 stolen bases in baseball last spring … Born April 24, 1997 … Son of Printis and Haywood Spencer, Sr. … Has an older sister.

Sid Thurmond, DB, 5-5, 160, Jacksonville High School, Jacksonville, Ala.
First team all-state, all-region and all-county in football … All-area and all-county in basketball … All-area and all-county in baseball … Four-year starter who played all over the field with the exception of the lines … Finished senior season with 510 receiving yards and five touchdowns… Had 500 rushing yards and eight touchdowns as a senior … Rang up 700 return yards and seven touchdowns on special teams … Had over 3,000 career return yards … Played safety on defense … Recorded 62 tackles with five interceptions and three defensive TDs …, Pigskin Roundup All-Star Football Team … Played for Coach Clint Smith … Son of, Demishia Wooden and Maxwell and Gresha Thurmond … One of three siblings.

Tre Trimble, WR, 6-2, 185, Smiths Station HS, Smiths Station, Ala.
Caught 48 passes for 823 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior … Averaged 17 yards per catch … All-Bi-City offensive player of the year … Won his team’s captain award and offensive player … Played for Coach Jason Dukes … Born July 16, 1997 … Son of Linda and William Trimble, Jr. … One of four children in his family.

Darnell Webb, WR, 6-2, 180, Hillcrest HS, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
First team all-state selection … Had 86 receptions for 1,337 and 16 touchdowns … Had eight 100-plus receiving yards in 2014 season … Played for Coach Sam Adams …Born Dec. 7, 1996 … Son of Gladys and Darnell Webb, Sr. … Is the middle child of three.

Camarcus Williams, DL, 6-2, 260, Central High School, Phenix City, Ala.
Recorded 60 solo tackles, 11 tackles for loss and three sacks as a senior … Second team all-state … All-Bi-City Defensive Player of the Year … Montgomery All-Region Football Team … Played for Coach Jamey Dubose.

Matravious Williams, DB, 6-0, 180, Valley HS, Valley, Ala.
Two-time all-state selection … Had 105 tackles, six interceptions, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery as a senior … Scored 10 touchdowns as a senior … Played for Coach Flarp … Born August, 15, 1997 … Son of Takisha Avery and Martulo Williams … Has three younger siblings.

Torrence Willis, DB, 6-0, 180, Clay Chalkville HS, Birmingham, Ala.
Helped lead Clay Chalkville to a 15-0 record and a 6A state title in 2014 … Two year starter for the Cougars … Part of a secondary that intercepted 21 passes … Had 57 tackles, 44 solo, as a junior … Played for Coach Jerry Hood … Born Jan. 11, 1997.

Mid-Year Signees Listed Below

Braden Byrd, SS,, 5-11, 190, Mississippi Gulf Cost Community College, George Co. HS, Lucedale, Miss.
Made 59 tackles in 10 games at MGCCC last season … Had three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble … Also recorded two tackles for loss and broke up three passes … Started four games as a freshman after battling back from an injury as a high school senior … Made 79 total tackles at GCHS … brother Brannan played at Jacksonville State, while his dad Stance played at Murray State and Delta State and grandfather Harmon Brannan played for the Dallas Cowboys and in the Canadian Football League.

Jamaar Cole, WR, 6-6, 215, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, West Marion HS, Columbia, Miss.
Had 21 receptions for 313 yards at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College … Led West Marion HS to 13-1 record and District Championship as a quarterback his senior year … Named All- District and All-Area as a junior and senior at WMHS … Accounted for 23 touchdowns as a senior … Named to the Honor Roll as a student.

Courtney Foy, WR, 6-0, 195, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Midfield HS, Midfield, Ala.
Had 30 receptions for 349 yards and a touchdown as a sophomore at Copiah-Lincoln Community College … Alabama Sports Writers Association Super 12 selection, all-state performer and Class 3-A back of the year choice as a senior at Midfield High School … Played Cornerback, kicker, kick returner, quarterback, running back and wide receiver at MHS … Also played at Restoration Academy, where he was all-state as a sophomore … Had 235 career rushes for 3,000 yards and 58 TDs … 63 career receptions for 2,000 yards and 15 TDs … Passed for 789 career yards and 12 TDs … Made 257 career tackles with 10 interceptions and 28 broken up passes … Blocked five punts and six field goals in prep career.

Dominick Hall, DE, 6-3, 240, Butler Community College, Peachtree Ridge HS, Suwannee, Ga.
Signed with Troy University out of high school … Transferred to Butler Community College in Kansas after gray shirting at Troy … Played four seasons at Peachtree Ridge High School … Helped lead the PRHS to a pair of playoff appearances.

Alex Horn, OL, 6-3, 300, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Ocean Springs HS, Ocean Springs, Miss.
Two-year starter at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College … All-district and named to the Bernard Blackwell Mississippi North/South All Star Team as a senior at Ocean Springs High School … Was also part of the track, powerlifting and wrestling teams at OSHS … Member of the National Honor Society.

Kyle Reid, OL, 6-4, 320, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Greene Co. HS, Leakesville, Miss.
Two-year starter at Mississippi Gulf Coach Community College … First team all-state selection as a senior at Greene County High School … MAC 4-A All-State … Helped lead GCHS to a 10-5 record as a senior … All-division & earned his high school team’s Most Valuable Offensive Linemen Award.

Tristan Reynolds, PK, 5-9, 150, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Petal HS, Petal, Miss.,
MACJC All-Region selection as a sophomore … Made 10-of-25 field goal attempts and 82-of-85 extra points in two seasons at MGCCC … Converted 47-of-48 PAT attempts and was 3-of-12 in field goal attempts as a sophomore … was third on the team in scoring with 56 points as a sophomore … was 7-of-13 on field goal tries as a freshman, 35-of-37 on extra points.

Devin Smith, OL, 6-2, 295, Jones Community College, Hancock HS, Kiln, Miss.
Played on both sides of the ball during his career at Jones Community College … Started every game at offensive guard as a sophomore after playing on the defensive front as a freshman … Recorded 11 tackles and a sack as a freshman at JCC … Had 194 career tackles in high school, 101 as a senior … Also had three sacks and two fumble recoveries … An “Elite 11” selection by WLOX-TV.

Trent Thompson, QB, 6-3, 186, Tennessee Tech, McEachern HS, Powder Springs, Ga.
Three-year starter at McEachern (Ga.) High School … Passed for more than 5,000 yards and 49 touchdowns in three seasons at MHS … Helped lead the Indians to a 30-5 combined record … Led MHS to second round of the Georgia state playoffs as a senior … Passed for 28 touchdowns on the way to second-team all-state honors as a senior … Played in four games at TTU.

Leonard Wright, DL, 6-2, 280, Ellsworth Community College, Tri-Cities HS, East Point, Ga.
Wright played his prep football at Tri-Cities High School in East Point, Ga. … As a sophomore at Ellsworth, Wright recorded 18 total tackles and three sacks … Added a couple of sacks as a freshman … Helped lead Tri-Cities to a 10-3 record as a senior, where he also logged time at fullback and quarterback.