Blue Raiders Ink 2004 Football Signing Class

February 4, 2004 · MT Media Relations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee Head Coach Andy McCollum signed 36 players to scholarship agreements on Wednesday. The 2004 class marks the sixth under McCollum and the I-A era.

 · Audio: Signing Day Press Conference

Once again, Georgia was the dominant state as 10 players hail from the Peach state. The Blue Raiders also signed a record nine from the state of Florida, while seven inked from Alabama, and six from Tennessee. Middle Tennessee also had signees from Arizona, Missouri and South Carolina.

McCollum and his assistants inked a total of 27 high school athletes, eight junior college players and one transfer. There are 25 players who earned all-state honors, 10 who were tabbed players of the year, and 13 were invited to their respective state's all-star game.

Class Notes:
DL Brandon Nix was the first player to ever sign a National Letter of Intent from Coosa Valley Academy (the entire school met in the gymnasium early this morning to witness the signing) ... WR Brian Fitzgerald set a Florida high school record with 10 catches for 356 yards in a game against Manor High School. The yardage also ranked as the sixth most nationally ever recorded in a prep game according to USA Today ... DL Chris Anderson was the Florida Times-Union's No. 1 rated defensive tackle in the state of Florida ... WR Lee Baker was the Alabama Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior at Daphne High School ... TE Stephen Chicola was a three-star recruit by Rivals.com during the recruiting process then he was dropped to a two-star once committing to Middle Tennessee ... QB Joe Craddock was the MVP of the state championship game this past year ... RB/DB Carlos Dixon won the 5A state title at Floyd Stadium ... WR Taron Henry earned a three-star rating by Rivals.com ... LB Tavares Jones was listed in a recent article as one of his "Areas Scariest Defenders" ... Damon Nickson was voted his district's Most Valuable Player by the Florida Coaches Association ... WR Cleannord Saintil was rated the 14th-best receiver in the junior college ranks ... The Blue Raiders signed nine players who are expected to play in the secondary and 14 who will see action either on the offensive or defensive line.

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown (Prev. School)
Chris Anderson DL 6-3 295 Fr. Jacksonville, FL (Hargrave Military)
 · Originally signed with Florida State
Lee Baker WR 5-7 185 Jr. Daphne, AL (Coffeyville CC)
 · Rushed for 1,480 yards and 11 touchdowns ... Over Ala., IL
Cade Becher OL 6-3 300 Jr. Peoria, AZ (Scottsdale (AZ) CC)
 · Second team all-conference
Richard Bortner OL 6-6 305 Fr. Crestview, FL (Crestview HS)
 · Two-time all-area selection ... Over Kentucky
Raymond Chaney III DL 6-2 280 Jr. Mobile, AL (New Mexico Military)
 · Second team all-WSFL
Stephen Chicola II TE 6-5 235 Fr. Jacksonville, FL (The Bolles School)
 · Listed one of preseason top 25 TE in nation ... Over UCF, Fla.
Lonnie Clemons III LB/S 6-2 205 Fr. Milledgeville, GA (Baldwin HS)
 · Voted 70th best prospect in state of Georgia by TheInsiders
Joe Craddock IV QB 5-11 180 Fr. Birmingham, AL (Briarwood Christian)
 · Passed for 6,677 career yards and rushed for 2,000
Carlos Dixon RB/DB 6-0 195 Fr. Germantown, TN (Germantown HS)
 · Led Germantown to 5A state title in 2003
Franklin Dunbar OL 6-5 318 Fr. Waycross, GA (Ware County HS)
 · A Georgia Class 4A All-State selection
Brian Fitzgerald WR 6-0 185 Fr. Bonita Springs, FL (Estero HS)
 · Set school record with 1,030 receiving yards in 2003
Anthony Glover DB 6-2 205 Fr. Decatur, GA (McNair HS)
 · Had 65 tackles and 10 pass breakups in 2003
DeMarcus Green DB 5-10 185 Jr. Glendale, AZ (Glendale CC)
 · Started every game as a sophomore ... Over ECU, Temple
Taron Henry WR 6-2 187 r-Fr. Murfreesboro, TN (Riverdale HS)
 · First team all-state ... Earned 3 star rating by Rivals.com
Darrell Howard OL/DL 6-6 260 Fr. Covington, GA (Eastside HS)
 · Golden Helmet Award winner (athletics & academics)
Aaron Hudson WR 6-2 175 Fr. Hoover, AL (Hoover HS)
 · Team went 14-1 and won state title ... Hudson had 25 rec.
Tavares Jones LB 6-3 225 Fr. Swainsboro, GA (Swainsboro HS)
 · Georgia Class 3A All-State ... Over South Carolina
Ralph King DB 5-10 180 r-So. Murfreesboro, TN (Riverdale HS)
 · Had back-to-back 2,000-yard rushing seasons
Boston McCornell LB 6-1 225 Fr. Macon, GA (Northeast HS)
 · Voted 35th best prospect in Georgia by TheInsiders
DeMarco McNair DB 6-0 180 r-Fr. Thomson, GA (Thomson HS)
 · Georgia 4A Player of the Year in 2002
Damon Nickson S 6-0 180 Fr. Milton, FL (Milton HS)
 · 3rd team all-state ... District I MVP
Brandon Nix DL 6-4 285 Fr. Talladega, AL (Coosa Valley Acad.)
 · Two-time first team all-state selection ... Verbally committed to MSU
Philip Nola OL 6-4 270 Fr. Hoover, AL (Spain Park HS)
 · Honorable mention al-state
Antoine Owens LB 6-2 215 r-Fr. Antioch, TN (Ezell Harding HS)
 · Mr. Football Lineman of the Year finalist in 2002
Roy Polite DB 6-1 190 Fr. Jacksonville, FL (Fletcher Sr. HS)
 · Earned all-American, all-state, all-district & all-conference honors
Jonathan Presley DL 6-3 238 Fr. Jacksonville, FL (Forrest HS)
 · Owns schools career sack record with 17 ... Over UCF, L'ville
Keon Raymond DB 5-11 190 Jr. St. Louis, MO (Highland CC)
 · Second team all-KJCCC
Chris Ritter OL 6-3 305 Fr. Shalimar, FL (Choctawhatchee, HS)
 · Earned all-state honors in 2003
Bradley Robinson WR 5-9 165 r-Fr. Duncan, SC (James F. Byrnes HS)
 · Spartanburg Herald-Journal Offensive Player of Year in 2002
Cleannord Saintil WR 5-11 185 Jr. Naples, FL (Highland CC)
 · Rated 14th best JUCO receiver in the country
Brian Smith OL 6-5 320 Jr. Mobile, AL (Holmes CC)
 · Picked MT over ECU, Louisiana Tech and UAB
Quinton Staton DL/OL 6-3 280 Jr. Chattanooga, TN (East Tennessee State)
 · Second team all-Southern Conference
John Marc Stephens DE/TE 6-4 245 Fr. Murfreesboro, TN (Blackman HS)
 · An all-region 4-5A selection
Erik Walden DE 6-3 225 r-Fr. Dublin, GA (Dublin HS)
 · First team all-state by the Associated Press
Tommie Weatherspoon LB 6-2 240 Fr. Jesup, GA (Wayne County HS)
 · Two-time all-region 3-AAAAA
Jeremiah Weaver FS 5-11 180 Jr. Ashburn, GA (New Mexico Military)
 · Led team in tackles and interceptions

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.