Jax State hopes big season boosted recruits

(STATS) – Playing in the national championship game would seem to be the best recruiting pitch possible for a college football program.

It comes with a detraction, though.

While Jacksonville State coach John Grass wouldn't want to be any other place on the final day of the season, a deep run in the FCS playoffs decreased the time he and his assistants could devote during an important month of recruiting.

Not all of the Gamecocks' recruits minded, however, because Grass unveiled Wednesday what he said has the potential to be “an unbelievable class” of signees. By mid-afternoon, the newcomers stood at 17, including mid-year transfers.

“There are times where you're out of sight, out of mind,” said Grass, who led Jacksonville State to an Ohio Valley Conference title and a 13-2 record as well as the national runner-up finish to North Dakota State.

“You get these other (schools) that are in their living room and you're not there. So it does kind of set you behind. I think you have to go back and reinforce the relationship that you had with the kid throughout the year, and do a good job with that. I won't call it a disadvantage, but it can definitely be a deterrent for some recruits.”

Jacksonville State will lose over 25 seniors, depending on a few players petitioning the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility. So Grass was restocking on Wednesday.

The Gamecocks have had success with FBS transfers, and this year they have brought in cornerback Pat Porter (Washington State), athlete Tramel Terry (Georgia) and tight end B.J. Hammond (Mississippi State).

They also always do well on the Alabama prep level. The new class featured two three-star recruits from Birmingham – Terrance Harris, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound outside linebacker, and Kurtis Beaman, a 6-1, 315-pound defensive tackle.

2016 Jacksonville State Commitment Class

Kurtis Beaman, DL, 6-1, 315, Birmingham, Ala. (Huffman)

Josh Brady, LS, 6-3, 225, Ringgold, Ga. (Silverdale Baptist Academy)

Robert Chambers, DL, 6-3, 275, Conyers, Ga. (Salem)

Evan Crossing, WR, 5-11, 175, Atlanta (Riverwood)

*Jonathan Curry, TE, 6-2, 250, Phenix City, Ala. (Central/Purdue)

Peyton Gilliland, S, 6-0, 215, Cleveland, Ala. (Cleveland)

Satchel Goodrich, WR, 6-0, 175, Fayetteville, Ga. (Starr's Mill)

Brock Gould, OL, 6-3, 255, Mobile, Ala. (McGill Toolen)

*Jonathan Hagler, S, 6-0, 210, Leeds, Ala. (Leeds/Arizona Western College)

*B.J. Hammond, TE, 6-4, 210, Gadsden, Ga. (Gadsden City/Mississippi State)

Terrence Harris, LB, 6-3, 215, Birmingham, Ala. (Huffman)

Keegan Hill, CB, 5-10, 163, Carrolton, Ga. (Carrolton)

Jacquez Payton, CB, 6-0, 165, Georgiana, Ala. (Georgiana)

*Pat Porter, CB, 5-9, 163, Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Paul W. Bryant/Washiongton State)

*Penny Smith, QB, 6-2, 181, Knoxville, Tenn. (Fulton/NE Oklahoma A&M)

*Tramel Terry, CB, 6-0, 195, Goose Creek, S.C. (Georgia)

*Aldreecous Wilson, S, 5-11, 165, Opelika, Ala. (Opelika/Jones County JC)

* – Transfer