Georgia Southern Lands Sun Belt’s #1 Recruiting Class

Kevin Keneely

Football has always been big here at Georgia Southern, but not until yesterday has GSU claimed the greatest recruiting class in program history.

This program has been built on men who strive to work hard and prosper in the life of the underdog. Not much has changed in regards to this class other than the fact that Georgia Southern should lose their label as the underdogs.

With the arrival of Coach Summers, plenty of questions have been raised about this year’s #Swoop16 recruiting class. But Summers came in and immediately got on the recruiting train and seemed to always be tweeting about new recruits committing. All within days of him joining the program, Summers was changing the game of Georgia Southern recruiting.

Georgia Southern is bringing in a record-setting one 4-star and seven 3-star recruits. Players are ranked on a scale of stars ranging from 0-stars to 5-stars, with 5-stars being the best.

The athletic ability of these incoming recruits is outstanding with a majority of them playing on both sides of the ball.

Here is an overview of our top-5 recruits according to rankings from ESPN:

1) Darion Anderson, WR, 4-star:

Anderson initially committed to play ball for UGA, but later decommitted from them and took an official visit with Georgia Southern and immediately fell in love with the program. Anderson is listed as an ESPN top-300 recruit, making him Georgia Southern’s first ever ESPN top-300 recruit. ESPN ranks Anderson as the 12th best athlete in this year’s recruiting class. In his junior season, Anderson had 55 receptions for 1,262 yards and an astonishing 18 touchdowns; both the receiving yards and receiving touchdowns are school records for his high school.

2) Deshon Cooper, DE, 3-star:

Cooper brings Georgia Southern’s defense another imposing playmaker. He is coming from Copiah-Lincoln C.C. and is ranked the 10th best DE coming in from the junior college (JUCO) level. With his prior experience at the JUCO level, Cooper has a chance at playing time in his first season at Georgia Southern. He picked up other offers from Georgia State and Mississippi State. Cooper initially was committed to play ball at Mississippi State before signing with Georgia Southern.

3) Drew Wilson, OG, 3-star:

Wilson is a big-time guard from South Carolina who got offers from multiple big-name programs like Auburn, East Carolina, Georgia, N.C. State, and North Carolina. ESPN has Wilson ranked the 38th best offensive guard in this year’s recruiting class. He provides a combination of size and athletic ability needed to thrive on and run-blocking line.

4) Lawrence Edwards, OT, 3-star:

Edwards is a two-sport athlete from Florida, lettering in both track & field and football. Edwards is the 59th best OT according to ESPN. Coming in at 6’7 260 pounds, Edwards will be a match up problem for Sun Belt defensive lines for years to come. Edwards had offers from Boise State, West Virginia, Florida International, Idaho, Iowa State, and Tulane. Edwards was another recruit Georgia Southern was able to flip, as he was initially committed to play ball at Tulane.

5) Rakeem Hightower, S, 3-star:

Hightower is another recruit brought in from Colquitt County. Hightower helped lead his team to back-to-back undefeated seasons and two state titles. Hightower had picked up offers from both the SEC and the ACC before signing with Georgia Southern. Hightower is the 79th best safety according to ESPN. During his senior season he had 61 total tackles and 3 interceptions.

Rest of the number one class in the Sun Belt:

Monquavion Brinson, CB

R.J. Merriweather, WR

Michael Jackson, WR

Martial Washington, S

 Jermany Hawkins, RB

Traver Vliem, SDE

Todd Bradley, OLB

Darius Roper, DT

Seth Shuman, QB

Kindle Vildor, S

Tori Delesline, OLB

Chris Barrett, TE

Shai Werts, DUAL

Randy Wade, WDE

Amari Thompson, CB

Alex Smith, OT

Rashad Byrd, ATH

Tanner Hall, WR

Ty Phillips, DT

Alvin Ward, Jr., WDE

Luis Martinez, K

Mark Michaud, TE