VALDOSTA, GA. - Valdosta State University Head Football Coach Kerwin Bell and the Valdosta State football coaching staff are pleased to announce the newest additions to Blazer football. The list below features each of this year’s new signees.
“We are very proud of this class,” stated Bell midway through his third signing day as Valdosta State’s head coach. “We were able to fill out many areas and needs, and we are excited about the talent we have acquired from throughout South Georgia and Florida. We’ve been able to bring in many of the players that were at the top of our board, and we feel very good about that.”
Among the names, Fleming Island High linebacker Jackson Bull, 5’-11”, 190 lbs. who was noted by Bell.
“Played for Head Coach Damenyum Springs at Fleming Island High School. Jackson served as a First Team All-County during his senior season after recording 106 tackles in a single season. He tallied 7.5 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions. Jackson is fast and instinctive on the defensive side of the football. He is physical, he knows how to play in space, and he is versatile, with the ability to play multiple positions.”
According to another Fleming Island High graduate, Kade Bell, a former quarterback for the Golden Eagles and now a quarterbacks coach for dad Kerwin Bell, Bull is in a good slot to get some freshman playing time.
“We had a good recruit class with a few freshman that can make an immediate impact,” said Bell, who quarterbacked for Kerwin Bell when he was head coach at Jacksonville University before arriving in Valdosta three years ago. “Jackson is a solid linebacker that comes in after two linebackers graduated. He’s a competitor.”
The 2018 list is made up of 36 total signees, which include 18 recruits from the state of Florida, 15 Georgia signees, two from South Carolina, and one from Pennsylvania. The newest Blazers from Florida include Darius Smalls, a defensive lineman from Sandalwood High School and Hines Junior College; James Padgett, a defensive end/tight end from Englewood High and Presbyterian College; Justice Parham, a wideout/defensive back from Tarpon Springs High School; Taylor Williams, an offensive lineman from West Florida High School; Aaron Dawson, a cornerback from Dixie County High School and the Gainesville Sun Class 1A Player of the Year and All State first teamer; Kyler Crosby, a fullback from West Nassau High School who ran for 2,532 yards in three years; David White, a wide receiver from Westside High School; Ivory Durham, quarterback from 4A champions Raines High with 10,000 passing yards and 101 TDs; Raynell Killian, a cornerback also from Raines and a three time state track champion; Michael Henderson, a wide receiver from Belleview High School and a 21.75 second 200 meter track runner; Tyler Dorsett, an offensive lineman from Tate High School in the Panhandle; Diop Kee, a defensive back from Raines High; Jalen Norwood, a linebacker from North Florida Christian; Michael Williams, a defensive back from Miami Central High and a state champion; Malik Edwards, a defensive lineman also from Miami Central High and a two-time state champion; Seth McGill, a utility athlete from Miami Central and Mike McCray, an All-State wide receiver from Ribault High school with 68 catches and 1,012 yards in 2018.
On the coaching staff with Bell were three Fleming Island High graduates; Craig Brodsky, a defensive coach for Valdosta, but now in Colorado in private business, and Trent Turknett, offensive analyst. Brodsky was a top linebacker at University of Delaware. Turknett played baseball at Fleming Islsand before graduating from University of Florida.
“Trent takes care of daily administrative stuff and helps with the offensive line,” said Bell.
Also, Ridgeview High graduate Qhahlin Patterson, a senior running back who played first at Presbyterian College, is slated as a key offensive player after seeing action in all games of 2017 with a 4.3 yards per carry average and six passes.
“Right now, Quahlin is slated as a starter for us,” said Bell. “He has progressed into our system.”
Bell noted that the Valdosta squad will be holding team scrimmages on August 8 (9 a.m.) and August 14 (6:30 p.m.).