Mark Weidenaar - QB - 6-3, 190 - Evans, Georgia - Lakeside HS
Mark is one of the most important pieces of this class. Physically he certainly has the makeup to be a solid QB with a good combination of size and speed. Coach Troxler from Lakeside says that GSU really got a steal here. Weidenaar was injured his junior year and Troxler swears that Mark is a BCS caliber player that fell of the radar because of injury. Credit the GSU coaches for handling his recruitment very well. They were up front and told them Trent is their guy, but if anything happened the offer would go immediately to him. Trent decommitted Monday afternoon, and Weidenaar was in the fold by Monday night.
Nathan Schuster - QB/ATH - 6-0, 180 - Summerville, Geirgia - Chattooga HS
Schuster is an interesting prospect for GSU. He played quarterback in High School most likely because he was the best athlete on the field. And while he certainly was productive as a passer, his athleticism allows him to be used in a number of ways on both sides of the ball. Coach Curry said Schuster will get his shot to play QB, but if he isn’t one of the top options on the roster, he will most likely be moved to another position.
Aaron Thomas - OG- 6-3, 295 - Dothan, Alabama - Dothan HS
Aaron is probably the offensive lineman of this class that is the most physically ready to contribute right away. He also is very athletic despite his size and blocks very well in space. The coaches seem to agree as they told him he would have a chance to play LG right away if he works hard enough. Thomas was an all-state honorable mention and was selected to participate in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game.
Mark Ruskell - C - 6-2, 292 - Duluth, Georgia - Duluth HS
Coach Curry heaved a lot of praise onto the Duluth product at the signing day press conference when he identified Ruskell as one of the players who could play as a freshman. Ruskell has been praised above all else for his knowledge of the game. For a Freshman to start at center they have to be incredibly gifted at reading defenses and have solid leadership skills. Coach Jarvis of Duluth said those are his greatest strengths. The only thing that will keep Ruskell off the field is his physicality. His 292 pounds but Curry says it is a lean 292. If he can bulk up enough to handle tough CAA defensive lines while improving his footwork and speed, then he is certainly a contender for early playing time.
Garrett Gorringe - OT - 6-5, 280 - Loganville, Georgia - Grayson HS
For the second year in a row the Panthers have signed a reigning state champ. Last year QB Ben McLane had just led his team to a title, and this year Garrett Gorringe comes in having helped paved the way for Grayson’s undefeated championship season. Gorringe is simply put a monster along the offensive line. In the ultra competitive region 8 of Gwinnett County. He was a dominant force against some of the toughest competition in the state, leading to a second team all-county selection and multiple all-star game invites. While he may not start right away because of talent at the tackle position, Gorringe will certainly be called upon to protect our QBs for years to come.
Trevor Flannigan - OL - 6-4, 275 - Trion, Georgia - Trion HS
Trevor was recruited to the Panthers by Nate Schuster and was one of the earliest commitments at a position where Georgia State desperately needed to add bodies. Coach Curry commented that Georgia State has always been hurting for more lineman in their short history, and they certainly made up for that in this class. Flannigan was an all-region selection in 2011 and graded out at 90 percent with 30 pancacke blocks in 2010.
Avery Sweeting - WR - 5-9, 160 - Brunswick, Georgia - Brunswick HS
The importance of signing Avery Sweeting can not be understated, in my opinion. When you look at the depth chart at wide receiver and running back, (a.k.a. playmakers) you will see that all of the impact players are upperclassmen. While this bodes well for Georgia State in the upcoming seasons, it is potentially setting the Panthers up for a rude awakening in a few seasons. Sweeting, however, is the definition of a game breaker. A state qualifier in the 100 and 200 meters, Sweeting has elite speed that makes him a threat to score any time he touches the ball. He totaled 1,100 all-purpose yards and scored 8 touchdowns as a senior on his way to an all-area selection. Sweeting also had five returns for touchdowns throughout his career.
Come back tomorrow as we breakdown the defensive players of the 2012 signing class!