NSD 2012: Breaking Down GSU's Class- Defense

Joseph Peterson - Image courtesy of GSU Sports

Georgia State really emphasized recruiting defense in this class and came away with 10 great additions to their football team. Georgia State wraps up our national signing day coverage with a breakdown of our signing class' defensive players.

Joe Lockley - DT - 6-1, 290 - Portal, Georgia - Portal HS
Joe Lockley could be the crown jewel of the class. He had interest from several BCS programs and just recently hosted Mississippi State coaches in his home who tried their hardest to get him to switch his commitment. Lockley was the defensive player of the year for his region and was an honorable mention for the all-state team. Joe anchored the line on both sides of the ball in high school and even kicked some field goals for his team this year. Despite all his accolades he flew under the radar because he played for one of the smallest schools in the state. In my opinion he is the one player in this class that is as close as you can get to a lock to start.

Jah-Mai Davidson - DT - 6-4, 270 - Snellville, Georgia - Brookwood HS
Davidson is a solid prospect from Gwinnett County who was a state champion in his time at Brookwood High School. Jah-Mai played offensive and defensive line in high school but will play on the interior defense for the Panthers. Georgia State has consistently struggled to find production from their interior defensive lineman and if Davidson can work hard to ready himself physically to play in the CAA, there is no reason he couldn’t see the field.

Melvin King - DE/LB - 6-3, 225 - Hinesville, Georgia - Liberty County HS
King is another good find for Georgia State from one of the smallest high schools in the state. Melvin was a first team all-region selection, however, and was one of four names mentioned by Curry himself that could start right away. King had 51 tackles while playing defensive end, showing his wide range and ability to chase down tacklers. He certainly will need to add a significant amount of weight in order to become a regular contributor in his first year, but he also has the frame to do that. It will be very interesting to see what he weighs when he comes to  campus in June.

Joseph Peterson - LB - 6-0, 210 - Dothan, Alabama - Dothan HS
If Joe Lockley isn’t the jewel of this class, then it may be Joseph Peterson. He was a first team all-state selection in the highest classification in Alabama and was chosen to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game. He had 112 tackles and four sacks last season and was rated by Andrew Bone, an analyst of scout.com, as one of the top 60 players in the state. Georgia State was able to hang on to him despite a late push by FBS team Louisiana-Lafayette.

Bryan Williams - LB - 6-3, 200 - Mirimar, Florida - Mirimar HS
Williams is the younger brother of former Panther TE Arthur “Bully” Williams and will be sure to make a name for himself during his time in the blue and white. Bryan was one of the key contributors in a defense that made it all the way to the state title game. Williams caused a fumble in that game and finished the season with two fumble recoveries, an interception, and a touchdown. The opportunistic linebacker has a knack for making big plays and will be a major player in Georgia State’s defense lining up next to Peterson.

Chris Jenkins - CB - 5-11, 180 - Santee, South Carolina - Lake Marion HS
Jenkins is one of the best athletes in the class and is a guy that played all over the field in high school. He played quarterback and threw for 739 yards while rushing for 739 yards and making 10 catches for 110 yards. He also played safety and had 33 tackles and 6 pass breakups. Jenkins will bring his talents to Atlanta where GSU will try to use that athleticism as a cornerback.

Myles Morris - CB 5-9, 170 - Greensboro, North Carolina - Ben L. Smith HS
Morris is an electric athlete who played running back, wide receiver, and cornerback in high school. He also returned punts and scored 6 total touchdowns on the year. His love though lies in playing defense where he excelled making four interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown, an incredible 76 tackles, and recovering two fumbles. Morris is a someone who can make an immediate impact on special teams and has the talent to be one of the best corners in the conference.

LaDarion Young - S - 6-0, 180 - Pensacola, Florida - Pensacola Catholic HS
Georgia State received a late commitment from Young after losing a couple of players due to academic issues. However, Ladarion is far from a late addition that was secured just for numbers sake or to fill a spot. The Pensacola standout was a second team all-state selection and was ranked as the #34 prospect in the Orlando Sentinel’s Florida Panhandle Super 60. He is a very hard hitting athlete who will most likely project to play safety for the Panthers.

Tanner Strickland - 6-4, 250 - DT/LB - Zebulon, Georgia - Pike County HS
Strickland is one of the more intriguing prospects of this class. He certainly has the physicality to be a very imposing defensive player. He was being recruited as a defensive lineman, but says that Coach Curry might have a different plan for him. Curry elaborated on Wednesday that Strickland is a monster on the field and when he hits someone they typically go down pretty hard. Coach said Strickland reminded him of Dick Butkus, a hall of fame middle linebacker. Butkus was very large and people doubted whether or not he could be successful because they said he played very "stiff". Strickland shares a lot of those same characteristics and if he can work on his footwoork and sideline to sideline speed, he clould be a very special player for the Panthers.

Kyle Vorster - S - 5-10, 205 - Marietta, Georgia - Walton HS
Vorster is player that took a greyshirt for the 2011 season and is now enrolled at Georgia State. Kyle made his name as a running back in high school and was part of Walton’s 2008 state championship team. He will take part in spring practice but has been moved to safety. As the son of a two strength and conditioning coaches, Vorster is a workout warrior who Coach Curry said is in incredible shape and has added 15 pounds of muscle to his frame since arriving on campus.

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