Trent Miles and his coaching staff have taken their next steps in a new era of Georgia State football with the signings of the 2013 Panther’s recruiting class.
There were no big surprises last Wednesday, Feb. 6, on National Signing Day, but that did not take away from the excitement of the 27 players who committed to Georgia State.
Two of the top prospects for the Panthers who had verbally committed prior to Signing Day officially signed their letters of intent early in the day on Wednesday allowing everyone to breathe easy and not worry of the dreaded “de-commitment” that has become a somewhat popular maneuver by high school students.
One of the top prospects Georgia State signed was Kight Dallas from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga..
The 6-2, 230 pound outside linebacker received an extensive list of offers from prestigious Division I schools. ESPN.com ranked him as a three star recruit with exceptional tackling skills and outside run support.
“[Dallas] had SEC schools send him national letters of intent this week,” linebackers coach P.J. Volker said. “We got coach Miles with Knight and they hit it off right off the bat and committed to us and stayed with us.”
Volker envisions Dallas being a useful tool as a defensive end on third down by rushing the passer.
Another ESPN.com three star recruit Miles and his staff were able to obtain was defensive tackle Jalen Lawrence from Westside High School in Macon, Ga..
Lawrence received several offers, most notably from Texas Tech, Troy, and Georgia Southern.
Lawrence told 41 NBC News in Macon, “Man, it’s nothing but love. . . they love me and I love them. I love the campus. I love everything about it.”
Dallas and Lawrence were two key victories for Miles and defensive coordinator Jesse Minter as they try to construct a stout defense able to handle offenses in the Sun Belt Conference.
Georgia State signed several offensive players including quarterback Clay Chastain.
Chastain played two years of NJCAA football with Georgia Military College and enrolled at Georgia State at the beginning of this spring semester.
Chastain was rated the No. 70 junior college prospect in the nation by 247Sports and in nine games for Georgia Military last season he passed for 1,907 yards with 22 total touchdowns.
“Clay is a big guy. He’s what you want your quarter back to look like,” quarterbacks coach Luke Huard said. “I’m excited for him to join this quarterback competition. We’ve got some other young quarterback prospects on campus, and I look forward to them battling it out.”
The Panthers also signed two running backs.
Gerald Howse, a junior college transfer from NE Oklahoma A&M, and Kyler Neal from East Paulding High School.
Both tailbacks are big, strong, quick athletes capable of breaking tackles for explosive plays.
Georgia State signed a total of 27 players: 22 from Georgia and 16 from the city of Atlanta.
Trent Miles stressed the importance of recruiting local guys and finding the exceptional talent Georgia high schools have to offer.
“They’re loaded with talent here, especially in the Atlanta area,” Miles said about the high school talent in the state. “There’s a lot of talent here in the state, as you can see by the number of Georgia kids we signed and will continue to sign.”
However, Miles made it quite clear that he was not concerned with all the hype that comes with rankings and stars.
“We don’t get into stars. . . I trust my eyes,” Miles stated. “Some of them will be impact players, some of them will develop in the next year or two, but they will develop.”