APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University head football coach Will Healy announced the addition of 12 future Govs during the newly installed December Early Signing Class.
Austin Peay Football adds 12 players during early signing period in December. (APSU Sports Information)
Coming of the nation’s best FCS recruiting class a season ago, Healy and his staff locked up another top-notch class of football talent.
The Govs finished last season 8-4 after only recording one win in the previous four seasons combined.
Several freshman and sophomore contributors were vital to Austin Peay’s success a season ago and this class will look to make an impact right away as well.
Notes About the Class
- Balance was a theme for this group as Healy and his staff landed six offensive and seven defensive players.
- Eight of the signees will be incoming freshman with the Govs adding five transfers to its 2018 roster.
- All five transfers are defensive additions, bolstering an Austin Peay defense that took a considerable step forward in 2017 with the team posting 24 sacks and 63 tackles for loss. It was the most sacks by a Governors team since 2004 and its most tackles for loss since 2009.
- 247Sports.com rated both Jonathon Edwards and Jalyn Shelton as three-star recruits. Austin Peay’s 2018 recruiting class is currently ranked fourth among FCS programs by 247Sports.com.
December 2017 Signing Class
- Garrett Bell, OL, 6-5, 260 lbs., Birmingham, Ala. (Briarwood Christian HS)
- Rashon Davis, DB, 5-11, 170 lbs., St. Louis, Mo. (Christian Brothers College HS/Eastern Michigan)
- Johnathon Edwards, S, 6-3, 185 lbs., Philadelphia, Miss. (Philadelphia HS/Northeast Mississippi CC)
- Erskine Francis, CB, 6-1, 180 lbs., Slidell, La. (Salmen HS/Fort Scott CC)
- Marquise Griffin, DL, 6-3, 320 lbs., Carthage, Miss. (Leake Central HS/East Mississippi CC)
- Ziyon Kenner, WR, 5-9, 160 lbs., Hopkinsville, Ky. (Bowling Green HS)
- Demetrius Market, DB, 5-8, 168 lbs., Batesville, Miss. (South Panola HS/Southern Miss)
- Jimmyrious Parker, WR, 5-5, 150 lbs., Nashville, Tenn. (Pearl Cohn HS)
- Dave Roberts, OL, 6-4, 260 lbs., Lewisburg, Tenn. (Marshall County HS)
- Jalyn Shelton, RB, 5-10, 218 lbs., Rossville, Ga. (Ridgeland HS)
- Kwame Sutton, DE, 6-1, 233 lbs., Blacksburg, S.C. (Blacksburg HS)
- Blake Watson, TE, 6-3, 220 lbs., Maryville, Tenn. (Maryville HS)
Jalyn Shelton, RB, 5-10, 218 lbs., Rossville, Ga. (Ridgeland HS)
Before APSU: Finished with 3,878 rushing yards and 57 touchdowns in three varsity seasons at Ridgeland for head coach Wesley Tankersley… Earned All-Region 6-AAAA honors each of this three seasons… Named Region 6-AAAA Co-Offensive Player of the Year as a senior after running for 1,091 yards and 20 touchdowns… Compiled 1,428 rushing yards (129.8 ypg) and 23 touchdowns as a junior and was an Atlanta Journal Constitution Honorable Mention All-State pick… Had a 237-yard, five-touchdown outing in that junior campaign against Darlington… Ran for 1,355 yards and 14 touchdowns in sophomore season, his first at Ridgeland.
Ziyon Kenner, WR, 5-9, 160 lbs., Hopkinsville, Ky. (Bowling Green HS)
Before APSU: Named District 1 Player of the Year and was a Second-Team All-State selection as picked by the Kentucky Football Coaches Association… Finished senior campaign at Bowling Green High School for head coach Kevin Wallace with 1,665 all-purpose yards: 810 receiving yards, 284 rushing yards, 302 kickoff return yards and 269 punt return yards – and scored 18 total touchdowns… Named to Best of the Bluegrass All-Star game after senior season… Notched 673 receiving yards in first season at Bowling Green, finishing his junior season with 1,050 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns… Began prep career at Christian County High School, notching 1,238 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore following a freshman season that saw him post 641 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.
Jimmyrious Parker, WR, 5-5, 150 lbs., Nashville, Tenn. (Pearl Cohn HS)
Before APSU: Finalist for 2017 Tennessee Titans Division I Class 3A Mr. Football Award… Twice named to Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s All-State Teams, as a Class 4A athlete as a junior and a 3A wide receiver as a senior… Amassed 2,340 all-purpose yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior at Pearl Cohn High School for head coach Tony Brunetti – 807 yards rushing, 820 receiving and 629 as a kick returner… Notched 1,779 all-purpose yards – 825 yards rushing, 454 receiving and 500 return yards – and 16 touchdowns as a junior and earned Tennessean Third-Team All-Midstate honors as well as Class 4A All-State honors from the Tennessee Sports Writers Association… Finished fourth in the TSSAA Class A-AA 100-meter dash state championship as a junior, with a time of 11.33 seconds.
Blake Watson, TE, 6-3, 220 lbs., Maryville, Tenn. (Maryville)
Before APSU: Led Maryville and head coach Derek Hunt to 2017 Class 6A State title, catching three passes for 43 yards and a touchdown in title game… finished senior season with 28 receptions, 370 yards and five touchdowns… Caught 23 passes for 410 yards and four touchdowns as a junior
Dave Roberts, OL, 6-4, 260 lbs., Lewisburg, Tenn. (Marshall County)
Before APSU: Three-year starter at Marshall County for head coach Thomas Osteen, leading the Rebels to the Class 4A state semifinals as a junior and senior… Named to Tennessee Sports Writers Association all-state team as a senior and was the Region 4-4A Lineman of the Year, blocking for the region’s co-most valuable player… Was a second-team Region 4-4A selection as a junior.
Garrett Bell, OL, 6-5, 260 lbs., Birmingham, Ala. (Briarwood Christian)
Before APSU: First-Team Class 5A All-State selection by the Alabama Sports Writers Association after leading Briarwood Christian and head coach Fred Yancey to state title game as a senior… Also named to AL.com All-Birmingham Team.
Rashon Davis, DB, 5-11, 170 lbs., St. Louis, Mo. (Christian Brothers College HS/Eastern Michigan)
Before APSU: Spent 2016 with FBS Eastern Michigan, appearing in nine games for the Eagles… Played for head coach Scott Pingel at St. Louis’ Christian Brothers College High School during his prep career… Was ranked No. 23 on St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Super 30 list of collegiate prospects… Notched 27 tackles, two tackles for loss and two interceptions as a senior… Led Buccaneers to its first state championship during his final prep year.
Erskine Francis, CB, 6-1, 180 lbs., Slidell, La. (Salmen HS/Fort Scott CC)
Before APSU: Recorded 16 tackles and an interception in eight games as a sophomore at Fort Scott… Posted 35 tackles in 11 games as a freshman, including two tackles for loss, and had two interceptions and six pass breakups.
Johnathon Edwards, SAF, 6-3, 185 lbs., Philadelphia, Miss. (Philadelphia HS/Northeast Mississippi CC)
Before APSU: Finished with 49 tackles, 2.5 for loss, and an interception in seven games as a sophomore at Northeast Mississippi… Notched 37 tackles, three interceptions and four pass breakups in eight games as a freshman.
Kwame Sutton, DE, 6-1, 233 lbs., Blacksburg, S.C. (Blacksburg HS)
Before APSU: Finished prep career with 114-tackle campaign at Blacksburg High School for head coach Thad Wells, which included 10 tackles for loss (all sacks), two forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered and a touchdown… Named a First-Team Upstate Herald-Journal All-Area selection after senior season… Participated in US Army All-American combine after junior campaign… As a junior, named Upstate Herald-Journal All-Area Second-Team after recording 76 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss and eight sacks, while forcing two fumbles… a three-time All-Region I-2A selection.
Demetrius Market, DB, 5-8, 168 lbs., Batesville, Miss. (South Panola HS/Southern Miss)
Before APSU: Did not play in 2017… Played in 12 games as a true freshman at Southern Miss in 2016, recording four tackles… Prepped at South Panola High School for head coach Lance Pogue and was a 2015 Second-Team All-State pick by the Jackson Clarion Ledger… Was a standout two-way player on the 2014 Class 6A state title team… Piled up 2,134 all-purpose yards and 24 touchdowns, including 1,003 yards and 13 touchdowns as a receiver, and notched 34 tackles while breaking up 18 passes over the course of his final two prep seasons… participated in track and field, competing in the 200-meter dash, 4×100-meter relay, shot put and discus… won Region I-2A title in shot put and finished third in discus as a junior.
Marquise Griffin, DL, 6-3, 320 lbs., Carthage, Miss. (Leake Central HS/East Mississippi CC)
Before APSU: Played two of the last three seasons at East Mississippi Community College for head coach Buddy Stephens (sat out 2016 season)… Starting nose guard on EMCC’s 2017 NJCAA national championship and MACJC state championship team… Credited with 28 career tackles, including six tackles for loss (2.5 sacks)… Registered 18 total stops, including 4.5 tackles for loss, in sophomore campaign… Had 10 total tackles as a freshman in 2015, including a season-most six tackles at Mississippi Delta… 2014 Class 4A Second-Team All-State (MHSAA) at Leake Central High School for head coach Lee Wooldridge.
TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Football, APSU Men's Football, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Blake Watson, Clarksville TN, Erskine Francis, Garrett Bell, Governors, Govs, Hopkinsville KY, Jalyn Shelton, Kwame Sutton, Lewisburg TN, Marquise Griffin, Maryville TN, Nashville TN, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, St. Louis MO, Will Healy