Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) head football coach Scotty Walden wrapped up the Governors 2023 signing class by adding 22 players – including eight three-star recruits – on National Signing Day, Wednesday.
Austin Peay State University will get a quartet of Division I transfers that began their collegiate career as three-star signees. Matthew Flint, a graduate transfer linebacker from Western Kentucky, will be joined by wide receiver Brenen Hawkins (Kansas State), defensive back Benji Johnson (New Mexico), and wide receiver Khatib Lyles (North Texas).
The Governors also added a quartet of three-star recruits from the prep ranks, including three Tennessee products. Defensive back Jeremiah Collins (Oakland HS), athlete Courtland Simmons (Davidson Academy), and running back Marquez Taylor (McKenzie HS) are joined by Kaden Williams, a running back from St. James High School in Thibodaux, Louisiana.
The eight three-stars the Govs added on National Signing Day join Collierville High School’s Jaden McKinney and Garden City Community College’s MJ Singleton, who signed during the early period, to bring Austin Peay State University to a total of 10 three-star recruits in the 2023 class.
According to 247sports.com, the trio of Jeremiah Collins (.8736 composite), Taylor (.8478 composite), and McKinney (.8467) are the three highest-rated recruits in program history.
The class gets another infusion of in-state prep talent on the offensive side with offensive lineman Dane Woodard (Smith County HS) and Malaki Dowell (White County HS). The APSU Govs also added a pair of prep standouts from Georgia on offense with quarterback Ty Watkins (South Forsyth HS) and wide receiver Jaden Barnes (Langston Hughes HS). Wrapping up the class on the offensive additions, Walden went to his home state of Texas to add Josiah Drake (Duncanville HS).
Today’s offensive signees will join prep offensive linemen Leo Gonzalez (Lenoir City HS) and Ty Williams (Greeneville HS) and junior college wide receiver Ashton Nickelberry (Jones County CC), who all signed during the early period.
On the defensive side, the APSU Govs added Division I transfers Tahir Annoor (Wofford), Tyler Long (Norfolk State), and Michael Ruttlen Jr. (Princeton) to go with junior college transfers Carson Conner (East Mississippi) and Zach Avina (Golden West).
A pair of in-state products conclude the class on defense with prep quarterback Griffin Throneberry (Mt. Juliet HS) moving to the defensive side for the Governors to play alongside linebacker Javen Edminston (Summertown HS). The duo of Throneberry and Edminston will join Frank Caldwell III (Pace Academy) and Garrett Hawkins (Sevier County HS), who signed during the early signing period.
Finally, TJ Hartley, a kicker and punter from Whitewater High School in Fayetteville, Georgia, concludes the Governors 2023 signing class.
The complete bios for Austin Peay State University’s 2023 signees can be found in the PDF attached below.
For more offseason news and updates on Austin Peay State University football, follow along on Twitter and Instagram or be sure to check back at LetsGoPeay.com.
Austin Peay State University Football 2023 Signing Class
|Athlete||Ht.||Wt.||Pos.||Hometown||High School||Previous School|
|Tahir Annoor||5-11||195||DB||Nashville, Tenn.||Nashville, Tenn.||Wofford|
|Zach Avina||6-2||205||LB||Huntington Beach, Calif.||Palm Desert HS||Golden West College|
|Jaden Barnes||5-9||160||WR||Fairburn, Ga.||Langston Hughes HS|
|Frank Caldwell III †||6-2||215||LB||Smyrna, Ga.||Pace Academy|
|Jeremiah Collins||6-2||160||DB||Murfreesboro, Tenn.||Oakland HS|
|Marceo Collins||6-3||265||DL||Ringgold, Ga.||The Baylor School|
|Carson Conner *||6-4||280||DL||Picayune, Miss.||Picayune Memorial HS||East Mississippi CC|
|Malaki Dowell||5-10||185||RB||Sparta, Tenn.||White County HS|
|Josiah Drake||6-3||275||OL||Duncanville, Texas||Duncanville HS|
|Javen Edmiston||6-1||215||LB||Summertown, Tenn.||Summertown HS|
|Matthew Flint *||6-0||240||LB||Huntsville, Ala.||Madison County HS||Western Kentucky / North Carolina|
|Leo Gonzalez † *||6-4||295||OL||Lenoir City, Tenn.||Lenoir City HS|
|TJ Hartley||6-0||172||K/P||Fayetteville, Ga.||Whitewater HS|
|Brenen Hawkins||6-3||211||WR||Colleyville, Texas||Heritage HS||Kansas State|
|Garrett Hawkins †||6-2||220||LB||Sevierville, Tenn.||Sevier County HS|
|Benji Johnson *||6-4||215||DB||Hooks, Texas||Hooks HS||New Mexico|
|Tyler Long *||5-11||222||LB||Cincinnati, Ohio||Hughes STEM HS||Lackawanna CC / Norfolk State|
|Khatib Lyles||6-1||218||WR||El Paso, Texas||Parkland HS||North Texas|
|Jaden McKinney †||6-4||280||OL/DL||Collierville, Tenn.||Collierville HS|
|Kyan Miller †||6-3||230||DL||Lexington, Ky.||Henry Clay HS|
|Ashton Nickelberry † *||5-10||184||WR||Brandon, Miss.||Brandon HS||Jones County JC|
|Michael Ruttlen Jr.||5-9||195||DB||Mount Juliet, Tenn.||Mount Juliet HS||Princeton|
|Courtland Simmons||5-10||185||ATH||Nashville, Tenn.||Davidson Academy|
|MJ Singleton † *||5-10||170||WR||Lubbock, Texas||Monterey HS||Garden City CC (Kan.)|
|Marquez Taylor||6-0||170||RB||McKenzie, Tenn.||McKenzie HS|
|Griffin Throneberry||6-2||205||ATH||Mt. Juliet, Tenn.||Mt. Juliet HS|
|Ty Watkins||6-3||220||QB||Cumming, Ga.||South Forsyth HS|
|Kaden Williams||5-9||180||RB||Thibodaux, La.||St. James HS|
|Ty Williams †||6-4||276||OL||Greeneville, Tenn.||Greeneville HS|
|Dane Woodard||6-9||345||OL||Carthage, Tenn.||Smith County HS|
† – signed during December early signing period (8), * – early enrollee/mid-year transfer