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HomeSportsAustin Peay State University Football signs 22 Players

Austin Peay State University Football signs 22 Players

APSU FootballClarksville, 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

Austin Peay State University Football’s 2023 Signees Bios

Download (PDF, 160KB)


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