South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough is determined to make the Bulldogs relevant in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference again after suffering through their worst season in more than a decade.
NAME POS. HT WT HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOLHarold Atkinson RB 5-10 230 Carolina Forest HSKylen Binn QB 6-5 210 Blythewood HSTyberius Cravens DE 6-1 230 Austell, Ga.Justin Fields OL 6-4 280 Wilson HSZane Fields TE 6-2 235 Jonesboro, Ga.Kolby Gray DB 5-9 170 Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.Chris Herise DL 6-4 225 MiamiVictor Ishmael DE 6-1 260 MiamiBernard Morrison WR 6-0 185 Stone Mountain, Ga.Gregtavious Newell DE 6-1 210 AtlantaDevondre Powell DB 5-9 175 MiamiDayshawn Taylor LB 5-10 240 Lincolnton, Ga.Chris Timmings WR 5-10 170 Brunswick, Ga.Michael Wamer LB 6-2 190 Woodland HSTrayshaun Watkins DE 6-1 230 Mooresboro, N.C.
Pough hopes this recruiting class is a step in that direction.
The Bulldogs, who were 5-6 overall and 4-4 in the MEAC in 2012, had two major priorities for this recruiting class — defense and speed at the skill positions. Pough believes he has filled both needs.
“We did well generally on defense and really helped ourselves on the defensive front,” Pough said. “The defensive people we signed up front are really athletic and good, solid players. We got two linebackers that are really special and a good group of defensive backs as we were really in need of safeties and cornerbacks.”
The top player in the class is Carolina Forest running back Harold Atkinson, a Shrine Bowl pick. Forest is a 3-star player, according to Rivals.com. He rushed for 941 yards and nine TDs this past season.
Also signing was Woodland High School linebacker Michael Wamer, who had 41 tackles, five sacks and six interceptions.
Pough was especially pleased to get Blythewood quarterback Kylen Binn. Binn completed 123 of 215 passes for 1,386 yards and 13 TDs, and rushed for 248 yards and 11 TDs.
Wilson High offensive tackle Justin Evans, the 16th-ranked player in the state by Rivals.com, was the only offensive lineman to sign with the Bulldogs.
Zane Fields of Lovejoy High in Hampton, Ga., recorded 72½ tackles and 6½ sacks this past season at his linebacker position.
Defensive end Victor Ismael, of Miami, is following in his father’s footsteps. Victor Sr., played for the Bulldogs in the 1980s and currently is an assistant strength coach for the Miami Hurricanes.