Twenty-eight freshman football players moved into the barracks at The Citadel this week for summer school, including a late signee at quarterback who played last year at the U.S. Air Force Academy Prep School.
Dominique Allen, a 6-0, 220-pound QB from Richmond Hill, Ga., graduated from high school in 2013 and played last season for Air Force Prep. He will have four years of eligibility at The Citadel and is one of three quarterbacks in the Bulldogs' recruiting class for this fall as The Citadel prepares to replace senior QB Aaron Miller.
"Dominique is a triple-option quarterback who ran the offense in high school and at prep school last year," said Citadel coach Mike Houston. "With him, I think we have a really strong group of young quarterbacks as we get ready for the post-Aaron Miller years."
As a junior at Richmond Hill, Allen ran for 687 yards and 12 touchdowns before committing to Air Force. During his senior season, Allen rushed for 1,004 yard and 15 touchdowns, and passed for 760 yards and seven scores and was a Class 5A all-state honorable mention player.
He was a three-year starter at QB for Richmond Hill and was his league's offensive player of the year in 2012.
Allen joins quarterbacks Shon Bulter (5-11, 185) and Jalen Lampkin (5-10, 176) in this year's recruiting class, and gives the Bulldogs' six QBs on the roster, including the senior Miller, redshirt freshman Cam Jackson and redshirt sophomore Dane Anderson.
"We have a little gap there between Aaron and Cam, so I don't think it's a bad thing to have six quarterbacks on the roster," Houston said.
Other late signees in the Bulldogs' recruiting class include defensive lineman Travis Johnson (6-2, 240), who played last year at East Coast Prep School in Great Barrington, Mass., and linebacker DaSean Daniels (5-10, 220), who went to the U.S. Naval Academy Prep School.
During the summer school session, the freshman football players are taking two classes (in psychology and English), working out with The Citadel's strength and conditioning staff and working with academic support staff, as well.
"We want to get them off to a good start academically," Houston said. "With this program, they can get some credit hours and should be able to get off to a good start on their GPA. Our academic support staff gets a chance to know them very well before preseason camp starts, and we can get them physically in shape for fall practice. One problem with freshmen is that they often report in terrible shape because they don't know how to train for a college practice.
"In talking to my peers around the league, I think we're ahead of the curve in the Southern Conference with this freshman program."
While the freshmen are learning their way around The Citadel, veteran players are working out at 5:45 a.m. five days a week, Houston said. A new NCAA rule allows coaches to spend up to eight hours a week with veteran players over the summer. Citadel coaches are using about three hours per week, Houston said.
"The players chose the time to work out, not me," he said. "They are lifting three days a week, and two days a week they are doing running and agility work, or doing a few sessions with the coaches under the new NCAA rules."
Two veteran players are working their way back from knee injuries. Slotback Dalton Trevino tore his ACL during spring practice and began jogging this week; he's expected back in mid-season, Houston said. Linebacker Carl Robinson, who tore his ACL during the 2013 season, has been cleared to fully participate in summer workouts.
"He looks fantastic," Houston said. "We're slowly getting his weight back down, but he looks really good running around."
Houston said he's interviewing candidates to replace tights/tackles coach Scott Yielding, who recently became director of player personnel at Illinois, and could make an hire by the end of this week.
More than 300 high school players attended Citadel camps recently in Charleston and at Byrnes High School near Spartanburg, South Pointe HS in Rock Hill, Conway HS and River Bluff HS in Columbia.
The Citadel season kicks off Aug. 30 against Coastal Carolina at Johnson Hagood Stadium.
CITADEL FOOTBALL FRESHMEN
Name Position Height Weight Hometown/High School
Dominique Allen QB 6-0 220 Richmond Hill, Ga.
Israel Battle LB 6-2 213 Cedartown, Ga./Cedartown
Shon Belton QB 5-11 185 Lugoff, S.C./Lugoff-Elgin
Reggie Benjamin DB 5-9 190 Palm Bay, Fla./Palm Bay
Carl Cunningham Jr. DB 6-1 171 Cibolo, Texas/Bryon P. Steel II
DaSean Daniels LB 5-10 220 Lawrenceville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian
Javion Duncan DL 6-0 255 Simpsonville, S.C./Woodmont
Derrick Freeland OL 6-1 245 Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek
Jauveer Hammond Slot 5-8 170 Johnston, S.C./Strom Thurmond
Tristan Harkleroad OL 6-2 275 Savannah, Ga./Benedictine Military School
Russell Hubbs LB 6-1 222 Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern
Travis Johnson DL 6-2 240 Fayetteville, N.C./East Coast Prep
Jonathan King DL 6-1 258 Statesville, N.C./South Iradell
Steven Knowles DE 6-1 225 Inverness, Fla./Citrus
Jalen Lampkin QB 5-10 176 Augusta, Ga./Westside
Sydney Martin OL 6-2 270 Lyman, S.C/Byrnes
Josh Massey DB 5-11 190 Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe
Josh McCoy DB 6-2 200 Sharon, S.C./York Comprehensive
Evan McField B-Back 6-0 200 Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek
Shy Phillips DB 6-0 165 Hartsville, S.C./Hartsville
Myles Pierce LB 6-0 227 Daphne, Ala./Daphne
Logan Robinson DL 6-4 225 Arlington, Va./Yorktown
Jordan Scott DB 6-0 200 Aiken, S.C./South Aiken
Isiaha Smith B-Back 5-10 225 Hagerstown, Md./South Hagerstown
Matt Thompson II Slot 5-11 205 Morristown, Tenn./Morristown East
Houston Tyler DL 6-0 260 Oklahoma City, Okla./Southmoore
Quinlan Washington Slot 6-0 185 Gainesville, Fla./Buckholz
Kalik Williams DB 5-11 190 Ormon Beach, Fla./Mainland
Tre'von White DE 6-5 200 Pelham, Ga./Pelham