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Charleston Southern football coach Autry Denson announces 14 signings

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Charleston Southern spring scrimmage (copy) (copy)

Charleston Southern football coach Autry Denson signed 14 players on Wednesday. Provided/Jim Killian/CSU

Charleston Southern head football coach Autry Denson announced 14 signings on Wednesday, giving the Buccaneers a total of 18 players in the 2020 recruiting class after signing four in December.

Denson and his staff had more time to prepare for this year’s class after he was hired two weeks before signing day a year ago. The list of athletes on Wednesday focused primarily on the defensive side of the ball, particularly along the defensive front where depth was a major need. CSU signed nine defensive players Wednesday to go with one in December.

"We're really pleased with the young men we've been blessed to sign over the two signing periods this year," Denson said. "We always trust God when it comes to bringing the right men here. We want to look for young men who are committed to being here and know they are trading in that pen and paper from signing day for a hard hat and a shovel because we still have work to do.

“All of our needs were addressed, and we are looking for some more. We needed depth on the defensive line and in the secondary. We added some playmakers on offense. We can never have enough of those.”

The defensive line gained three players, including local product DaQuan Robinson of Fort Dorchester. Robinson was one of three Division I signees from the defensive line at Fort Dorchester.

Also added were ends Elijah Harper of Westside High in Anderson and Jakyre Kerns of Greer High. Kerns, a two-time all-region pick, had 9.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in 2019.

Offensively, the class consists of a quarterback, a running back, a wide receiver, a tight end, and three offensive linemen. Quarterback Isaiah Bess of Shelby, N.C., threw for more than 7,700 yards and 83 touchdowns in his career.

Matthew Williams of Tyrone, Ga., played quarterback as a senior but could be used in a variety of ways at CSU. Williams totaled more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in 2019.

“We don’t focus on where they are from, but we focus on do they fit what we are doing.” Denson said. “If they are young men of character, if they have demonstrated high achievement from an academic standpoint, and if they love football, those are our type of guy.”

CSU looks to build off a strong finish to Denson's inaugural season at the helm of the Bucs. CSU wrapped up Big South play with a winning record for the fourth consecutive season, while winning five of its last six games.

“It helps when kids can see you headed in the right direction and building,” Denson said. “Obviously we were pleased with how we ended, but we’re never satisfied.”


Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/Previous School

Isaiah Bess QB 6-4 215 Shelby, N.C./Shelby

Matthew Williams ATH 5-11 170 Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek

Nivon Holland RB 5-10 165 Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips

Ja’Rell Smith WR 5-10 168 Pine Mountain, Ga./Harris County

Win Davidson TE 6-3 235 Macon, Ga./Howard

Darius Meeks OL6-3 290 Oakland, Ga./Westlake

Tylon Chambers DL6-1 294 Gordon, Ga./Veterans

DaQuan Robinson DL6-0 222 North Charleston, S.C./Fort Dorchester

Mikah Riley DL6-2 285 Apopka, Fla./Apopka

Elijah Harper LB/DE 6-3 220 Anderson, S.C./Westside

Jakyre Kerns LB/DE 6-3 235 Greer, S.C./Greer

Jevaun Jacobsen LB 6-1 200 Vancouver, Canada/Clearwater Academy

Shary Jefferson LB 5-11 200 Orlando, Fla./Edgewater

Richard Lawson DB 6-0 165 Miami Gardens, Fla./Carol City

Jordan Moore*  ATH 5-11 180 Abbeville, S.C./Abbeville

Eric Aldridge*  OL 6-3 285 Americus, Ga./Americus-Sumter

Lee Mathews* OL 6-4 300 Palmetto, Fla./Palmetto

Tylan Hollis* LB 5-11 192 Manchester, Ga./Manchester High School

* - signed in December

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