With less than three weeks to recruit after becoming head football coach at Charleston Southern, Autry Denson feels he and his staff have assembled a solid signing class.
CSU added 13 signees on Wednesday, giving the Bucs 18 players in their 2019 recruiting class after five signed during the early signing period in December. The class includes players from Georgia, North Carolina and Florida, but not a single player from South Carolina.
“I was very excited about this class,” said Denson, who became head coach on Jan. 16. “This is the culmination of a ton of hard work by so many different moving pieces. There were so many different people contributing. It’s all very rewarding. We were blessed.
"I kept getting asked the question what we were going to do with so little time left and my answer was always that we had the right amount of time because we were on God’s time."
Denson said he and his staff had very little time to evaluate their needs, but worked to bring in the best players available.
“We weren’t going to compromise. We were able to do a great job vetting the young men before they were on campus," he said. "We are happy with the quality of the young men that have joined our program.”
The class is divided equally with nine players on each side of the ball, including a quarterback and four receivers. Denson plans to move CSU’s offense away from the option and into an air-raid passing attack.
Quarterback Ross Malmgren, who threw for more than 7,000 yards and 70 touchdowns at North Paulding High School in Acworth, Ga., would seem to fit the new offense. Receivers Kaleb Chatmon, Buchi Nwaubi, Ben Harris and Isaiah Stephens bring with them impressive credentials as well.
“We are blessed to get Ross and to get some guys we can throw the ball to,” Denson said. “So much of recruiting is based on what you lost so the roster dictates that. We knew we had to come in and replace some guys and we knew we were transitioning into a new system. The focus will always be character first, that meet our standards.”
While pleased with his first class, Denson says it is important that he and his staff begins a good working relationship with the players already on campus. Spring practice will begin in late March.
“We added some key pieces but I won’t downplay the guys we already have here,” he said. “They are all our guys. Our job is to coach and develop every young man in the program. When you develop them the right way, they fit into any system.”
Asked about the absence of in-state players in this recruiting class, Denson insisted that will change.
“We will win our state first. We will begin at home,” said Denson, who came to CSU after four seasons as the running backs coach at Notre Dame. “The low-hanging fruit is the guys closest to us. We have a significant number of high school coaches who are CSU graduates in Georgia and in this state. We will always make our coaches welcome here. It will always be their program.”
Charleston Southern Signings
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown
Kaleb Chatmon WR 6-0 170 Cartersville, Ga.
Buchi Nwaubi WR 6-3 190 Marietta, Ga.
Joshua Crump OL 6-2 310 Vanceboro, N.C.
Ben Harris WR 6-5 195 Greenville, N.C.
Matthew Hogan OL 6-4 295 Orlando, Fla.
Tywon Little S 5-10 190 Winter Garden, Fla.
Ross Malmgren QB 6-3 210 Acworth, Ga.
Isaiah Stephens WR 6-0 180 Tampa, Fla.
Jacob Tylski OL 6-4 240 Jacksonville, Fla.
Jake Lanford LB 6-1 210 Macon, Ga.
Koran Stewart LB 6-0 200 Burlington, N.C.
Nick Spitulski LB 6-4 225 Orlando, Fla.
Ja’Courtney Snipes DE 6-3 260 Lithonia, Ga.
Ben Moxley * OL 6-1 275 Lake Mary, Fla.
Jay Thompson * S 6-0 180 Monroe, Ga.
Justin Holsclaw* LB 6-0 215 Kannapolis, N.C.
Kevon Hilliard* LB 6-2 225 Huntersville, N.C.
Will Fording* DB 5-10 185 Cornelius, N.C.
* - signed in December