College Sports

Here’s who NC Central’s Granville Eastman signed in his first recruiting class

N.C. Central football coach Granville Eastman picked up 19 players in his first class.
N.C. Central football coach Granville Eastman picked up 19 players in his first class. NC Central

N.C. Central signed 14 players on Wednesday, giving the Eagles 19 players total, including the athletes who signed in December. It was the first full class for first-year coach Granville Eastman, who took over for Jerry Mack in December.

N.C. Central signed nine players on offense, nine on defense and one punter. One particular area of interest was getting more length on the offensive line.

“We wanted to get taller on the offensive line, primarily at the tackle position,” Eastman said. “We felt we accomplished that.”

Eastman and his staff also wanted to surround their quarterback with playmakers. N.C. Central signed three wide receivers and two running backs in this class.

Here’s a look at the Eagles’ newest players:

Tyler Barnes

6-4, 200 pounds, West Mecklenburg High School, Charlotte: The wide receiver caught 84 passes for 1,257 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior.

Marcell Bell

6-3, 230 pounds, Columbia High School, Lake City, Fla.: The defensive end recorded 16.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks and two interceptions as a senior.

Alejandro Hall

6-1, 186 pounds, Alpharetta High School, Alpharetta, Ga.: Named Second Team All-Region 7 cornerback after senior season.

Ricky Lee

6-5, 270 pounds, Robert E. Lee High School, Jacksonville, Fla.: Lee was named First Team 7A All-District 2 as an offensive tackle.

Chuck Manning

6-2, 225 pounds, Riverside High School, Durham: Manning was named the 2017 Triangle 6 Conference Defensive Player of the Year after recording 20.5 sacks and four forced fumbles as a senior.

Marquise Nelson

6-1, 170 pounds, Harding High School, Charlotte: Nelson was a two-time SoMeck 7 4A All-Conference player. His team won the 2017 4A NCHSAA title, the school’s first state title in 64 years.

John Pecaro

5-11, 175 pounds, LA Pierce College, Boynton Beach, Fla.: Pecaro averaged 35.9 yards per punt last season.

Joseph Pete

6-4, 300 pounds, Cisco College, Cisco, Texas: The Dallas resident was among the Top 100 Gridiron RR JuCo offensive linemen after recording 85 pancake blocks.

Mashion Powell

5-11, 185 pounds, Reagan High School, Pfafftown: Powell rushed for 824 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior.

Sonnie Richardson

5-9, 185 pounds, Leesville Road HS, Raleigh/Mesa CC, Mesa, Ariz.: Richardson caught 74 passes for 849 yards and nine scores last season at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz. Caught 58 passes for 1,068 yards and 11 scores as a senior in 2014 at Leesville Road.

Easton Senior

6-2, 302 pounds, Southern Durham, Durham: Two-time Big East 3A All-Conference selection.

Zach Simmons

6-1, 220 pounds, Deerfield Beach High School, Deerfield Beach, Fla.: Collected 178 tackles and 19 sacks during his career at Deerfield Beach.

Manny Smith

6-2, 185 pounds, Scotland High School, Laurinburg: As a safety, Smith had 46 tackles and two interceptions his senior season. Was a first team All-Sandhills Athletic Conference selection.

Romeo Stancil

6-0, 160 pounds, Clayton High School, Clayton: Two-time Greater Neuse River All-Conference selection. Picked off four passes as a senior.

Daeshawn Stephens

6-2, 190 pounds, Hillside High School, Durham/N.C. State: Played in 10 games last season with N.C. State. Signed with the Wolfpack after catching 71 passes for 989 yards and 17 scores as a senior at nearby Hillside High School.

Jesse Urbina

6-1, 320 pounds, Trinity Christian Academy, Jacksonville, Fla.: Won three state titles at Trinity Christian Academy. Had 50 pancake blocks as a senior.

Travon Wallace

6-0, 185 pounds, Atlantic Coast High School, Jacksonville, Fla.: First Team All-Duval County as a safety. Had 47 tackles and five interceptions as a senior.

Tyquan Watson

6-0, 192 pounds, Godby HS, Tallahassee, Fla./Eastern Arizona College, Thatcher, Ariz.: As a senior at Godby High, Watson rushed for 921 yards and six scores. Played one season at Eastern Arizona College, where he averaged 5.1 yards per carry.

Marvin Zanders

6-2, 205 pounds, Raines HS, Jacksonville, Fla./University of Missouri: Played three seasons at the University of Missouri. Completed 10-of-12 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown in 2016.

Jonas Pope IV: 919-419-6501, @JEPopeIV