The Citadel Announces 2015 Football Signing Class

Coach Houston & staff got the players they wanted, a rarity these days.

Coach Houston & staff got the players they wanted, a rarity these days.

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Citadel head coach Mike Houston announced on Wednesday the addition of 17 players who have signed National Letters of Intent and will join the Bulldog football program this year. The recruiting class is slanted towards defense, with 12 players recruited on that side of the line of scrimmage and six being defensive linemen. Three newcomers are being brought in on offense including Jordan Black, who spent his first three seasons at Vidalia (Ga.) High School as a wide receiver before moving to quarterback and earning all-state honors from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The Citadel coaching staff focused on the Southeast for this year’s class, with all 17 players hailing from the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama. The Palmetto State leads the way with eight recruits including Lowcountry product Brady Cormier, a kicker from Beaufort High School. Seven come from Georgia and one each from Alabama and North Carolina, although Tar Heel native Kevin Graham attended high school in Georgia. Four of the players from South Carolina (Tyler Davis, Rod Johnson, Aron Spann and Jordan Williams) were selected to play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, and Khafari Buffalo and Jalon Williams were in the North-South All-Star Game.

The commitment from Tyler Jackson continues The Citadel’s recruiting success in Mobile, Ala. The Bulldogs have brought in a player from that city in each of the last four classes, with Jackson joining former high school teammates James Riley and Cam Jackson. Cam Mobley, a senior on the 2014 team, is also from Mobile but attended a different high school.

Black is a nephew of Pittsburgh Steeler great and NFL Hall of Famer Mel Blount. Isaiah Hawkins, a defensive lineman, is a cousin of Erik Kynard Jr., who won a silver medal in the high jump at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

In addition to the players who signing NLIs with The Citadel, three other recruited student-athletes will also be attending The Military College of South Carolina. That group includes safety Donald Rutledge (Sumter/Crestwood), linebacker/long snapper Patrick Keefe (Fort Walton Beach, Fla./Choctawhatchee) and running back Donovan Ward (Columbia/Dreher).

Ken Allen, DL, 6-1, 275, Elberton, Ga./Elbert County
Lettered all four years in football and also competes in track and field, wrestling and soccer … four-time member of the all-region team and was named the region player of the year following his junior campaign … selected to the all-state squad in 2013 and 2014 and played in the Georgia Junior Bowl following the 2013 season … member of team that reached the Elite 8 of the state playoffs in 2011 and 2014 … won state heavyweight title in wrestling his senior year after placing sixth as a sophomore and second as a junior … outstanding student who has received excellence awards in economics, math and U.S. History … Kentavius O’Brien Allen … born Sept. 28, 1996 … son of Danny and Carolyn Allen … plans on majoring in civil engineering.

Jordan Black, QB, 6-1, 185, Vidalia, Ga./Vidalia
Lettered four times in football and has received three in basketball and baseball … was a wide receiver his first three seasons before taking over at quarterback his senior year … named to all-region team each year … served as team captain his senior year and was selected to the Atlanta Journal Constitution Class 2A all-state team and the WTOC Super 11 squad as a quarterback as well as the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association 2A South Athlete of the Year … chosen to the All-Middle Georgia all-star team as a junior … three-time member of the all-region team in basketball and once in baseball … three-year member of the Honor Roll … Jordan Patrick Black … born Sept. 24, 1996 … son of Chris and Katrina Black … uncle, Mel Blount, played for the Steelers and is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame … plans on majoring in biology.

Khafari Buffalo, S, 6-2, 185, Sumter, S.C./Lakewood
Lettered three times in football and has received three in track and field and one each in basketball and tennis … named first team all-region his final two seasons and all-area his senior year … selected to play in the North-South All-Star Game in 2014 … posted career totals of 116 tackles, five interceptions and nine pass breakups while catching 39 passes for 961 yards and six touchdowns … chosen to all-region team in tennis as a freshman and earned spots at the state track and field meet in the 200 meters and 4×100 meter relay … member of the A-B Honor Roll the past three years … Khafari Kamau Buffalo … born Nov. 18, 1996 … son of Kamau and Karen Buffalo … plans on majoring in health, exercise and sport science.

Brady Cormier, K, 5-10, 170, Beaufort, S.C./Beaufort
Lettered three times in football and four times in baseball … named to the all-area first team and was selected school’s special teams player of the year all three seasons … chosen to the All-Lowcountry team in 2012 … converted 21 of 30 field goal attempts during his career including a school-record 52-yarder his junior year and a 48-yarder as a sophomore … pitcher on the baseball team and was named team MVP, all-region and all-state last spring … received Best Pitcher Award as a sophomore when he helped Beaufort win a district title and finish as lower-state runners-up … member of the Honor Roll since his freshman year … Brady Callahan Cormier … born May 29, 1997 … son of Charles and Kristi Cormier … father played golf at Ferris State and later on the PGA Tour … plans on majoring in business administration.

Phil Davis, ILB, 6-1, 195, Marietta, Ga./Hillgrove
Lettered three times in football … recorded 130 tackles and five sacks his junior year and was named to the Cobb County Touchdown Club all-region team … posted 80 tackles to go along with two sacks and a pair of interceptions his senior season … Philip Louis Davis … born Oct. 8, 1996 … son of Philip and Maya Davis … plans on majoring in biology.

Tyler Davis, OL, 6-1, 280, Murrells Inlet, S.C./Waccamaw
Lettered all four years in football and has received three in wrestling … twice named to the all-region team, the WPDE All-Zone squad and as a recipient of the Toast of the Coast Award … selected to play in the 2014 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas … chosen to the High School Sports Report all-state team following his senior season and was a member of that publication’s all-rookie team as a sophomore … earned a spot in the National Honor Society … Tyler Edward Davis … born Oct. 8, 1996 … son of Tyronne and Jonella Davis … father played football at Clemson … plans on majoring in engineering.

Noah Dawkins, DL, 6-1, 225, Lyman, S.C./James F. Byrnes
Lettered two times in football … set school season record with 23 sacks as a senior … named ESPN Upstate Player of the Year and the Spartanburg Herald Journal Defensive Player of the Year … received the team’s Strongest Rebel Award … played for Citadel All-American and Athletic Hall of Fame member Lance Hansen … member of the Honor Roll … Noah Deontae Dawkins … born Aug. 13, 1997 … son of Ronald and Sheryl Dawkins … plans on majoring in business administration.

Attorney Gallman, DL, 6-1, 255, Hiram, Ga./Hiram
Lettered all four years in football and has received two in track and field … posted career totals of 163 tackles and six sacks … made 77 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two sacks his junior season … recovered a pair of fumbles his senior year … has thrown the discus the past two track and field seasons … inducted into the National Technical Honor Society in 2013 … served as a student ambassador in Ghana in 2009 to aid underprivileged children … Attorney Levay Gallman … born June 16, 1997 … son of Carlos and Yolanda Gallman … plans on majoring in electrical engineering.

Kevin Graham, DL, 6-1, 265, Durham, N.C./Rabun Gap-Nacoochee (Ga.)
Lettered all four years in football and also played basketball … posted 107 tackles and 26 tackles for loss his senior season and was on the all-state team for the second consecutive year … helped lead team to 11 wins and the state championship his senior year … Kevin Desmond Graham … born Jan. 15, 1997 … son of Kaye Graham … an uncle, Arthur Jimmerson, played for the Los Angeles Raiders … plans on majoring in business administration.

Isaiah Hawkins, DL, 6-1, 230, Alpharetta, Ga./Milton
Lettered three times in football also competes on the wrestling and lacrosse teams … registered a career total of 131 tackles, 50 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks and one interception which he returned for a touchdown … helped lead team to a record of 11-2 his senior year, losing in the third round of the state playoffs to Colquitt, the No. 3 team in the nation … Isaiah Miquich Hawkins … born Oct. 19, 1996 … son of Michael Hawkins and Takeisha Moore … cousin, Erik Kynard Jr., won a silver medal in the high jump at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and holds the NCAA record in the event … plans on majoring in business administration.

Tyler Jackson, CB, 6-1, 175, Mobile, Ala./Davidson
Lettered three times in football and four in track and field … joins former high school teammates James Riley and Cam Jackson as part of The Citadel’s Alabama connection … served as a team captain his senior year and finished the season with 25 tackles, 10 pass breakups, one interception and two blocked kicks … posted 24 tackles, defended six passes, recovered two fumbles and blocked a kick as a junior … competed in the 200 and 400 meters as well as the 4×100 and 4×400 relays in track and field … Tyler Keon Jackson … born Oct. 11, 1996 … son of Ramona Hall … plans on majoring in health, exercise and sport science.

Rod Johnson, A-Back, 5-11, 195, Ninety Six, S.C./Ninety Six
Lettered all four years in football and track and field and has earned three in baseball … named to the All-Lakelands team and Lakelands Player of the Year following his junior and senior seasons … selected to play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas … won county championship in the long jump … Rodriguez Kyre Johnson … born Nov. 13, 1996 … son of Rod Johnson and Nicole Brown … plans on majoring in civil engineering.

Curt Nixon, Athlete, 6-0, 180, Folkston, Ga./Charlton County
Lettered all four years in football and has received three in basketball and one in baseball … named to the all-region first team at several positions, including three times at wide receiver (2012-14), twice as a punt returner (2013-14) and once each at defensive back (2012) and kick returner (2014) … received the Champ Bailey Defensive Back Award following his senior season … three-time recipient of the team’s Most Outstanding Wide Receiver Award … member of the Georgia Sportswriters Association honorable mention all-state squad at wide receiver as a junior … twice chosen to the all-region academic team … on the basketball court was named defensive MVP and recipient of the Athletic Director’s Award in 2012-13 and honorable mention all-region in 2013-14 … four-year member of the A-B Honor Roll and earned the President’s Award last year … Curtis Jowuan Nixon … born Aug. 19, 1997 … son of Curtis and Pamela Nixon … plans on majoring in health, exercise and sport science.

Aron Spann, S, 6-2, 215, Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman
Lettered all four years in football and also participated on the basketball team his freshman and sophomore seasons … recorded 59 tackles, six tackles for loss, a sack, four pass breakups, three forced fumbles and an interception his senior year … also scored 20 touchdowns as a wide receiver and out of the wildcat formation at quarterback … named team’s Most Versatile Player, chosen to the all-area and all-region team and selected to play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas following his senior year … named team’s defensive MVP after posting 72 tackles and defending five passes his junior season … Charles Aron Spann III … born July 29, 1997 … son of Charles and Tamela Spann … plans on majoring in business administration with a concentration in accounting.

Jordan Thomas, LB, 6-1, 225, Fairburn, Ga./Our Lady of Mercy
Lettered all four years in football and has earned four in track and field … also played varsity football while in eighth grade … named an honorable mention all-region running back his junior and senior seasons while also starting at linebacker … played the rover position as a freshman before moving to outside linebacker as a sophomore and was an honorable mention all-region at that position … member of state-record holding 4×100 meter relay team among Class A private schools … has top marks of 148 feet in the discus, 46 feet in the shot put and 11.49 in the 100 meters … member of the Honor Roll … Jordan Brian Thomas … born March 12, 1997 … son of Brian and Monique Thomas … plans on majoring in business administration.

Jalon Williams, DL, 6-2, 245, Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley
Brother of Citadel recruit Jordan Williams … lettered three times in football and has received three in basketball and four in track and field … posted 98 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, six caused fumbles and 10 quarterback hurries his senior season … selected to play in the North-South All-Star Game and chosen team’s Defensive Linemen of the Year … placed fourth in the state in the discus and fifth in the shot put his junior year … also finished third in the state in the shot put his sophomore year and eighth in the discus as a freshman … helped team win state track and field championship in 2013 … Jalon Terrell Williams … born Oct. 28, 1996 … son of Karl Williams and Teresa Thompson and stepson of Maia Williams … plans on majoring in psychology or business management.

Jordan Williams, Bandit, 6-2, 195, Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley
Brother of Citadel recruit Jalon Williams … lettered three times in football and has earned three in track and field … recorded 119 tackles, 27 tackles for loss and 13 sacks his senior season and was selected to play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas … registered 129 tackles, five sacks and an interception and rushed for seven touchdowns as a junior … placed seventh in the 4×100 meter relay while helping team win state track and field title in 2013 … also ranked No. 1 in the region in 100 meters and triple jump and sixth in the 4×400 relay … Jordan Terrell Williams … born April 8, 1997 … son of Karl and Maia Williams … related to former NFL players Willie Williams (Steelers, Seahawks) and David Patten (Patriots, Giants) … plans on majoring in sports management.

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