College Sports

5 things to know about the Charlotte 49ers’ recruiting class

Before heading off to play football at Tennessee, Marquill Osborne, left, was a standout at Hough High School. He will play next season for the Charlotte 49ers.
Before heading off to play football at Tennessee, Marquill Osborne, left, was a standout at Hough High School. He will play next season for the Charlotte 49ers. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Five things to know about the Charlotte 49ers’ 2019 football recruiting class, which grew to 20 during Wednesday’s first day of the late signing period: New Charlotte 49ers coach Will Healy signed six players Wednesday.

▪ Four of them are high school players – receivers Jamel Brown (Desert Pines, Nev.), Micaleous Elder (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Noah Henderson (Nashville, Tenn.) and tight end Jaylan Williams (Acworth, Ga.). The others are grad transfers Brett Kean, a quarterback from South Florida, and Phil Walton, an offensive lineman from N.C. State who attended Charlotte Christian. Three others enrolled in school in January: transfers Marquill Osborne (Tennessee and Hough High) and linebacker Brelin Faison-Walden (Penn State), as well as linebacker Prince Bemah of Gastonia Huss.

▪ Healy said he thought the freshmen receivers – Brown, Elder and Henderson – all had the potential to contribute immediately. The 49ers lose two starters to graduation at that spot and although the productive and dynamic Victor Tucker and Rico Arnold return for their sophomore seasons, there will be room for at least two others to emerge.

▪  The addition of Kean, South Florida’s backup the last two seasons, will make for an interesting competition at quarterback. Sophomore Chris Reynolds and senior Evan Shirreffs both started at times last season (Reynolds until he was hurt, Shirreffs for x games after that), but it might come down to who can impress a new coaching staff the most and best adapts to Healy’s spread-option offense.

▪  Healy said he might still sign a few other players, especially if he finds any offensive or defensive linemen that have yet to be uncovered.

▪ Of the 20 new 49ers players, five are from Mecklenburg County and another (Bemah) is from Gastonia. Recruiting well in the Charlotte area is a priority for Healy.

Appalachian State

The Mountaineers signed nine players Wednesday, including quarterback David Baldwin-Griffin of Compton, Calif., a 6-foot-4, 215-pound dual-threat lefty who threw for 532 yards and 10 touchdowns and ran for 244 yards last season for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Davidson

Davidson received commitments from 24 players (the Football Championship Subdivision’s Wildcats don’t offer football scholarships). Best of the bunch are Kenny Collins, a slotback who rushed for 1,012 yards last season at Bishop Amat High in Los Angeles; kicker Caden Bonoffski of the Community School of Davidson, who made six-of-10 field goals last season and averaged 40 yards per punt during his career; and defensive back Brian Jacobs, who helped Charlotte Catholic to three state championships.

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