VMI Football Announces 2017 Signings
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com  
Release: 02/01/2017
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Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com

LEXINGTON, Va. – Virginia Military Institute head coach Scott Wachenheim today announced the signings of the 2017 football recruiting class.

“VMI football's 2017 recruiting class is made up of men of character with an outstanding academic foundation who love playing football and desire the unique leadership training VMI provides,” said Wachenheim. “Our signing class includes student-athletes from six states Texas, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. It is a competitive group that looks to make an immediate impact on VMI football.”

The following signees are members of the 2017 VMI Football recruiting class. The info below includes name, position, height, weight, high school, and hometown. Further capsule information on each signee follows.

2017 VMI FOOTBALL SIGNEES (As of 2/1/17)

Chris Anderson, WR, 6-1, 190, Lutz, Fla. (Admiral Farragut)

Imani Bey, LB, 6-3, 205, Upper Marlboro, Md. (Bishop McNamara)

George Brown, DL, 6-0, 285, Fredericksburg, Va. (Chancellor)

Will Bunton, DB, 6-0, 185, South Mills, N.C. (Camden County)

Tyren Cloyd, LB, 6-1, 190, Chesterfield, Va. (Benedictine)

Brad Davis, OL, 6-4, 255, Victoria, Va. (Fuqua School)

Montrece Gatling, DB, 5-9, 190, Havelock, N.C. (Havelock)

Jaylen Jefferson, DB, 5-9, 180, Chesapeake, Va. (Deep Creek)

Colin Loftis, DB, 6-0, 170, Arlington, Tex. (Mansfield Timberview)

Noah Manuel-Delaney, DL 6-4, 220, Fredericksburg, Va. (Chancellor)

Christopher Owens, WR, 6-0, 170, Aberdeen, N.C (Pinecrest)

Collin Reece, OL, 6-9, 290, Chesapeake, Va. (Grassfield)

Colby Rider, TE, 6-2, 240, Barren Springs, Va. (Fort Chiswell)

AJ Smith, ATH, 6-2, 200, Virginia Beach, Va. (Cox)

Shane Strand, OL, 6-5, 260, Fredericksburg, Va. (Colonial Forge)

Kris Thornton, WR, 5-8, 160, Manassas, Va. (Osbourne)

Reece Udinski, QB, 6-4, 180, North Wales, Pa. (North Penn)

Chuck Weatherman, DL, 6-5, 230, Staunton, Va. (Buffalo Gap)

EXTENDED PROFILES

Chris Anderson, WR, 6-1, 190, Lutz, Fla. (Admiral Farragut)

Four-year letterwinner in both football and track at Admiral Farragut HS in St. Petersburg, Fla. ...played wide receiver and safety under head coach Rick Kravitz ... on offense, totaled 54 career catches for 735 yards and five touchdowns ... as a safety, tallied three interceptions, three forced fumbles, two sacks and 43 tackles .

Imani Bey, LB, 6-3, 205, Upper Marlboro, Md. (Bishop McNamara)

As a senior, tallied 69 tackles, eight sacks and forced five fumbles … recovered three fumbles on the year … as a junior in 2015, played in six games, recording six sacks and 40 tackles, including one safety … runs a 4.55 40-yard dash and has a 34-inch vertical.

George Brown, DL, 6-0, 285, Fredericksburg, Va. (Chancellor)

Recorded 219 total tackles over four years of varsity football, including 58 solo, for an average of 5.8 tackles per game … logged seven sacks since the 2013 season and caused three fumbles, recovering one … played in 38 varsity games in high school, starting all 11 in 2015 and 2016 … tallied 67 tackles in both his senior and junior seasons for a 6.1 tackles per game average … registered 11.5 tackles for loss as a senior, topping the 6.5 from his junior year and 8.5 as a sophomore … earned four sacks his senior year

Will Bunton, DB, 6-0, 185, South Mills, N.C. (Camden County)

Played in 31 varsity games in high school, including 12 as both a junior and senior … recorded 87 tackles over his career, including 54 solo takedowns, for an average of 2.8 tackles per game … logged 36 tackles as a junior and 26 as a senior … tallied 13 interceptions in high school, including seven as a sophomore, five as a junior and one his senior year … 297 interception yards, including 151 his sophomore year and 146 as a junior … also played as a tailback on offense, recording 16 touchdowns, 928 rush yards and 553 receiving yards between his junior and senior years … his senior year alone had 235 receiving yards and 859 rushing yards … had 10 touchdowns as a senior, including seven on the ground, two in the air and one pick-six.

Tyren Cloyd, LB, 6-1, 190, Chesterfield, Va. (Benedictine)

Had 40 tackles and two forced fumbles as a senior…also recovered three fumbles and had four tackles for loss…as a junior in 2015, logged 33 tackles (19 solo) over nine games for an average of 3.7 tackles per game … had three tackles for loss in 2015, including one sack, and caused two fumbles, recovering both…served as team captain…played on two state championship squads…starting outside linebacker in 804 vs. 757 Senior Bowl…lettered three years in track in long and triple jumps…uncle played ILB at UVA-Wise

Brad Davis, OL, 6-4, 255, Victoria, Va. (Fuqua School)

All-State First Team OL in 2015 and 2016 and was First Team All-State as DL in 2016…Two-time team MVP on OL…had 38 tackles and 31 assists with a sack and pass deflection in 2016…Named a Virginia Commonwealth Conference First Team All-Conference offensive lineman in 2014 … VCC All-Academic in 2013 and 2014 … SCA President and recipient of the Anna McGovern scholarship…father was an offensive lineman at Randolph-Macon…

Montrece Gatling, DB, 5-9, 190, Havelock, N.C. (Havelock)

Named All-Conference and All-Area as a defensive back in 2016 … over his career, had 111 total tackles, including 50 solo, for a 2.1 tackles per game average … recorded three interceptions, caused two fumbles and deflected 38 passes over his four years … as a senior, had 37 tackles (20 solo), 22 pass deflections, two interceptions and 1.5 tackles for loss over 15 games … as a junior, tallied 21 tackles (8 solo), one tackles for loss and nine deflected passes … in 2014 sophomore season, logged 48 tackles (21 solo) for an average of three tackles per game and had three tackles for loss … also a kickoff return specialist, registered 277 kickoff return yards over his career, including 231 as a senior as he averaged 38.5 return yards per kick … on offense, carried the ball 188 times over his four years, including 67 as a senior and 75 his junior year, for 1,245 rushing yards (6.6 per game) … recorded 17 touchdowns on offense, including five as a senior and nine as a junior … also logged receiving yards in his final two seasons, totaling 16 receptions for 163 yards (124 as a senior), or 10.2 yards per reception.

Jaylen Jefferson, DB, 5-9, 180, Chesapeake, Va. (Deep Creek)

Named First Team All-Conference as a defensive back and Second Team All-Conference as a quarterback his senior year … participated in the 757 All-Star game in 2016 … prior to his senior year, participated at the Nike Football The Opening Regional in Washington, D.C. … as a junior in 2015, registered 68 tackles, 10 passes deflected, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and recovered two fumbles … logged six touchdowns in 2015.

Colin Loftis, DB, 6-0, 170, Arlington, Tex. (Mansfield Timberview)

Named Second Team All-Conference as a senior …had over 200 tackles in career with six interceptions and 15 pass break-ups…had 65 tackles as a junior, 51 of which were solo … averaged 7.4 tackles per game junior year … helped team to a conference title as a sophomore in 2014…also lettered in track and basketball

Noah Manuel-Delaney, DL 6-4, 220, Fredericksburg, Va. (Chancellor)

Totaled 187 career tackles in high school, including 104 his senior year, for an average of 8.7 tackles per game … 41 of the 104 tackles in 2016 were solo takedowns as he logged 9.5 tackles for loss in addition to a pass breakup and forced fumble … as a junior, logged 58 tackles (10 solo) for an average of 5.3 tackles per game and had four tackles for loss and one pass breakup … registered seven sacks in high school, six of which came his senior year … saw time as a wide receiver both years, tallying nine catches for 160 yards as a senior (17.8 ypc) and eight receptions for 70 yards (8.8 ypc) as a junior … scored five receiving touchdowns in high school, including four in 2016 …

Christopher Owens, WR, 6-0, 170, Aberdeen, N.C (Pinecrest)

Over his junior and senior seasons, totaled 60 catches for 1,548 yards for an average of 25.8 yards per reception … tallied 17 receiving touchdowns between his junior and senior years … averaged 77.4 receiving yards per game the past two years … in 12 games as a senior, logged 43 receptions for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 25 yards per catch and 89.5 receiving yards a game … had a season-best 93-yard TD reception … as a junior in 2015, played in eight varsity games and had 17 receptions for 474 yards for an average of 27.9 yards per catch and 59.3 receiving yards per game … totaled seven receiving touchdowns as a junior.

Collin Reece, OL, 6-9, 290, Chesapeake, Va. (Grassfield)

Two-year letterman under head coach Martin Asprey at Grassfield HS ... also played two years of basketball and one year of volleyball ... member of the Grassfield Lacrosse Club and the Boo Willams AAU basketball team.

Colby Rider, TE, 6-2, 240, Barren Springs, Va. (Fort Chiswell)

Four-year letterman as a tight end / defensive end under head coach Todd Tiller at Fort Chiswell HS ... named First Team All-State as a tight end and Second Team All-State as a defensive end ... also played center for four years on the basketball team ... All-Region track and field team member.

AJ Smith, ATH, 6-2, 200, Virginia Beach, Va. (Cox)

Named a Top 50 Recruit by The Virginian-Pilot for 2017 in South Hampton Roads…named defense impact player of the year…had highest playoff passing percentage mark at Cox… first team all-conference and second team all-region…also lettered three years in basketball and was team MVP and second team all-conference…played for AAU basketball Elite Express.

Shane Strand, OL, 6-5, 260, Fredericksburg, Va. (Colonial Forge)

Named to the First Team All-6A South Region team as an offensive lineman … named to the First Team All-Conference 4 football team by InsideNova.com as a lineman…named second team All-State…sisters Sarah and Megan Strand both played women’s soccer at VMI.

Kris Thornton, WR, 5-8, 160, Manassas, Va. (Osbourne)

As a senior wide receiver, caught 94 passes for 1,601 yards for an average of 17 yards per catch and 160 receiving yards per game in 2016 … had 16 touchdown receptions in 2016, including a long of 89 yards … carried the ball 15 times for 102 yards as a senior for a 6.8 yards per rush average … totaled 31 touchdowns in high school, composed by 16 receiving TDs as a senior, 12 rushing TDs as a junior and three kickoff returns for touchdowns … logged 3,197 all-purpose yards between his junior and senior seasons, including 2,053 in 2016 … a kickoff and punt return specialist, returned two kickoffs for touchdowns as a senior and one as a junior … as a senior returned nine kickoffs for 325 yards for a 36.1 average per kickoff return, including a 95-yard touchdown return … as a junior returned nine kickoffs for 303 yards for a 33.7 average, including a long of 80 yards … also returned four punts in 2015 for 43 yards for a 10.8 punt return average … played primarily as a running back his junior year in 2015, scoring 12 touchdowns as he carried the ball 123 times for 616 yards for an average of five yards per rush and 61.6 yards per game … earned 182 receiving yards on 20 catches his junior year for 9.1 yards per catch … earned playing time on the defensive side of the ball, grabbing three interceptions as a senior and one as a junior.

Reece Udinski, QB, 6-4, 180, North Wales, Pa. (North Penn)

As a senior, named All-Area Player of the Year as he led the Knights to a 6A District 1 title and 14-1 record, falling only in the state championship game … named 6A First Team All-State by the Pennsylvania Football Writers Association and to the All-Southeastern PA football team … only second player in state high school history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a single season … destroyed previous District 1 passing yards in a single season record with 4,119, breaking previous mark of 3,300 … in 2016, tallied 41 receiving touchdowns on a 62 percent (210-336) completion percentage … averaged 274.6 pass yards per game, eclipsing 300 yards in six separate games, including school record 444 versus Garnet Valley … as a junior in 2015, named First Team All-League and Second Team All-Area as he went 154-241 passing for 2,471 yards … threw 20 receiving touchdowns in 2015 … transferred from Central Bucks West HS prior to his junior season at North Penn.

Chuck Weatherman, DL, 6-5, 230, Staunton, Va. (Buffalo Gap)

Named a First Team All-State linebacker as a senior … as a junior in 2015, named Second Team All-Region and First Team All-District, First Team All-State Underclassman LB and a Second Team All-District tight end … 107 career tackles, including 55 solo … nine career sacks and one interception … as a tight end, logged 11 receptions and three touchdown catches.


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