Vanderbilt football signs 19 players to begin Clark Lea era

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Vanderbilt helmets sit on an equipment trunk in the second half of an NCAA college football game against LSU Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Nashville, Tenn. (Vanderbilt Athletics)- On Wednesday, Vanderbilt University announced 19 student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Commodore football program. In addition, two transfers have joined the incoming class.

This new group, who will play under new head coach Clark Lea, includes five defensive backs, five defensive linemen, five offensive linemen, three wide receivers, two linebackers and one running back. 

Seven players come out of the state of Georgia; wide receiver Gamarion Carter, defensive lineman Jacques Hunter, defensive lineman Devin Lee, offensive lineman Gage Pitchford, linebacker Errington Truesdell, defensive back Alan Wright and defensive back James Ziglor III.

Carter arrives on West End from Stephens County High School, where he was a two-time Region 8-4A first team selection. Hunter is from Lowndes High School and was a two-time first team all-region honoree who earned all-state accolades in 2019. Lee helped Ola High School to a 9-2 record as a senior, when he totaled 58 tackles and 9.0 sacks. Pitchford helped East Coweta High School to an eight-game winning streak this fall and its first Region 2-7A championship since 2002.

As for Truesdell, he helped Woodward Academy to the Georgia High School Association 4A state semifinals as a junior, closed his final campaign with 107 tackles. Wright, a teammate of Truesdell at Woodward Academy and the younger brother of Commodore quarterback Mike Wright, was a 4-AAAA all-region first team pick in 2019. Ziglor III helped Harrison High School to a 15-0 record and 6A state championship as a junior before totaling 1,058 all-purpose yards as a senior.

Offensive lineman Delfin Xavier Castillo, offensive lineman Gunnar Hansen, defensive back Tyson Russell and wide receiver Quincy Skinner Jr. head to Nashville via Florida.

Castillo helped Osceola High School to the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 8A state playoffs every year of his career. Hansen is one of three to sign at Vanderbilt from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, and earned South Florida Sun Sentinel Palm Beach 5A, 1A first-team offense accolades in 2019. Russell is a consensus three-star prospect who helped St. Thomas Aquinas to a 15-0 mark and state title as a junior. Skinner Jr. is the 56th-ranked wide receiver prospect nationally, by Rivals.com,and played with Hansen and Russell at St. Thomas Aquinas.

And joining the program from Alabama are defensive lineman Tyler Bence and defensive back Marlen Sewell. Bence, out of Huntsville High School, is a three-time all-city first team selection. Sewell helped Shades Valley High School to the Alabama High School Athletic Association state playoffs in 2020, just the program’s fourth postseason appearance in 20 years.

Two defensive players come to Music City from Maryland; Marcus Bradley and Terion Sugick. Bradley, a consensus four-star prospect, helped Quince Orchard High School to a 12-1 record and trip to the state semifinals in 2019. Sugick was the two-time defensive player of the year at National Christian Academy before transferring to Rock Creek Christian for his senior campaign.

Wide receiver Ezra McAllister is from Michigan and joins the Commodores after earning all-state honors and helping Marshall High School to the Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs in 2019 for the first time since 2015.

Jake Ketschek hails from New Jersey and is an offensive lineman from St. Augustine Prep, who earned first team all-state honors in 2019.

Making the move from South Carolina to the Music City is linebacker Miles Capers. Before his junior year at Sumter High School, Capers shifted from primary running back to the defensive line and helped the Fighting Gamecocks to an 8-1 record and No. 6 MaxPreps ranking in the state during his senior season.

John Howse IVis a product of Nashville, receiving all-region accolades each year of his career for Brentwood High School.

The Commodores also added Temple transfer Re’Mahn Davis and West Virginia transfer Oyenmwen Uzebu.

Davis is a running back of San Francisco, played in 16 games during the 2019 and 2020 seasons, and finished with 271 carries for 1,259 yards (4.6 yards/carry) and nine touchdowns to go along with 27 receptions for 243 yards (9.0 yards/catch) and two scores.

An offensive lineman from Atlanta, Uzebu was a reserve tackle for the Mountaineers who played in two games during the 2019 season. At Alpharetta High School, Uzebu played offensive tackle and earned all-region 7-6A honors.

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