HBCU Football Recruiting Classes (Part 1)

By Donal Ware
Updated: April 21, 2009

FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C.“From The Press Box To Press Row” , the sports talk radio show that places major emphasis on HBCU Sports, has released its rankings of the top 10 HBCU football FCS recruiting classes for 2009.

“From The Press Box To Press Row” first ranked the top classes in 2006 and 2007 but did not in 2008 and is now bringing the rankings back by popular demand.

The rankings are based on the talent that was brought in and research that FTPBTPR did, based upon school releases and recruiting boards. Today, we’ll look at teams 6-10.

10. North Carolina A&T

Under new head coach Alonzo Lee, the Aggies already had a solid recruiting class, but the late signing of athlete Larry Raper has put the Aggies in our top 10. Raper is ranked as the no. 52 athlete in the country and 15th in the state of North Carolina. The Aggies initial recruiting class saw them stay in their own backyard and sign QB Rickie Lewis, Jr., who led Dudley to back-to-back Class 3-AA titles and was the News and Record’s All-area Player of the Year and first team All-State and was 22-0 as a starter. Teammate DE Chris Neal could also come in and contribute.

9. Alabama State

The Hornets’ signing class consisted of 29 two-star rated rivals.com players. OLB Justin Marable (Lithia Springs), LB Leland Baker (E.B. Erwin), and WR Raphael Poellnitz were probably the top three recruits. Marable and Poellnitz received high interest from programs in the SEC. Poellnitz played in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star game. Baker was an all-state performer and finished his high school career with 67 sacks.

8. Southern

The Jaguars signed DT Trae Tiller (Canal Winchester (OH) Harvest Prep) late as he was not part of the Jaguars original recruiting class. Tiller played on a small team but has big time talent and received high interest from Ohio State. HelenaHigh School star RB Darin Self could make an immediate impact as the Jaguars running game could use a boost. Safety Adonis Armstrong (Clinton (MS) High School) was rated as one of the top DBs in the state of Mississippi.

7 Delaware State

The Hornets usually have one of the smaller recruiting classes, but tends to bring in some top talent. As is Coach Al Lavan’s style he brought in a couple of I-A transfers that should play right away. QB Chris Johnson, who transferred from BostonCollege redshirted in 2007 and did not play in 2008. Throw into the mix Cincinnati transfer Tahree McQueen who also redshirted in 2007 and did not play in 2008. With Lavan being a former running backs coach in the NFL, McQueen should succeed in the DSU system. The Hornets also received three two-star rivals.com commitments in DTs Jadira Green (Oxon HillHigh School) and Ernest Robinson (HargraveMilitaryAcademy), and OL Danzel Manley (Eleanor Roosevelt).

6. Jackson State

The Tigers signed 28 players to national letters of intent. Seven of its players were from the Atlanta metro area and two of them were high school teammates at BannekerHigh School. RB Alfred Moreland, who at one time had committed to Mississippi, totaled almost 1,900 yards his senior season (1,213) of those rushing with 15 TDs. LB Milton Patterson was rated a three-star athlete by rivals.com and received interest from MississippiState. Two other in-state players that really excite the JSU staff are WR Rico Richardson (NatchezHigh School), who totaled 3,500 career receiving yards and tackle Jonathan Billups (PicayuneHigh School).

NEXT: The top five classes.