The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

February 6, 2013

Concord’s Justice fills biggest needs with 20-player class

ATHENS — Concord University has restocked its football roster with 20 players that committed by signing a letter of intent on Wednesday.

That includes six players each from West Virginia and North Carolina, with the Mountain Lions signing five offensive linemen and a trio of linebackers.

“I think it's very important we thank the kids' families who put their trust in us as coaches,” said Concord head coach Garin Justice, in a press release. “This class fills a lot of needs.

“It was nice to get players who are great character guys. Very few negative words were said about these players from their coaches.”

Princeton wide receiver Chad Wyrick, who decided on Concord over the University of Charleston on Tuesday night, spoke fondly of his decision during a signing ceremony at the school.

“It was a long process and I am just glad it is finally over,” the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Wyrick said. “It is a good school, a good football program and I am glad I am going to be able to be part of it.”

Joining Wyrick are five other West Virginians, including Mike Bailey, a 6-0, 265-pound offensive lineman from Woodrow Wilson in Beckley and Jennings Berry, a 5-8, 180-pound running back/linebacker from Meadow Bridge.

A pair of Wahama players also signed with the Mountain Lions, including quarterback Trenton Gibbs (6-1, 200) and linebacker Zach Wamsley (6-0, 215). Center Sam Plantz (6-0, 275) is a product of George Washington High School in Charleston.

Gibbs is the only quarterback signed by Concord.

Other familiar names to the region include Marion High School (Va.) running back Ethan Richardson (5-10, 183), Clintwood High School (Va.) linebacker Robbie Mullins (5-10, 215) and Jordan Bryant (6-2, 232), a tight end from Cave Spring High School in Roanoke, Va.

The signees from North Carolina include Brandon Fowler (DL, 6-1, 250, Charlotte), Dennis Ikic (LB, 6-1, 210, Clemmons), P.J. Jones (WR, 6-2, 175, Winston-Salem), Joseph Moody (OL, 6-1, 265, Matthews), Kamron Neese (OL, 6-1, 260, Greensboro) and Marquis Willis (CB, 5-10, 160, Statesville).

Two Maryland prospects were also inked by the Mountain Lions, including massive 6-3, 340-pound nose guard Darryl Johnson, along with Claudlier Shepherd (CB, 5-9, 160, Upper Marlboro).

The remaining members of the class include tight end Brian McDonough 6-3, 215, Harrison City, Pa.), offensive lineman Chris Norman (6-3, 295, Fort Mill, S.C.) and fullback Elijahwon Williams (5-10, 215, Okeechobee, Fla.).

Justice said during a press conference on Wednesday that the Mountain Lions hope to add around five more players in the spring.

Concord finished 7-4 last year, one season after winning the West Virginia Conference title in Justice’s first year as head coach. The Mountain Lions have won 28 games in the last four years after winning just 26 in the previous 10 seasons combined.

—Contact Brian Woodson

at bwoodson@bdtonline.com

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