Greensboro, N.C. — Guilford College head football coach Kevin Kiesel announced the intention of seven incoming freshmen to play football for the Quakers Thursday. All seven students have paid their deposit to the college and will enroll for classes in August.
Dustin Bennett (Raleigh, N.C.) lettered two seasons at Millbrook High School for coach Clarence Inscore, a 1992 Guilford graduate and football alumnus. Bennett, a 5-11, 170-pound defensive back, led his team to the third round of the 4-A state playoffs in 2004 and 2007. As a captain his senior season, he was named the team’s defensive player of the year and earned All-CAP 7 Conference honors. A three-time wrestling letter winner, Bennett received all-conference laurels and was a state regional qualifier. Bennett considered Catawba College, North Carolina State University, and East Carolina University before choosing Guilford.
Chris Bray (Greensboro, N.C.) lettered four seasons in football at John M. Morehead High School for coach Mickey Crouch. The 5-11, 175-pound quarterback/cornerback earned All-Triad Conference honors his junior and senior seasons. In 2007, he led the league with six interceptions. A two-sport athlete, he also lettered three years in basketball. Bray considered Winston-Salem State University, Averett University and East Carolina University before choosing to play for the Quakers.
Aaron French (Salisbury, N.C.) lettered three seasons with East Rowan High School’s football squad under coach Brian Hinson. The 6-2, 215-pound tight end/tackle/defensive end also lettered twice in wrestling, where he earned All-Rowan County honors, and once in track and field as a discus thrower. French is a member of the National Honor Roll and received a service award from his church youth group. He considered East Carolina University and Appalachian State University before deciding to play with the Quakers.
Josh Goldstein (Mills River, N.C.) lettered four seasons with the football team at North Henderson High School for coach Luke Manuel. A 6-0, 220-pound lineman/linebacker, he was an honorable mention All-Western Athletic Conference selection for four years. He was also a member of the lacrosse team, a regional qualifier in wrestling and a member of the conference champion track team. In addition to playing four sports, he was also the student body president and an active member of the student council. Goldstein considered Western Carolina University and Appalachian State University before choosing to play for the Quakers.
Chip Smith Jr. (Morehead City, N.C.) lettered two seasons with the football team at Havelock High School for his father, coach Charlie Smith. A 6-3, 175-pound free safety/wide receiver, he also lettered twice in basketball and baseball. His uncle, Dennis Smith, is a 1992 graduate of Guilford. Smith also considered Campbell University, North Carolina Wesleyan and Coastal Carolina University.
Zach Spencer (Union Grove, N.C.) lettered four seasons at North Iredell High School under coach Lee Linville. The 5-10, 165-pound kicker also lettered four years in soccer and two years in wrestling. Spencer is a member of the National Technical Honor Society. He also considered Methodist University before choosing Guilford.
Sean Wilber (Lexington, N.C.) lettered two seasons with the West Davidson High School football squad for coach Dale Barnes. The 6-4, 195-pound quarterback was the team’s Most Valuable Player and led the Dragons to the 2007 Central Carolina Conference championship. He also lettered twice in basketball and golf, and once in track. A four-year scholar athlete, Wilber was a junior marshal and a four-year honor roll member. His father, Donn Wilber, played for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers in 1977 and played professional basketball in Italy for six years. Wilber also considered Coastal Carolina University, Wingate University and Bucknell University before choosing Guilford.
The Quakers concluded the 2007 season with a 6-4 overall record, 2-4 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), and posted their first back-to-back winning campaigns since 1990-91. Guilford lost nine seniors from the 2007 team and expect as many as 82 letter winners back in 2008. The Quakers set or tied at least 26 team and individual school records last year and led NCAA Division III in passing yards per game for the second straight season (376.9 ypg). Guilford opens the 2008 campaign at home Sept. 6 under the lights of Armfield Athletic Center versus crosstown-rival Greensboro College.