ELON, N.C. – Elon University football signed 11 future student-athletes Wednesday, Dec. 19, to National Letters of Intent to play for the Phoenix next season. The class includes five from the state of North Carolina. One will enroll for the spring semester.
Along with the five signees from North Carolina, two hail from the state of Virginia with one apiece from Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey and Ohio. The group is comprised of three offensive linemen, three defensive backs, one quarterback, one tight end, one wide receiver, one running back and one athlete.
“We addressed several program needs with this recruiting class,” Trisciani said of the program’s signees. “We still have some needs and athletes we’re excited about recruiting when we hit the road again in January, but I’m very happy with the class and I feel we have a group of talented young men with high character and a passion for football joining our program. What I like most about this group of individuals is they want to be here at Elon University – they value the Elon experience, the degree and the upward trajectory of our program.”
The Defensive Backs
Defensive Back | 6-1 | 180
Manassas, Va. | Osbourn
-Played defensive back, wide receiver and kick returner for Osbourn and head coach Cortez Whiting.
-Picked up All-Region and First Team All-District honors as a defensive back as a senior.
-Earned All-District honors as a junior and was tabbed Regional MVP as a junior.
-Also ran track at Osbourn.
Cornerback | 6-1 | 184
Upper Marlboro, Md. | Landon
-Played cornerback and wide receiver for Landon High School and coach Paul Padalino.
-Earned All-Conference honors as both a junior and senior.
-Also played basketball at Landon School.
Defensive Back | 6-0 | 195
Burlington, N.J. | Burlington Township
-Was a four-year starter at defensive back for head coach Tom Madeira at Burlington Township High School.
-Finished with 100 tackles – 61 solo – to go with four sacks, four interceptions and two forced fumbles as a senior and helped Burlington Township allow just 11.5 points per game as a senior.
-Earned All-State, All-County and All-Conference honors as a senior.
-Was picked as the county and conference’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.
-Also earned All-County honors as a junior and All-Conference accolades as a sophomore.
-Finished his career with 10 interceptions.
-Also played basketball and ran track.
The Offensive Line
Offensive Lineman | 6-5 | 280
Wake Forest, N.C. | Heritage
-Played on the offensive line for head coach Wallace Clark at Heritage High School.
-Also played lacrosse at Heritage.
-Father, Bruce Gilbert, played football at St. Joseph’s.
Offensive Lineman | 6-2 | 300
Statesville, N.C. | Statesville
-Was a member of the offensive line at Statesville High School for head coach Randal Gusler.
-Earned All-Conference honors as a sophomore, junior and senior.
-Picked up All-County accolades as a junior and senior.
-Finished with 68 knockdowns as a senior at Statesville.
Offensive Lineman | 6-5 | 295
Mooresville, N.C. | South Iredell
-Was a member of the offensive line at South Iredell High School for head coach Scott Miller.
-Played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in Spartanburg, S.C., over the weekend.
-Earned All-Conference honors in each of his final two seasons with South Iredell.
-Also picked up All-County honors as a junior.
Athlete | 6-1 | 180
Indianapolis, Ind. | Cathedral
-Set single-season school records in receptions and receiving touchdowns as a senior at Cathedral High School for head coach Bill Peebles.
-Hauled in 84 catches for 1,075 yards with 18 touchdowns as a senior to go with five interceptions on the defensive side of the ball.
-Earned 5A Senior All-State, Indy Star High School Super Team and Team MVP honors in his final season at Cathedral.
-Was named a 5A All-State honoree as a junior.
-Also played baseball at Cathedral.
-Brother, Luke Sanders, is a wide receiver at Western Michigan.
From the Coach’s Desk: “We have a good mix of big, talented players up front with some skilled safeties joining us with this signing class. With the graduation of All-Conference and All-American offensive linemen, we needed to rebuild there and we did with Zane Gilbert, Jabril Williams and Jack Cutler. Our class also has three defensive backs in Antonio White, Chazz Harley and Omar Rogers. We like the skillset they bring to our program and they have the ability to play multiple positions in our secondary. That will be key for us over the next few years after graduating six defensive backs across the 2018 and 2019 season. In addition to those three, Bo Sanders has been a very productive football player on both sides of the ball and in the return game and we’re excited to get each of these young men on campus.”
The Tight End
Tight End | 6-3 | 230
Lewis Center, Ohio | Olentangy
-Played tight end at Olentangy High School for head coach Mark Solis.
-Earned All-County and All-District honors each of his final three seasons.
-Also picked up All-Metro honors twice and All-Region accolades as a senior.
-Caught 103 passes for 1,600 yards with 17 touchdowns in his final three seasons of high school football.
-Father, Ron Drummond, played football at Ohio State.
From the Coach’s Desk: “It was very important that we sign a tight end who would be a factor in our ground attack and the passing game. Ian Drummond definitely brings that skill set for us.”
Quarterback | 5-10 | 185
Leesburg, Va. | Tuscarora
-A dual-threat quarterback from Tuscarora High School for head coach Brandon Wheelbarger.
-Helped Tuscarora to the Class 5 State Championship game with a 12-3 record as a junior and the semifinals as a senior.
-Tallied over 3,000 yards of offense and was responsible for 30 touchdowns as a junior.
-Finished his career with 68 total touchdowns.
The Wide Receiver
Wide Receiver | 6-0 | 185
Pembroke, N.C. | Purnell Swett
-Named Player of the Year for the Sandhills Athletic Conference as a senior wide receiver at Purnell Swett for head coach Jon Sherman.
-Named the team’s Offensive Player of the Year and MVP after his senior season.
-Finished his senior year with 1,700 all-purpose yards and 16 touchdowns.
-Also played baseball and basketball at Purnell Swett.
-Will enroll at Elon in February 2019.
The Running Back
Running Back | 5-9 | 182
Lenoir, N.C. | Hibriten
-Established as Hibriten High School’s top running back for head coach Clay Lewis.
-Helped Hibriten to a 14-1 record as a senior, rushing for 1,861 yards on 112 carries with 12 100-yard games and 39 touchdowns on the way to an appearance in the state semifinals.
-Earned Conference Player of the Year as a senior and All-State honors as both a junior and senior.
-Was a big part of Hibriten’s 16-0 state championship season as a junior in 2017, rushing for 2,057 yards and 37 touchdowns on the year.
From the Coach’s Desk: “I’m really excited about our offensive skill players. We have a dual-threat quarterback that can throw it in Justin Allen, a talented wide receiver in Chandler Brayboy who can go up and catch it with the best of them, and we have an electric running back in McKinley Witherspoon who has run for nearly 4,000 yards the last two seasons of high school ball.”
Season tickets for the 2019 season, the first under Trisciani, are on sale now though the Elon Ticket Office. To purchase tickets, order online by clicking here or contact the Ticket Office at 336-278-6750. Fans can also purchase season tickets in person by stopping by the Elon Ticket Office, which is located at Gate A of Schar Center. Season parking passes for the 2019 campaign will be on sale to Phoenix Club members at the Maroon & Gold ($250) giving level and above at a later date.