Elon Football Signs 12 During Early Signing Period

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University football team and head coach Tony Trisciani announced the signing of 12 future student-athletes that signed their national letters of intent to play football for the Phoenix during the early signing period on Wednesday, Dec. 16.

The 2021 class welcomes five players from North Carolina, along with two from the states of Florida and Georgia. The Phoenix added six players on the offensive side of the ball, five on defense and one specialist.

“I’m very excited about this recruiting class,” said Trisciani. “Our staff did a great job of identifying, evaluating and developing relationships with our recruits during this difficult time. I’m pleased that we were able to sign five players from the state of North Carolina during a year without summer camps and a fall season. We had to rely heavily on past camp evaluations, junior film and workout film.

“We addressed program needs at all three levels of our defense with a big nose guard, two talented linebackers who can run sideline to sideline and are elusive blitzers, as well as, two skilled defensive backs with strong cover skills and position versatility,” Trisciani added. “Offensively, we are continuing to re-build our offensive line with a big strong guard and a long tackle who can both move people in the run game and protect the quarterback. We added two receivers and a tight end with good length and athleticism, along with a quarterback that can get the ball down the field and make good decisions.

“We added to our talented group of specialists with a big leg who can change field position in a hurry as an All-State punter and kicker. We have a talented football team returning and I’m looking forward to getting back to work after the holidays and preparing our guys for a spring season.”


Kevin Burkett • Offensive Line • 6-4 • 295 • Gatlinburg, Tenn. • Gatlinburg-Pittman High School

• First Team All-State
• First Team All-Region
• First Team All-County
• Regional Lineman of the Year
• Competed in baseball and track & field
• All-State in shot put
• Two-time All-Region in basketball
• Valedictorian

From Coach Trisciani: “Kevin is big, strong and nasty. He plays with an edge.”

From Coach Marino: “Kevin is a big, powerful and versatile football player. He has what we are looking for on and off the field.”

Caleb Curtain • Wide Receiver • 6-2 • 185 • Greensboro, N.C. • Grimsley High School

• All-Conference and team captain
• Posted 611 receiving yards and eight touchdowns
• Also had 354 return yards
• On defense recorded 45 tackles and two interceptions

From Coach Trisciani: “Caleb is a versatile athlete who has excelled as a two-way player. He has good speed, loose hips and the ability to make contested catches.”

From Coach Young: “Speed, quickness and versatility. Gets it done one both sides of the ball.”

Jamarien Dalton • Wide Receiver • 6-2 • 180 • Lexington, N.C. • North Davidson High School

• All-Conference, All-County and All-Northwest receiver
• State Championship runner-up
• Caught 58 passes for 1,009 yard and 13 touchdowns
• Also played basketball and was named the Conference Player of the Year and County Player of the Year
• All-Northwest and All-Conference performer in basketball
• Scored 1,000 points after his junior season
• Father played football at Western Carolina and brother played at William & Mary

From Coach Trisciani: “Jamarien is a talented two-sport athlete with length and ball skills. He is slippery with the ball in his hands and can turn a hitch into a 60-yard touchdown.”

From Coach Young: “Highly competitive athlete with length and speed. His best football is ahead of him.”

Luke Duska • Offensive Line • 6-5 • 293 • Philadelphia, Pa. • Roman Catholic High School

• First Team All-Philadelphia Catholic League as a senior
• Second Team All-Philadelphia Catholic League as a junior
• Two-time captain in football
• Four-year varsity starter and team captain in lacrosse

From Coach Trisciani: “Luke is an athletic big guy who has excellent skills and growth potential.”

From Coach Marino: “After a few conversations with Luke, it was obvious he has the AED we are looking for. Combined with his work ethic, length and physical abilities the future is bright.”

Darius Harris • Defensive Back • 5-11 • 165 • Orange Park, Fla. • Fleming Island High School

• First Team All-County as a senior
• Second Team All-County as a junior
• Picked off five passes with 44 pass breakups and a pair of forced fumbles during his career
• All-County performer in track and field as a junior and sophomore

From Coach Trisciani: “Darius is a three-year starter from a strong program. He brings versatility and playmaking ability to our secondary. He has the skill set to play corner and safety for us.”

From Coach Bland: “Darius brings a lot to our program. He is very dynamic and aggressive. He has a great feel about coverages and situations. Darius has the ability to play multiple positions and contribute in the special team’s game. He is ball hawk and a run stopper.”

Davis LeDoyen • Quarterback • 6-3 • 215 • Dunwoody, Ga. • Dunwoody High School

• Holds the record in Dekalb county for the most completions in a career
• Top-ranked passer in Dunwoody history (first in yards and completions, second in touchdowns)
• Sixth-ranked passer all-time in Dekalb County history
• Second Team All-Region as a junior
• Three-year starter and Second Team All-Region performer in baseball

From Coach Trisciani: “Davis is an accurate passer with good arm strength and the ability to throw on the run and extend plays. He understands how to read coverages and makes good decisions with the football.”

From Coach Folmar: “Davis is a big QB with a strong arm and good pocket awareness and mobility. He is accurate and has a high football IQ. He will be a great addition to the offense and the program.”

Parris Lowery • Defensive Line • 6-2 • 285 • Lynchburg, S.C. • Crestwood High School

• Named Region Defensive Player of the Year
• No. 1 rated DT in Midlands
• 2020 Team Captain
• Three-time Iron Knight recipient given to the strongest person on the team
• Team Leadership Award 2020
• First Team All-Conference as a junior
• Voted team’s Most Outstanding DL as a freshman
• Competed in track and baseball

From Coach Trisciani: “A natural nose guard with strong hands and quick feet. He is a disruptive inside player who fits into our scheme well.”

From Coach Payne: “There are three things we look for when we evaluate defensive lineman: can they control the line of scrimmage, rush the passer effectively and create negative explosive plays. Parris Lowery checks the boxes on all three of those categories. I love his size, explosiveness, and how he runs to the ball on film.”

Johncarlos Miller • Tight End • 6-4 • 230 • Greensboro, N.C. • Dudley High School

• All-Conference and Team Captain as a junior
• Scholar-Athlete Award as a junior
• Two-year varsity starter
• Also competed in basketball

From Coach Trisciani: “Johncarlos is a tall and athletic tight end from a great program right in our backyard. He has experience playing on the offensive line and the athleticism and speed to get down the field. I’ve been impressed with how much he has improved his ball skills after playing his junior season with his hand in the dirt.”

From Coach Acitelli: “Johncarlos is the total package at tight end. He excels as both a blocker and pass-catching threat with his experience as an offensive lineman and as a wide receiver. He will strike defenders in the run game and separate in the pass game. He has all the intangibles to be a leader on the team.”

Zy’Mere Reddick • Linebacker • 6-3 • 200 • Laurel Hill, N.C. • Scotland County High School

• First Team All-State and First Team All-4A during his junior season
• First Team All-Conference as a junior
• Led the conference in sacks (16) and TFLs (27)

From Coach Trisciani: “Zy’Mere is a talented edge defender and pass rusher who will get to the quarterback in a hurry.”

From Coach Lucas: “Zy’Mere is a long, athletic outside linebacker that has a knack to getting to the quarterback. He comes from a great high school in Scotland High School here in south central North Carolina. He shows great body control and ability to bend on the edge whether he is getting pressure on the quarterback or creating havoc in opposing offense’s backfield. He plays with a very high motor and when he makes contact, he does so with a bad attitude.”

Jonathan Robinson • Defensive Back • 6-2 • 160 • Jacksonville, Fla. • Robert E. Lee High School

• 55 tackles, four interceptions and two total touchdowns in his career
• Forced two fumbles with one recovery in his career
• Two-time Gateway Conference honorable mention
• All-Conference baseball player

From Coach Trisciani: “Jonathan is a long corner with great speed and coverage skills.”

From Coach Bland: “Jonathan is a long, smart and dynamic cornerback. His athleticism gives him the ability to play multiple positions in our secondary as well as a return specialist in the kicking game. He is a BALL HAWK. Our number one objective on defense is to get the ball back and Jonathan can make plays on receivers in open spaces. With the combination of his size, toughness and intelligences he will be able to come in and compete early.”

TJ Young • Linebacker • 6-2• 220 • Dacula, Ga. • Dacula High School

• All-Region First Team
• All-County at inside linebacker
• Tallied 121 tackles and 14 TFLs
• Had 12 QB hurries, one forced fumble, a fumble recovery and one safety

From Coach Trisciani: “TJ is a physical inside linebacker with great range and a slippery blitzer.”

From Coach Crocker: “TJ is a big, physical linebacker who can play sideline to sideline. He possesses a great football IQ which allows him to play fast. He has big-time play-making ability.”

Jeff Yurk • Kicker/Punter • 6-2 • 200 • Southern Pines, N.C. • Pinecrest High School

• Pre-season All-State punter and kicker
• Named All-State punter during his junior season
• First Team 4AA at punter
• Average 41 yards per punt during his junior season
• Career-long made field goal is 51 yards
• Longest career punt is 70 yards
• Had eight punts downed inside the 20-yard line as a junior
• Also played basketball and baseball
• Mother played softball at Methodist University

From Coach Trisciani: “Jeff is an all-state punter and kicker with an explosive leg. We expect him to help us early with the departure of Hunter Stephenson.”

From Coach Acitelli: “Jeff is a five-star combo prospect as both a punter and a kicker. He can execute punts, field goals and kickoffs at the Division I level. Jeff is well known and well respected in the national kicking scene and will bring confidence, versatility and a big leg to Elon.”