Arkansas State head football coach Butch Jones announced Wednesday on National Signing Day that the Red Wolves have added nine players to the Red Wolves’ highly-touted 2023 Recruiting Class ranked first in the Sun Belt Conference by 247Sports.
The class ranks as high as No. 76 nationally, marking the second consecutive year Jones and his staff have assembled an incoming class rated among the top three in school history. Thirty-six players from 15 different states make up the group that is also listed among the top-10 in the Group of Five for the second consecutive year.
Although just three of the nine players announced today are high school recruits, the 23 total are the most announced as part of an A-State class since also signing 23 in 2006. Twelve of the remaining 13 class members are either FBS or FCS transfers, including six who were officially announced today. Including one junior-college transfer, 15 members of the class will be available to participate in A-State’s upcoming spring camp slated to begin March 4.
Including a pair of quarterbacks in high-school standout Christian Hunt and Colorado-transfer JT Shrout, four of today’s additions play on the offensive side of the ball. A 2020 Freshman All-America selection at A-State, wide receiver Corey Rucker returns to A-State, and Ole Miss-transfer Jalen Cunningham will join the Red Wolves’ offensive line after previously being rated as four-star prospect coming out of high school.
A-State added three transfers to the defensive side of the ball, including linebacker Gavin Potter (Kansas) and cornerbacks Manny Stokes Jr. (Coastal Carolina) and Donte Thompson (Incarnate Word). Also joining the class were deep snapper Lucas Ott and kicker Clune Van Andel, rated as the No. 12 prospect in the nation at his position.
“With our nine additions announced today, we’ve been able to strengthen our 2023 recruiting class that we were already extremely excited about,” said Jones. “When you look at this class overall, from the outstanding high school players we’ve signed to the transfers we’ve welcomed into our program to the quality walk-ons we’ve added, this is an outstanding group of individuals who will help elevate Arkansas State football.”
The entire class is made up of 34 players who helped lead their teams to the state playoffs while in high school, including 10 who played in a state championship game. Out of those 10, eight of them were part of a state title while in high school.
The group also consists of 29 players who were listed as at least a three-star prospect by either 247Sports, ESPN, On3 or Rivals coming out of high school. Out of the 23 high school players who have signed with A-State, a school-record 17 are rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.
The current class in total includes 20 offensive players and 14 defensive players, including six on the offensive line and five on the defensive front. A-State has added seven wide receivers, the most among any position group, but inked at least one player at every offensive and defensive position.
The Red Wolves signed five players from the state of Arkansas, which are the most scholarship players from its home state in a single class since 2015 and ties the most over the last 11 years. A-State has also added eight players from Florida, four from Alabama, three from Mississippi and Texas, two from California and Georgia and one each from Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The program signed one player originally from Germany as well.
Wednesday’s additions are shown in bold.
1. Brian Alston: 6‐2, 241, Fr., DL, Birmingham, Ala. (Spain Park HS)
2. Jacob Bayer: 6‐3, 315, Jr., OL, Grandview, Texas (Lamar)*
3. Micah Bland: 6‐1, 321, Sr.‐R, DL, Louisville, Ky. (North Alabama)*
4. Tobias Braun: 6‐7, 315, So.‐R, OL, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany (Ole Miss)*
5. Tennel Bryant: 5‐7, 149, Fr., WR, Cincinnati, Ohio (Archbishop Moeller HS)
6. DeAndra Burns Jr.: 5‐10, 154, Fr., WR, El Dorado, Ark. (El Dorado HS)
7. Chauncy Cobb: 5‐6, 147, Fr., WR, Clewiston, Fla. (Clewiston HS)*
8. Jalen Cunningham: 6‐5, 300, Sr.‐R, OL, Odenville, Ala. (Ole Miss)*
9. Clyde Curry: 6‐2, 162, Fr., WR, Gadsden, Ala. (Gadsden City HS)
10. Walker Davis: 6‐3, 280, Fr., OL, Benton, Ark. (Benton HS)*
11. Kevin Diaz: 6‐4, 259, Jr. TE, Houston, Miss. (Northwest Mississippi CC)*
12. Brandon Greil: 5‐11, 159, Fr., S, Little Rock, Ark. (Joe T. Robinson HS)
13. Timothy Gulley: 6‐1, 294, Fr., DL, Pensacola, Fla. (Pensacola Catholic HS)
14. Hamilton Hall: 6‐5, 315, Sr.‐R, OL, Atlanta, Ga. (Ole Miss)*
15. Cedric Hawkins: 5‐7, 173, Fr., RB, Stuttgart, Ark. (Stuttgart HS)
16. DeAubry Hood: 5‐11, 170, Fr., CB, Harker Heights, Texas (Harker Heights HS)
17. Christian Hunt: 6‐5, 210, Fr., QB, Redondo Beach, Calif. (Redondo Union HS)
18. Courtney Jackson: 5‐11, 179, Jr.‐R, WR, Monroeville, Pa. (Syracuse)*
19. Terrell James: 6‐3, 219, Fr., DE, Lake Wales, Fla. (Lake Wales HS)
20. Ian Jeffries: 6‐4, 274, Fr., DL, Southaven, Miss. (Southaven HS)
21. Dontay Joyner: 6‐0, 165, Fr., S, Lakeland, Fla. (Lakeland HS)
22. RJ Kelly: 6‐1, 220, Fr., LB, Lakeland, Fla. (Lakeland HS)
23. Takare Lipscomb: 6‐0, 175, Fr., WR, Carrollton, Ga. (Carrollton HS)
24. Tyler Little: 6‐4, 240, Fr., TE, Galena, Kan. (Galena HS)
25. Mason Myers: 6‐4, 254, Fr., OL, Moody, Ala. (Moody HS)
26. Lucas Ott: 6‐3, 220, Fr., DS, Webb City, Mo. (Webb City HS)
27. Gavin Potter: 6‐2, 225, Jr.‐R, LB, Broken Arrow, Okla. (Kansas)*
28. Jaylen Raynor: 6‐0, 198, Fr., QB, Kernersville, NC (East Forsyth HS)*
29. Corey Rucker: 6‐1, 212, So.‐R, WR, Bentonia, Miss. (South Carolina)*
30. Jordan Sample: 6‐2, 194, Fr., LB, Missouri City, Texas (Fort Bend Marshall HS)
31. J.T. Shrout: 6‐3, 210, Sr.‐R, QB, Santa Clarita, Calif. (Colorado)
32. Manny Stokes Jr.: 5‐10, 165, Jr., CB, Orlando, Fla. (Coastal Carolina)*
33. Donte Thompson: 5‐11, 175, Jr., DB, Pensacola, Fla. (UIW)*
34. Clune Van Andel: 6‐0, 195, Fr., K. Grand Rapids, Mich. (Forest Hills Eastern HS)
35. Zak Wallace: 6‐0, 220, Jr.‐R, RB, Benton, Ark. (UT Martin)*
36. Jamil Williams: 5‐11, 202, Fr., LB, Palmetto, Fla. (Palmetto HS)
*Available to participate in A‐State’s 2023 spring camp (15)