By Joey Jones and Bret Stelow, App State Sports. BOONE, N.C. — This week’s start to summer school coincides with the arrival of several App State Football newcomers, including four FBS-level transfers who are already on campus.
Outside linebacker Thomas Davis (Miami), offensive lineman Thornton Gentry (NC State), safety EJ Jackson (Marshall) and offensive lineman Griffin Scroggs (Georgia) have officially signed to join the Mountaineers in advance of the 2023 season. Officially, to date, that increases the current total to 15 incoming transfers with college experience, including 12 with Division I experience. This list does not include all commitments for the 2023 season.
Davis recorded one sack last season as a redshirt freshman at Miami, and Gentry was also a redshirt freshman during a 2022 season in which he made one game appearance for NC State.
Jackson used three seasons of eligibility and totaled 100 tackles over 42 games at Marshall, with 14 stops coming in his last two games against the Mountaineers, while Scroggs didn’t exhaust any eligibility during his time in Athens, Ga.
This week, App State also welcomes eight high school recruits who were December signees: linebacker Jayden Bethea, tight end Max Drag, safety Zyeir Gamble, linebacker Ryan McKinnis, safety Colton Phares, cornerback DJ Porter, offensive lineman Cayden Sweatt and receiver Grant Tucker. They are part of a 15-man class of scholarship newcomers from the high school level, and the online roster also includes the additions of several walk-ons who are enrolled.
Valdosta, Ga. (Lowndes/Miami)
Prior to App State: Member of Miami’s program for two seasons, as he redshirted in 2021 and appeared in one game as a redshirt freshman in 2022 … Contributed to a sack in the 2022 opener against Bethune-Cookman … Listed as a defensive end in Miami’s 4-3 scheme and projects as a “Dog” pass-rushing linebacker in App State’s 3-4 scheme, with an ability to also contribute at defensive end.
High School: A consensus three-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals … Ranked the No. 27 player at position and No. 42 player in Georgia by 247sports … Rated the No. 44 outside linebacker and No. 39 player in Georgia by ESPN … Listed as the No. 52 player in Georgia by Rivals … Had 94 tackles, 29.0 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks over his final two prep seasons … Initially chose Miami over offers from Arkansas, Cincinnati, Florida State, Indiana, Mississippi State and South Carolina, among others.
Chapin, S.C. (Chapin/NC State)
Prior to App State: Member of NC State’s program for two seasons, having redshirted in 2021 and appeared in one game (against Charleston Southern) as an offensive guard in 2022 … Early enrollee in spring of 2021 at NC State.
High School: Played offensive tackle at Chapin High School for his father, Justin … Named to the 2020 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas after helping lead his team to a 6-2 record … Four-year starter finished prep career with 115 pancake blocks … Named to the SCFCA 5-A all-state team and was the Region 5-A Lineman of the Year … Also named the Chapin Lineman of the Year and won the Eddie Muldrow Leadership Award … Served as a team captain at Chapin … As a junior, named to the SCFCA 5-A all-state team and the Region 5-A all-region team … Named to the National Honors Society in both 2019 and 2020 … Ranked as the No. 9 center nationally and the No. 8 player in the state of South Carolina (highest among offensive linemen) by 247Sports.com.
Belle Glade, Fla. (Glades Central/Marshall)
Prior to App State: Appeared in 42 games and totaled 100 tackles over four seasons (including a COVID one that didn’t count against his eligibility) at Marshall from 2019-22 … Started the final five games of the 2022 regular season, including the final four at a safety spot (with the first one at a stud/nickel position) … In 12 games as a safety in 2022, broke up two passes and made 33 tackles … Had 56 stops and 1.5 TFLs over 13 games in 2021, when he started games at free safety (twice) and free safety (twice) … Recovered and returned blocked PAT 85 yards for two Marshall points at James Madison in 2022 …. Had a season-high six stops against App State in 2022 after recording eight against the Mountaineers in 2021 … Career high of 12 stops in the 2021 opener against Navy and nine more against UAB later that season.
High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com … Played free safety and slot back for Glades Central … Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds … Played outside linebacker as a sophomore at Glades Central, racking up 74 tackles with 10.5 TFLs and nine sacks … Moved to the secondary as a junior and picked off six passes.
Grayson, Ga. (Grayson/Georgia)
Prior to App State: Redshirted as a true freshman member of Georgia’s national championship team during the 2022 season … Early enrollee sat out that season’s spring practice to recover from an injury … Played center during Georgia’s 2023 spring game.
High School: Invited to the 2022 All-American Bowl … Three-star prospect from 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN … Coached by Adam Carter at Grayson High … No. 5 center prospect from ESPN, No. 42 offensive guard prospect from Rivals, No. 62 interior lineman prospect from 247Sports and No. 69 offensive tackle prospect from PrepStar Magazine … Helped lead Grayson to a 10-4 record and GHSA Class 7A semifinals … Named to 247Sports.com All-America Team … Helped lead Rams to 2020 GHSA Class 7A state championship … Named to 2020 MaxPreps All-State Second Team … Played first two seasons at Buford High.