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App State football adds new recruits

Ava Colapietro
Quarterback Joey Aguilar looks downfield against Gardner-Webb Sept. 2.

Nineteen high school recruits signed with App State football, as 18 signed in December and one in February. Nine of these recruits will enroll early and participate in spring practice. 

Matthew Wilson, quarterback

Wilson is a three-star prospect from Rock Hill, South Carolina. He attended Rock Hill High School, where he threw for 2,155 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior. He added 421 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Wilson was an all-state selection in his final year and earned conference player of the year as a junior. 

Khamani Alexander, running back 

Alexander is a three-star prospect from Homestead, Florida. He played high school football for Belen Jesuit Prep in Miami. In his high school career, Alexander rushed for 2,669 yards and 17 touchdowns. As a dual-sport athlete, he ran the 100-meter dash in 11.43 seconds during his junior year track campaign. 

Frank Baret Jr., wide receiver

Baret Jr. played for Wake Forest High School in Wake Forest, North Carolina. As a senior, he totaled 1,372 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns. He reeled in 37 catches for 802 yards and 10 touchdowns in his senior campaign. Baret Jr. had two kickoff return touchdowns, where he showcased his sub-4.4 second 40-yard dash speed. 

Bryce Gee, wide receiver 

Gee is a three-star prospect from Jacksonville, Florida and played at Beachside High School, where he only played organized football for two years. In his first season as a junior, he tallied 30 catches for 632 yards and 12 touchdowns. In an injury-riddled senior season, Gee had 18 catches for 336 yards and five touchdowns. 

Jose Leon, wide receiver 

Leon is a three-star prospect out of Miami, where played football for Columbus High School. Leon is a two-time state champion and all-state selection. He had 62 catches for 670 yards and six touchdowns as a senior and was nominated for the Warren Henry Award, an honor given to the top player in South Florida.

Jack Kelly, tight end 

Kelly is a three-star prospect from Athens, Georgia and played at North Oconee High School. He lined up at tight end and defensive line in high school. He recorded eight catches for 60 yards and a touchdown as a senior along with 32 pancake blocks. On the defensive side, he totaled 36 tackles and seven sacks. He was named first team all-state as a junior and senior. 

Dylan Barbey, offensive lineman 

Barbey is a three-star prospect from West Columbus, South Carolina and spent his high school career at Airport High School. His accolades include being named the SCFCA Palmetto Champions 4A Upper State Lineman of the Year and a selection to the Touchstone Energy Bowl All-Star Game, where he won the bench press competition. 

Felix Doege, offensive lineman 

Doege is a three-star prospect out of Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Rabun Gap, Georgia and is originally from Augsburg, Germany. In his senior season, his team finished 13-1 as he is a powerful blocker with the ability to play multiple positions along the offensive line. 

Gabe Funk, offensive lineman 

Funk is a two-star recruit who played his high school football at Xenia High School in Xenia, Ohio, where he was a two-time second-team All-State selection. He started his high school career playing for Harrison High School, but transferred to Xenia as a junior, starting in 22 games. 

J.T. Sowell, offensive lineman 

Sowell is a three-star prospect from West Columbia, South Carolina and played for Gray Collegiate Academy. Sowell played varsity each year and moved around the line playing all five positions. He became a two-time first-team all-state selection and won a state championship as a sophomore. Sowell is ranked as the nation’s 18th-best 2024 center recruit by ESPN. 

Jackson Bussey, defensive lineman 

Bussey is a three-star prospect from Norcross High School and originally from Berkeley Lake, Georgia. As a senior, Bussey recorded 71 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and three sacks. This includes a two-game performance where he totaled four tackles for loss. In his junior season, Bussey and Northcross went to the second round of Georgia’s 7A playoffs. 

DeNigel Cooper, defensive lineman 

Cooper is a three-star prospect out of Kingsland, Georgia and played for Camden County. In his senior season, he was an all-state and all-region selection and reached the Class 7A semifinals. Cooper totaled 69 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick. Additionally, he caught three receiving touchdowns on the offensive side. 

Kendall Farmer, defensive lineman 

Farmer is a three-star prospect out of Westlake High School in Atlanta, Georgia. Farmer was named Defensive Player of the Year for the 7A Regional and an all-state selection in his senior year. As a junior, he recorded 65 tackles, three sacks and an interception. 

Anthony Rosier, outside linebacker 

Rosier is a three-star prospect from Windermere, Florida. He played his high school football at Wekiva High School. In half of his senior year, Rosier recorded 23 tackles, eight tackles for loss and four sacks. He is a strong rusher from off of the edge where he saw most of his snaps. As a tri-sport high school athlete, he also participated in track and field and basketball. 

Tyshawn Sanders, cornerback 

Sanders is a three-star prospect from Marion, South Carolina where he played for Marion High School. He played both sides of the ball and won three region championships. Sanders was an all-region selection and an all-state selection as a specialist. He tallied an interception return touchdown, a blocked punt return, two kickoff returns, two receiving touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in his senior year. He accumulated four interceptions and 103 tackles in his high school career. 

Nick Taylor, cornerback 

Taylor is a three-star prospect out of Gainesville High School. He is from Fayetteville, Georgia and became a two-time all-region selection. In his senior season, Taylor recorded 51 tackles, one interception, five pass breakups, one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He played at Fayette County High School as a junior, making appearances at quarterback and cornerback. 

Kai Fernandes, defensive back 

Fernandes is a three-star prospect from Cumming, Georgia and played for Denmark High School. He totaled 76 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and three breakups in his senior season. As a junior, Fernandes was an all-region class 7A honorable mention. 

Trey Lenhardt, safety 

Lenhardt is from Watkinsville, Georgia and a three-star prospect from North Oconee High School. Lenhardt is a three-time regional champion and never missed the playoffs in his high school career, including a 12-1 record as a senior. In his junior season, he racked up four interceptions, nine pass breakups and two forced fumbles. 

Kaleb Neal, safety 

Neal is a three-star prospect for Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia. In his senior season, Neal recorded 63 tackles, three pass breakups, one interception and one forced fumble. 

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About the Contributors
Max Schwanz
Max Schwanz, Reporter
Max Schwanz (he/him) is a freshman journalism major, business minor, from Cornelius, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
Ava Colapietro
Ava Colapietro, Photographer
Ava Colapietro (she/her) is a freshman majoring in Business (General Management) with a minor in Photography and is from Lake Norman. This is her first year with The Appalachian
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