App’s 2018 Football Freshmen


Chase Frick, Sports Reporter

After a strong 2017 season, the Mountaineers clinched a share of the Sun Belt Conference championship for the second time. This recent success has helped the Mountaineers when it comes to the recruiting trail and gaining some national exposure and attracting a higher caliber of recruits. The class currently consists of several three-star recruits and currently ranks 111th in the nation.

Possibly the most hyped recruit of the class so far is the dual-threat, 6 feet, 5 inches, 220-pound quarterback Stephon Brown. Brown is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and is a product of Robert B. Glenn High School, where he finished a terrific career, accumulating 108 touchdowns and 10,000 passing yards before making a Shrine Bowl appearance.

Brown’s recruitment also could not come at a better time for the Mountaineers as the team is currently in search for star quarterback Taylor Lamb’s replacement.

“It’s very hard to fill those shoes, but I just plan to come in and do whatever my team needs of me,” Brown said.

Brown understands the circumstances of his recruitment and that he is in a competition to be the starting signal caller to open the season. The competition seems to be the last thing on Brown’s mind, however, as he is looking to go out and do whatever the team asks of him.

With the prototypical quarterback body, dual-threat ability and the high upside that Brown possesses its safe to say he should see the field this coming year and is well in the running to obtain the starting gig.

The Mountaineers also added to their deep linebacker corps. with the addition of outside linebacker Tyler Bird. Bird is a 6 feet, 1 inch 210-pound two-star recruit from Georgia. He comes in as a speedy sideline-to-sideline coverage linebacker with solid tackling ability.

“I ran the same defense in high school. I watched and studied a lot of these guys in high school, so when they offered I was really honored to be a part of that history,” Bird said.

Bird comes in at a position that is very deep for the Mountaineers with several upperclassmen as well as other recruits at the position. With the speed and high football IQ that he possesses he may work his way into a couple of games and will almost certainly contribute in some way on special teams.

With the Mountaineers bringing in a new quarterback, it is best to surround whoever it is with the correct weapons, which is exactly what three-star tight end Trey Ross will provide. From Sophia, North Carolina, the 6 feet, 3 inches tall, 230-pound pass catcher will give whomever is throwing the ball a big target with a huge catch radius.

Ross comes to a position that already has two upperclassmen above him on the depth chart, but due to his solid receiving ability he very possibly could find his way on the field in obvious passing downs and in result of any injury.

“I would say my player comparison is probably someone like Travis Kelce. He’s a rangy pass catcher with speed that can move in and block if needed,” Ross said.

Ross said he sees himself as more of a pass catching tight end but does not want that to be the only thing he is valued as. He has expressed interest in working to become a better blocker, so he can stay on the field as a three-down player.

The Mountaineers bring these recruits as well as several others into the 2018 season hoping to replicate their success of the seasons past. The coming season will come with much anticipation as the Mountaineers search for Lamb’s replacement and begin their journey for a third straight Sun Belt Conference championship.

Story By: Chase Frick, Sports Reporter

Photos By: Courtesy of App State Athletics