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February 6, 2010

Liberty adds 18, including former All-American

Eighteen high school student-athletes chose today to join Liberty's football program, as the high school standouts officially signed their national letters of intent for the upcoming 2010-11 academic year.

The class of 18 signees is the second largest of head coach Danny Rocco's five signing classes. During the three-time Big South Coach of the Year's first season with the program, Rocco inked 24 recruits to national letters of intent.

The 18 signees hail from four different states, with eight coming from within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Five other signees were from Florida, while three signed from North Carolina and a pair from Maryland. Additionally, Rocco also introduced three mid-year transfers, who joined the program in January.

"We are very excited about our signing class of 2010," commented Rocco. "This class is a complete class consisting of both quantity and quality. We wanted to put a class together consisting of players who are of high character and that are self-motivated individuals.

"Many of these student-athletes have been captains on championship teams. We are grateful for the support of Chancellor Falwell and our entire University as we continue to build this program. We will look forward to welcoming this group on campus this summer."

These 18 future student-athletes will look to continue Liberty's upward trend and help the program retain its position of national prominence, much like Rocco's first 59 signees (24: 2006, 11: 2007, 13: 2008 and 11: 2009).

Since Rocco has taken over the program, Liberty has captured three-straight Big South titles and finished the last two years ranked inside the final Top 25 national FCS polls. Liberty finished the 2009 season ranked No. 21 in the final FCS Coaches Poll and No. 22 in the last Sports Network listing.

Rocco's first signing class just finished up their four-year careers this past season, helping Liberty to an 8-3 record and a share of the Big South's title.

The group finished up their four-year careers with a 32-13 record, which is the best record by a graduating senior class in program history. The group also became the program's first senior class to post four-straight winning seasons.

Matthew Baptiste: LB, 6-0, 215, Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes HS
Four-year letterwinner at Ocean Lake High School finished his career with 244 tackles earned All-Beach honors as a junior and senior recorded 32 stops, including 10 tackles for a loss as a freshman finished his sophomore season with 42 tackles and nine tackles for a loss as a junior, he finished the year with a career-best 94 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, a safety, a blocked field goal and a forced fumble finished off his career at Ocean Lakes by posting 74 tackles, two sacks, a safety, a blocked field goal and a fumble recovery son of Ken and Helen Baptiste intends to major in pre-med.

Dylan Bowman: TE/DE, 6-3, 240, Ocean Isle Beach, N.C./West Brunswick HS
Four-year letterwinner at West Brunswick High Schoool three-time All Brunswick County selection two-time all-conference honoree earned his first letter as a freshman at right guard Varsity Captains Award and Carolina Panthers Community Captains Award selections as a senior All-Region: All-Zone team member during his senior year also a member of the varsity baseball and wrestling teams first-place finish at the North Brunswick wrestling tournament son of Teresa McCormick.

Tracy Curry: ATH, 6-1, 195, Ocala, Fla./Lake Weir HS
Two-year letterwinner at Lake Weir High School threw for more than 2,700 yards and 27 touchdowns during his first two seasons also rushed for an additional 1,809 yards and 14 touchdowns ... during his junior year, Curry completed 53.8 percent of his pass attempts (77-of-143) for 1,305 yards and 20 touchdowns additionally rushed for 1,086 yards and three touchdowns first-team All-Area as a senior threw for 1,413 yards and seven touchdowns, as he completed 52.7 percent of his pass attempts (97-of-184) also rushed for 723 yards on 104 carries during his senior year, scoring 11 times on the ground additionally, he finished his senior year with three punt returns for touchdowns member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes son of Keven and Lavern Walthall.

Jacob Hagen: DB, 6-3, 195, Orange Park, Fla./Orange Park HS
Two-year letterwinner at Orange Park High School all-conference, all-county and all-district selection during his junior and senior years as a junior, he finished the year with 89 tackles, three interceptions, seven pass breakups and three tackles for a loss was named his team's Most Versatile Player as a junior also served as the team's punter and punt returner named team's Best DB and All-First Coast as a senior finished his final season at Orange Park with 70 tackles, one interception, six pass breakups, two tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries also had a standout baseball career, earning all-conference and FACA second-team corner infield honors son of Dan and Ilona Hagen.

Gabe Henderson: QB, 5-11, 190, Garner, N.C./Southeast Raleigh HS
Three-year starter and letterwinner at Southeast Raleigh High School also was a three-year all-conference academic honoree all-conference selection as a junior, when he threw for 2,200 yards and rushed for 600 yards and seven touchdowns conference Player of the Year as a senior after throwing for 2,700 yards and 27 touchdowns also rushed for 1,005 yards and 12 scores named team MVP as a senior also took home second-team All-Area accolades as a senior.

Scott Hyland: LB/TE, 6-1, 220, Forest, Va./Liberty Christian Academy
Four-year letterwinner at Liberty Christian Academy three-year starter two-year team captain two-time all-state honoree at linebacker finished his career with 195 tackles, 15 sacks and seven interceptions also added 80 career receptions for 1,417 yards and 21 touchdowns helped LCA to a state title as a junior, where he caught 18 passes for 355 yards and six touchdowns, while adding 54 tackles and six sacks conference Defensive Player of the Year as a junior, as he finished with 79 tackles, six sacks and three interceptions earned his first all-state linebacking honor as a junior also finished his junior year with 27 receptions for 504 yards and six touchdowns first-team all-conference honoree at tight end and linebacker as a senior finished his senior year with 62 tackles, three sacks, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery also added 35 receptions for 558 yards and nine touchdowns during his senior year.

Andrew Jauch: DB, 6-1, 185, Waxhaw, N.C./Parkwood HS
Three-year letterwinner at Parkwood High School finished his career with 227 tackles, seven interceptions, three touchdowns and four blocked extra points all-county honoree as a junior and senior named team's Most Outstanding DB as a junior first-team all-conference and Parkwood's Defensive MVP as a senior finished his senior year with 112 tackles son of John and Lynn Jauch.
Ryan Mickens: RB, 6-0, 230, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./University Christian HS
Four-year letterwinner two-year all-county selection at fullback as a freshman and sophomore first-team all-district selection at running back as a junior played seven games during his senior year, rushing for 710 yards on 96 carries (7,4 average) and six touchdowns son of Randy and Patty Mickens.

Andre Mondor: OL, 6-4, 320, Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant HS
Four-year letterwinner at H.B. Plant High School helped H.B. Plant win the state title three out of four years H.B. Plant captured the state Class 4A title during his freshman and sophomore seasons and the state Class 5A title during his senior year first-team all-tourny as a junior and senior first-team all-Hillsbrough County and first-team all-Sun Coast as a senior was a part of H.B. Plant's four-year run, where the team posted a 53-4 record and a 17-1 mark in the playoffs finished the 2009 season ranked No. 4 nationally in the final USA Today High School poll winner of the Jimmy Kynes Award, which is given annually to the top offensive or defensive lineman in the Tampa Bay area named to the High Honor roll 10 times National Honor Society member son of Mike and Lori Mondor.

Bobby Partilla: LB, 6-1, 210, Gambrills, Md./Arundel HS
Two-year letterwinner at Arundel High School all-county selection as a junior, finishing the year with 111 tackles all-county, all-state and all-MET as a senior with 131 tackles was named to the Anne Arundel Fab 5 defensive team as a senior son of Robert and Kim Partilla.

Greg Ray: OL/DL, 6-4, 300, Pearisburg, Va./Giles HS
Four-year letterwinner two-year Group A first-team all-state selection as a junior and senior first-team Three Rivers district selection as a junior during his senior year, he was a first-team all-district offensive honoree and a second-team defensive selection was named the Three Rivers District Lineman of the Year as a senior four-year letterwinner in basketball two-year letterwinner in track comes from an athletic family as his father, Don, played football at West Virginia Tech his uncle, John Ray, played football at West Virginia and professionally with the Indianapolis Colts.

Desmond Rice: RB, 5-8, 190, Lynchburg, Va./Liberty Christian Academy
Three-year letterwinner and starter at Liberty Christian Academy finished his career by rushing for 3,136 yards and 40 touchdowns averaged 7.7 yards per rushing attempt for his career as a freshman, he rushed for 83 yards and two touchdowns helped LCA to a state championship as sophomore, when he rushed for 649 yard and six touchdowns first-team all-conference and second-team all-state honoree as a junior rushed for 1,089 yards and 11 touchdowns also added 15 receptions for 132 yards and a score as a junior first-team all-conference and all-state as a senior posted career numbers during his senior year, as he rushed for 1,315 yards and 21 touchdowns, while adding 16 receptions for 333 yards and three touchdown catches.

Nick Sigmon: LB, 6-2, 240, Roanoke, Va./Northside HS
Four-year letterwinner at Northside High School three-time all-district honoree finished his sophomore season with 122 tackles (98 solo), 14 tackles for a loss, five sacks and three fumble recoveries second-team all-district honoree as a junior with 156 tackles (118 solo), 12 quarterback hurries, two interceptions, 12 tackles for a loss and four forced fumbles helped Northside High School to a state title as a senior Blue Ridge District Player of the Year Region 3 co-Defensive Player of the Year Va. Preps and Associated Press first-team all-state selection Roanoke Times All-Timesland Defensive Player of the year Kroger Crunch Defensive Player of the Year also a varsity letterwinner in wrestling and baseball son of Ronnie and Carrie Sigmon.

Kenny Scott: DB/WR, 5-10, 165, Appomattox, Va./Appomattox HS
Four-year letterwinner at Appomattox High School all-district second-team honoree as a junior finished his career with 5,330 total offensive yards passed for 2,081 yards and 11 touchdowns (116-of-234) rushed for 3,249 yards on 428 carries and 38 touchdowns named Lynchburg News and Advance Offensive Player of the Year as a senior second-team all-state honoree as a senior first-team all-district and all-region honoree as a senior two-time letterwinner in basketball also lettered in baseball track Region Athlete of the Year state long jump champion as a junior with a distance of 23-8 son of Trynne and Kim Scott is intending to major in engineering.

Randy Spann: DB, 5-11, 205, Glen Burnie, Md./Old Mill HS
Two-year letterwinner at Old Mill High School two-time team MVP named all-county during his junior and senior years team captain as a junior and finished the year with 86 tackles Fab 5 Defense honoree with 115 tackles as a senior son of Randy and Grace Spann.

Matt Stokes: DL, 6-2, 255, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas
Three-year letterwinner at St. Thomas Aquinas High School helped guide St. Thomas Aquinas to state championships as a sophomore and senior all-county honorable-mention as a junior after finishing the year with 13 tackles, five tackles for a loss and two sacks St. Thomas Aquinas finished his junior year with a perfect 15-0 record, claiming a state and national championship earned a second all-county honorable-mention nod as a senior, after finishing his final year with 26 tackles, five sacks, 10 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery St. Thomas Aquinas was ranked No. 1 in the country during his senior year before losing to Manatee High School in the state semifinal game, snapping a 37-game winning streak academic honor roll son of Thomas and Barbara Stokes younger brother of former Flame fullback Chris Stokes.

Kevin Widener: TE, 6-4, 260, Lebanon, Va./Lebanon HS
Four-year letterwinner at Lebanon High School first-team all-district and second-team all-region as a senior finished his senior year with 21 receptions for 204 yards and five touchdowns also a three-year letterwinner in basketball and a four-year letterwinner in baseball elected junior and senior class president AIM Scholar Athlete son of Don and Vickie Widener.

J'Courtney Williams: LB, 6-2, 225, Christchurch, Va./Christchurch HS
Four-year letterwinner at Christchurch High School will be coming to Liberty from El Camino Community College in Torrance, Calif. helped lead Christchurch to three Old Dominion Football Conference titles three-time all-conference selection conference player of the year as a senior two-time team MVP as a junior, he was named to the CBS Sportsline and Prepstar Magazine All-America team including football, he was an 11-time letterwinner at Christchurch High School in four different sports (football/4, basketball 5, baseball/1 and lacrosse/1).

New additions to Liberty's roster and already enrolled at Liberty this spring:

Francis Bah: TE, 6-2, 250, Duisburg, Germany/Lise-Meitner Gesamtschule
Graduated from the Lise-Meitner Gesamtschule school program as a senior, he played in five games, finishing with 486 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns also had five special teams touchdowns, scoring on three kickoff returns and two punt returns member of the national team and earned all-state honors played with the Duesseldorf Dragons ruby club.

Chris Mayo, II: DB, 6-0, 200, Neptune, N.J./St. John Vianney (Fork Union)
Comes to Liberty from Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Va. started all 10 games during his one year with the program was ranked No. 42 in the nation by Rivals.com as one of the nation's Top 100 prep players four-year starter at St. John Vianney High School finished his career as the program's all-time leader with 338 career tackles as a junior he lead the division in rushing and scoring with 998 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns as a safety, he finished his junior year with 83 tackles (49 solo) all-county, all-conference and all-division selections as a senior finished his senior year with 91 tackles (53 solo), 14 tackles for a loss, six sacks and five forced fumbles blocked four punts and two were returned for touchdowns as a senior rushed for 960 yards on 130 carries as a senior also had a standout track and field career 110m high hurdle NJSTAA state champion son of Chris and Eleanore Mayo.

Greg Pratt: RB/WR, 5-8, 165, Naples, Fla./Naples HS (Troy)
Comes to Liberty from Troy University in Troy, Ala. redshirted this past season graduated from Naples High School, where he was a four-year letterwinner starting running back for Naples state championship team in 2007 carried the ball 126 times for 1,037 yards and 12 touchdowns as senior ... as senior, caught 17 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns ... scored three touchdowns in two different games as senior ... finished the 2007 season with over 1,600 yards and 20 touchdowns ... rushed for 1,040 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 8.3 yards per carry as senior ... scored four touchdowns in the Rotary Club Collier County All-Star Football Classic his senior year ... leading rusher in the Class 3A state championship game ... News-Press First Team RB ... 3A FSWA All-State third team Athlete ... ranked 25th best all-purpose back in the nation according to Rivals.com ... Collier County Offensive Player of the Year as junior ... son of Craig and Bernadette Pratt.



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