National Signing Day is a nationwide holiday for high school athletes taking their talent to the collegiate level.
On Feb. 7, Savanah State University, had its Signing Day event at Tiger Arena at 4 p.m. With Interim Head Coach Shaun Quinn at the helm, the Tigers have a lot to look forward to next season. The Tigers signed 18 players, most of whom reside in Georgia; two were from South Carolina; and four players were from Florida. Tigers recruited six on offense and 12 on defense.
SSU added seven defensive backs, five defensive lineman, three running backs, two offensive lineman and finally one quarterback. JT Hartage, a 5-foot-1-inch quarterback from Macon, Ga., threw 3,000 yards and averaged over five yards a carry. Quinn said he believed Hartage can run the offense they're going to run and can be a “It Factor.”
On the defense, Malik Flemming and Devin Howard, defensive backs will be the key to improving the secondary, with their size and athleticism. They will replace senior Isaiah Bennett and Stephon Banks, who are both NFL prospects.
On the offensive side, running back Einaj Carter, of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., is ranked in the Orlando Sentinel Super 60 for the Classic of 2019 as Player of the Year and holds a school record with most touchdowns.
Jordan Grant, also a running back, who is from Savannah, played quarterback, tailback, and defensive back in high school. He finished with 1,500 yards all purpose. The goal for SSU football was to recruit guys from winning programs, in order to have a successful season.
The main goal for SSU will be spreading a new run version of a spread/ shotgun option offense. This type of offense was used during the 1986-92 successful seasons under Head Coach Bill Davis. During the 7-year span, Davis won 55 games, which included Pro Hall of Fame member Shannon Sharpe.
Quinn was asked about his expectations from the newly recruited players as the season gets underway.
“All players will be expected to perform at a high level on this team," he said. “Seniority will not determine who gets play time, but instead skill and ability, as positions are now vacant, and we need to fill them in."
Throughout the press conference Quinn’s enthusiasm could be seen during his presentation of the new signees and in his responses to the questions asked.
He has overall high expectations from all his players and proudly declared, “We need to develop team chemistry if we intend to do well and not just play but play as a team and for each other."