Georgia State adds 16 players Wednesday

Georgia State’s quest to replace outgoing quarterback Dan Ellington became more intriguing Wednesday, when the Panthers signed the Gatorade Player of the Year from South Carolina.

Mikele Colasurdo of Inman, S.C., was one of 16 players who signed with the Panthers on the first day of the early signing period. He is the first Gatorade honoree to sign with Georgia State.

Colasurdo was the only quarterback signed. Georgia State signed four wide receivers, four offensive linemen, two linebackers, two tight ends, two defensive backs and one running back. The Panthers won’t sign anyone else during the early period, but are expected to add four more in February.

Rivals ranked the class No. 85 in the nation, one spot below Missouri.

“I think we’ve had huge strides,” Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott said. “It’s one of the top-ranked classes we’ve had at Georgia State, we met a lot of our needs, added a lot of speed. I feel very good about it.”

Colasurdo (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) was the pick of the class. As a senior he threw for more than 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns and ran for more than 400 yards and 16 touchdowns and led his team to the state championship. He had 71 touchdown passes and 25 rushing touchdowns in his career.

“Great maturity, great instincts,” Elliott said. “When you think of a quarterback, a guy who can come in and play early, he’s very ready from a mental standpoint. He has the ability to run and throw, which is what we like to do. And he’s a winner. That’s what we want. We want to establish winners and we’ve got a lot of that coming in.”

Colasurdo will be competing with redshirt freshmen Cornelious Brown and Kierston Harvey to replace Ellington, a two-year starter and All-Sun Belt selection.

Another key addition is Jamyest Williams, a cornerback who transferred after playing two seasons at South Carolina, where he was on the 2017 SEC All-Freshman team. He did not play after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in the eighth game of his sophomore year.

“Jam is a special player. Look at the explosive nature that he creates,” Elliott said. “He plays cornerback, he’s a dynamic player in the return game, a great athlete and a tremendous get for us. I look forward to all he can contribute.”

Georgia State signed four receivers who helped their teams reach the state playoffs. Jacob Freeman from LaGrange, Robert Lewis from Covington, Tailique Williams from Pine Mountain and Christian Thomas from Loganville will add depth and speed to the position.

“Wide receiver was one of the biggest pieces we needed to add,” Elliott said. “We added a lot of speed and some play-making ability on the perimeter.”

The only running back signed was Marcus Carroll from Hapeville Charter and helped the school win a state championship in 2017 and reach the playoffs in 2018 and 2019.

The Panthers added four offensive linemen — tackles Chandler Durham (6-3, 266) from McDonough, Jonathan Brown (6-4, 278) from Anderson, S.C., and guards Jeff Miller (6-2, 280) from Seffner, Fla., and Mason Cook (6-3, 258) from Columbus.

“We have an abundance of defensive line depth that we have to continue to develop,” Elliott said. “We were a little lacking on the offense line, so we had to push those numbers back up to get the balance and we did that. Those guys can move, they have strength and size, but they’re athletic and can do a lot of things.”

Georgia State December signees
Justin Abraham, ILB (6-1, 233) of Hartsville, S.C. 
Jonathan Brown, OL (6-4, 278) of Anderson, S.C. 
Kris Byrd, TE (6-1, 200) of Lyman, S.C.
Marcus Carroll, RB (5-10, 192) of Union City 
Mikele Colasurdo, QB (6-1, 210) of Inman, S.C. 
Mason Cook, OL (6-3, 258) of Columbus 
Chandler Durham, OL (6-3, 266) of McDonough
Jacob Freeman, WR (5-11, 195) of LaGrange 
Terrell Gordon, ATH (6-1, 190) of Phenix City, Ala. 
Ahmon Green, TE (6-2, 232) of Columbia, S.C. 
Robert Lewis, WR (5-11, 171) of Covington 
Jeff Miller, OL (6-2, 280) of Seffner, Fla. 
Jalen Tate, DE (6-0, 173) of Pelzer, S.C. 
Christian Thomas, WR (6-3, 190) of Loganville
Jamyest Williams, ATH (5-9, 181) of Athens 
Tailique Williams, WR (5-9, 165) of Pine Mountain