After losing seven players to Power Five programs through the transfer portal, Georgia State’s group of seven additions Wednesday on signing day should help address some of those vacancies. The Panthers signed three defensive players, three offensive players and a specialist. Three of the incoming players are transfers, the others are high school seniors.
The latest additions give Georgia State 23 players in this signing class, with an emphasis on improving on last season’s disappointing 4-8 record.
“When you lose those players, you’ve got to have a new plan to go in and rebound and sign some older guys,” coach Shawn Elliott said. “Ultimately the proof is in the pudding, and the work ethic and everything that they put into place throughout the spring, the summer and then in the fall will determine how good the signing class was.”
One of the more important signees was freshman Isaac Kone, an all-state kicker from Decatur High School. He is expected to replace Michael Hayes, who transferred to West Virginia, in the same dual role as the punter and the placekicker. Elliott said he was sold on Kone early in the process.
“I was going to ask him to come here as a preferred walk-on, but when the family came on their official visit and we sat down, it was one of the most enjoyable visits that I’ve had with a family,” Elliott said. “We had a big recruiting weekend and had a bunch of guys on campus, and I walked over to (special teams coordinator) Arketa Banks and said, ‘That guy just got himself a scholarship. I want him to be a part of us.’ And I’m thrilled he’s coming to school here.”
Both safety signees are transfers and are expected to help fill the void left by the graduation of Jaylon Jones and the loss of all-conference selection Antavious Lane, who transferred to North Carolina.
TyGee Leach (5-foot-11, 200 pounds) is a graduate transfer from Lehigh who was a three-time first-team All-Patriot League selection. He had 198 career tackles, 21 tackles for loss and two interceptions in 46 games for the Mountain Hawks. Salen Streater (5-11, 190) is a native of Monroe, North Carolina, who was named first-team All-California at Fullerton College. He had four interceptions in 2022 and returned two for touchdowns.
The running back group, which lost starters Tucker Gregg and Jamyest Williams, added two strong pieces in Charlie Pace (5-10, 185) from Colquitt County High School in Norman Park and Jaylen Foster (5-11, 190) from Emerald High in Greenwood, South Carolina.
Pace was a first-team all-state running back and ran for 1,356 yards and 16 touchdowns to finish his career with 3,050 yards and 43 touchdowns. Foster was a two-way player in high school – he was an all-state selection as a defensive back – but will play running back for the Panthers. Foster ran for 1,214 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior.
“Charlie Pace is – everybody uses this term now – a dog,” Elliott said. “He’s a fighter. He’s the type of guy you want the ball in your hands. He’s a playmaker. He’s got a big upside. And Jaylen is a guy I thought was going to Army, and he’s a three-sport athlete. He’s got a 4.1 GPA, and to top it all off, he’s a hell of a running back. He’s got really broad shoulders, and he’s got a chance to be a bigger back that we needed.”
The Panthers added receiver Darius Bush (5-10, 181) from Jenkins High in Savannah. Bush played four games for Connecticut and will have four seasons of eligibility left. GSU needed additional depth at receiver after first-team all-conference selection Jamari Thrash transferred to Louisville.
The other addition was Camerin Marshall (6-1, 180), an outside linebacker and safety from Perry High School, where he was a two-time all-state performer.
“We may have a few more signings coming later on this spring and when the transfer portal opens up in the spring and see exactly what positions we need to add to our roster, and we’ll look to get that taken care of,” Elliott said.
Georgia State will start spring practice Feb. 13, with the spring game set for March 9.
GEORGIA STATE SIGNEES (23)
Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., Hometown
Jaylen Foster, RB, 5-11, 190, Greenwood, S.C.
Isaac Kone, PK, 6-1, 155, Decatur
Camerin Marshall, OLB-S, 6-1, 180, Perry
Charlie Pace, RB, 5-10, 185, Moultrie
Shawn Burton, OL, 6-3, 245, Morrisville, N.C.
Dorian Fleming, TE, 6-3, 230, Henrico, Va.
Bryson Harrison, QB, 6-1, 200, Roswell
Jaylen Jones, CB, 6-1, 185, Charlotte, N.C.
Marlon McClendon, CB, 5-10, 165, Lakeland, Fla.
Braylen Ragland, QB, 6-0, 180, Memphis, Tenn.
Quentin Thomas, WR, 6-1, 185, Stockbridge
Jude Tinor, DL, 6-0, 260, Melbourne, Fla.
Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., Hometown (School)
Darius Bush, WR, 5-10, 181, Savannah (Connecticut)
TyGee Leach, S, 5-11, 200, Norristown, Pa. (Lehigh)
Salen Streater, S, 5-11, 180, Monroe, N.C. (Fullerton College)
Tavian Brown, ILB, 6-2, 225, Demopolis, Ala. (Colorado State)
Henry Bryant, DL, 6-0, 285, Delray Beach, Fla. (Louisville)
Jacari Carter, WR, 5-9, 178, Sayreville, N.J. (Merrimack)
Tyden Ferris, OL, 6-4, 305, Delton, Mich. (Central Michigan)
Gavin Pringle, CB, 5-11, 170, Baltimore (Bucknell)
Lamar Robinson, OL, 6-3, 302, Alexandria, Va. (Norfolk State)
Kevin Swint, OLB, 6-3, 240, Carrollton (Clemson)
Ricardo Williams, DL, 6-2, 290 Jackson, Miss. (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC)
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