FLORENCE, Ala. — University of North Alabama head football coach Chris Willis has announced the signing of 30 freshmen and four transfer student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to join the UNA program.Willis, set to begin his first season as UNA’s head coach after 15 seasons on the staff as an assistant, said he is excited about Wednesday’s results.

“I feel great about our signing day and feel like everything we’ve done will help move us in the right direction as a football team,” Willis said. “Our freshman class of signees, on paper, reminds me a lot of our class of 41 in 2012. We didn’t sign as many as that this year but we feel like the talent level is close if not better. We won’t know the results of that for two to three years down the line but we are very pleased with the players that we signed.”Players from that 2012 class won an unprecedented four straight Gulf South Conference Championships and advanced to the NCAA Division II Playoffs four consecutive seasons. Willis said the Lions 2017 signing class took into account trying to win another GSC title in 2017, while also looking forward to UNA’s transfer to Division I beginning in 2018.

“We added some transfers and freshmen that we feel can contribute right away and help us compete for a GSC championship,” Willis said. “We also upped our size a little on both the offensive and defensive line, and that’s something we’ll have to do in Division I.”

Willis said he felt the Lions also met their immediate needs across the board.

“We recruited balance throughout,” Willis said. “We got a little bit of everything and covered all positions. We focused on players who have been in winning programs and won championships and feel like we got good players from good programs.

Willis credited his coaching staff in putting the signing class together.

“We went to 160 high schools in eight days and 11 junior colleges in three days and it’s a credit to our assistant coaches and the relationships they have built with coaches and programs and these student-athletes,” Willis said.

UNA has already added two mid-year transfers to the program in running back Austin Hicks from Tennessee Tech and offensive lineman Khadedryck Todd from Jones Community College. They are already enrolled at UNA and Willis said the Lions still have room for a few other signees over the summer.

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown High School
Samuel Barnes LS 5-9 180 FR Tuscumbia, Ala. Muscle Shoals
Jeffery Battle S 6-1 185 FR Birmingham, Ala. Ramsay
Dexter Boykin WR 6-3 195 FR Ensley, Ala. Fairfield
Jakobi Byrd WR 5-8 175 FR Florence, Ala. Florence
Dawson Cazola OL 6-2 295 FR Mt. Olive, Ala. Gardendale
Johnathan Coffee WR 6-3 190 FR Town Creek, Ala. Florence
Brody Collier OL 6-6 295 FR Madison, Ala. James Clemens
Payne Correll LS 5-11 205 FR Killen, Ala. Brooks
Kedarius Davis DE 6-2 274 FR Suwanee, Ga. Hebron Christian Academy
Kendall Davis QB/ATH 6-1 178 FR Clanton, Ala. Chilton County
Will Evans LB 6-2 210 FR Haleyville, Ala. Haleyville
Jerry Foster DE 6-2 220 FR Athens, Ala. Athens
Andrew Freeman LB 5-10 220 FR Birmingham, Ala. Gardendale
Joe Gurley K/P 6-2 200 FR Killen, Ala. Brooks
Cortez Hall WR 6-1 195 FR Hoover, Ala. Hoover
Deondre Hampton RB 6-0 195 FR Florence, Ala. Brooks
Adam Ingram OL 6-5 255 FR Oakman, Ala. Oakman
Demetrius King RB 6-1 205 FR Gardendale, Ala. Gardendale
Jakobi Lewis OL 6-3 265 FR Sheffield, Ala. Sheffield
Andre Little WR 6-0 170 FR Boaz, Ala. West End
Brodric Martin DE 6-6 275 FR Tuscaloosa, Ala. Northridge
Cade McGuire OL 6-1 270 FR Tuscumbia, Ala. Muscle Shoals
Cameron Orr OL 6-6 280 FR Golden, Miss. Itawamba Agricultural
John Peavy WR 5-10 185 FR Eastaboga, Ala. Oxford
Will Singleton CB 5-11 153 FR Hoover, Ala. Hoover
C.J. Sturdivant RB 5-9 204 FR Hoover, Ala. Hoover
Christon Taylor LB 6-0 220 FR Hoover, Ala. Hoover
Cameron Turner WR 6-1 195 FR Conyers, Ala. Rockdale County
Tucker Walters OL 6-1 290 FR Madison, Ala. Bob Jones
David Woodruff OL 6-6 335 FR Winfield, Ala. Winfield

TRANSFERS Pos Ht Wt Class Hometown High School/Previous School
Jaylin Dailey DE 6-1 256 JR Montgomery, Ala. Robert E. Lee/Mississippi Gulf Coast CC
Jaylan Daniels DE 6-4 220 JR Vienna, Ga. Dooly County/Univ. of South Alabama
Alex Norwood WR 6-2 187 JR Beldon, Miss. Tupelo/Northwest Mississippi CC
Kelvin Thomas S 6-0 190 JR Castilla, Miss. Charleston/Copiah Lincoln CC

Pos Ht Wt Class Hometown High School/Previous School
Austin Hicks H-Back 6-3 230 JR Gardendale, Ala. Gardendale/Tennessee Tech
Khadedryck Todd OL 6-4 295 JR Hattiesburg, Miss. Hattiesburg/Jones CC

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