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Troy Continues to Rebuild the Wall: Trojans reel in second best class in the Sun Belt

Neal Brown continues to rise Troy’s stock with the Sun Belt’s second best recruiting class.

NCAA Football: Troy at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Signing Day has finally arrived and there is positivity running through every FBS program. Today is the first official day of the 2017 season as schools from all over the country are filling out their rosters with newcomers from the high school and junior college ranks.

There’s a big year ahead for the Troy Trojans as Neal Brown and Co. continue to Build the Wall. In 2017 they’ll bring in 18 recruits who will help contribute in their run at a Sun Belt title.

Troy 2017 Recruiting Class

Position Name Height Weight Hometown High School/JUCO 247 Composite Committed
Position Name Height Weight Hometown High School/JUCO 247 Composite Committed
RB DK Billingsley 5'9" 195 Scottsboro, AL Scottsboro 2-star 07/23/2016
WR Bret Clark 5'11" 180 New Hope, AL New Hope 2-star 06/21/2016
Edge Rasool Clemons 6'5" 245 Aiken, SC Aiken/East Mississippi 3-star 10/22/2016
ATH Terence Dunlap 5'11" 170 Maplesville, AL Maplesville 2-star 02/01/2017
OL Travius Harris 6'2" 315 Tallahassee, FL James Rickards 2-star 02/28/2016
OL Bubba Hudson 6'4" 260 Dawson, GA Terrell County NA 02/01/2017
WR Bubba Johnson 6'4" 210 Montgomery, AL Lee-Montgomery 2-star 01/15/2017
CB Marcus Jones 5'9" 170 Enterprise, AL Enterprise 2-star 01/30/2017
K/P Evan Legassey 6'3" 195 Pensacola, FL Tate 2-star 07/23/2016
DL Travon Mathis 6'2" 275 Lanett, AL Lanett 3-star 02/01/2017
DB Tyler Murray 6'1" 185 Baldwin, FL Baldwin NA 01/25/2017
LB Kevin Nixon 6'1" 210 Fort Valley, GA Peach County 3-star 12/09/2016
DB Kyle Nixon 6'1" 185 Fort Valley, GA Peach County 3-star 12/11/2016
CB Shon Spralling 6'0" 170 Huntsville, AL Mae Jemison 2-star 06/24/2016
OL Austin Stidham 6'5" 250 Russellville, AL Russellville 2-star 01/24/2017
WR Luke Whittemore 6'2" 185 Gainesville, FL Buchholz 2-star 07/24/2016
LB Justin Whisenhunt 6'1" 200 Birmingham, AL Ramsay 2-star 01/28/2017
WR Damion Willis 6'4" 185 Meridian, MS Southeast Lauderdale/East Mississippi 3-star 12/14/2016

Class Breakdown

18 signees

2 JUCOs

5 three-stars

11 two-stars

2 unranked

Pulling in half of the class from Alabama, Troy closed strongly on National Signing Day to finish second in the Sun Belt and 90th overall. The Trojans picked up commitments and signatures today from DL Travon Mathis, their highest rated high school prospect, and ATH Terence Dunlap to record another great recruiting class.


Already On Campus

Two of the biggest commits are already on campus and they are the only two players that come from the JUCO system. Edge Rasool Clemons and WR Damion Willis hail from East Mississippi CC and should contribute early and often.

Clemons is an opening day starter and crown jewel of this class, while Willis will bolster an already deep group of WRs. As a program you never want to live off of JUCOs but a couple every now then gives you a chance to immediately upgrade your roster. The hope is for both Clemons and Willis to do that.

Loading Up At Receiver

Troy will have another impressive receiving group this fall, but eligibility is running out on some of the Trojans’ playmakers. Three of Troy’s top four pass catchers (John Johnson, Tevaris McCormick, Emanuel Thompson) will all be seniors this fall so there will be targets available as soon as 2018.

Add in the fact that Neal Brown’s Air Raid attack uses a ton of receivers and has two WR’s coaches on staff, it is no surprise to see Troy load up here. Willis will obviously be one looked at to contribute, but Bubba Johnson may be the best long-term prospect. Johnson, the 6’4” WR out of Montgomery, has the size to be a legit outside WR and will be a walking mismatch for small Sun Belt corners.

Not only did Troy add size with Johnson and Willis, but Luke Whittemore and Bret Clark are your typical slot guys. Troy should feel really good about their prospects at the skill positions.

Brothers Nixon

Getting one defensive prospect from Georgia is great. But pulling two that are related is even better. Kevin and Kyle Nixon are twins that come from Peach County High School in Fort Valley, Georgia, and are two of Troy’s better defensive prospects in this class.

These twins should anchor the back 7 of the Troy defense in the very near future. Kevin is the second highest rated high school prospect in this class behind Mathis and selected Troy over Appalachian State, Buffalo, Colorado State, Georgia State, Kent State, Middle Tennessee, and Western Kentucky. While Kyle had offers from Appalachian State, Colorado State, Georgia Southern, and Western Kentucky. Don’t be surprised if these two play as freshmen.

Improvement in the Secondary

Brown was quoted at his press conference today about wanting to improve the secondary in this class and it appears that Troy was able to do that. Outside of Kyle Nixon, the Trojans were able to add three more defensive backs prospects and CB Marcus Jones was the big fish. Although small in stature, Jones will be used in the return game and should be an immediate contributor in the secondary. Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning had nothing but positives to say about him.