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Georgia State adds Secondary Depth, Top Running Back on Early Signing Day

The first thirteen signees and a new transfer have committed their future to GSU

NCAA Football: Georgia St. at Coastal Carolina David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

A full list of GSU’s early signees can be found at the bottom of this story.

On a day that can only be described as Christmas-come-early for collegiate football programs across the country, the Georgia State Panthers finally got the signature of over a dozen of high school and junior college prospects.

“We met some needs,” GSU head coach Shawn Elliott said in a press conference early Monday afternoon, “I’m not one of those coaches to sit here and say, ‘oh we’ve got them all,’ but we do have a great group of young men coming in.”


Of Georgia State’s thirteen signees as of 3:40 p.m. EST on signing day, six play defensive back including fourth-highest rated recruit in program history Isaiah Holland. Holland, a three-star from Valdosta, GA primarily played safety in high school, but Elliott applauded both he and the other DB recruits on their positional versatility.

“You can easily sit here and pinpoint, ‘hey you’re going to be the corner position, you’re going to be the safety,” Elliott said, “we just signed a collection of really, really good athletes… they can each and everyone play the safety position or corner spot.”

Of the recruits, Elliott arguably spoke most highly of Columbia, SC running back KZ Adams. According to MaxPreps, Adams rushed for 3,343 yards last season. That total is second highest in the country and just under 1,200 more than the next-highest rusher in the state.

Elliott suggested that Adams was overlooked by other programs due to his size, at 5’8” he will be the shortest player on the Panthers roster next season and weighs less than GSU’s kicker, but that did not scare away Elliott or his staff.

“[Adams] is the best player in the state of South Carolina,” Elliott said, “he is going to be an electric back.”

Adams verbally committed to Georgia State in late June and only received five offers.

Three signees are moving from the JUCO level to DI. DBs Jeremiah Johnson and Chris Smith and WR Rykem Laney are all moving up the ranks of college football, a move that Elliott described not as a recruiting trend but rather as a way of helping fill holes immediately.

While not a high school signing, GSU also won QB Keilon Brown from the transfer portal. Brown was a three-star and the 24th-ranked dual-threat QB from the 2020 recruiting class. He turned down offers from Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina to play for Memphis; he played just one game over two years for the Tigers.

“He’s a dual threat,” Elliott said about Brown, “I like those types of guys. For whatever reason his system [at Memphis] wasn’t fitting… we thought it was a perfect fit and certainly he did too.”

Of GSU signings, at least four will enroll early and join the team in January, with Elliott hinting that that number could climb. He added that he will wait for all the clerical work to be finished before revealing who it is joining the Panthers shortly into the new year.

The newly signed Panthers will get watch their now-official future school on Christmas Day when GSU faces Ball State in the TaxAct Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, AL.

2022 GSU Early Signing Day

Name Position School From Stars 247Composite
Name Position School From Stars 247Composite
Isaiah Holland Safety Valdosta Valdosta, GA 3 0.8449
Jeremiah Johnson Cornerback Mississippi Delta C.C. (JUCO) Moorhead, MS 3 0.8388
Rykem Laney Wide Receiever Hutchinson C.C. (JUCO) Hutchinson, KS 3 0.835
Izaiah Guy Athlete (DB) Vanguard Ocala, FL 3 0.8343
Michai Hill Edge Newnan Newnan, GA 3 0.8322
PJ Simmons Safety Eagle's Landing Christian Mcdonough, GA 3 0.816
Chauncey Kamakea IOL Amos P. Godby Tallahassee, FL 3 0.8112
KZ Adams Running Back Gray Acadmey Columbia, SC 3 0.7993
Avion McBride Tight End West Florence Florence, SC 2 0.7957
D'Icey Hopkins Cornerback Northeast Macon, GA 2 0.7945
Alec Johnson IOL Gray Acadmey Columbia, SC 2 0.7781
Chris Smith Safety Garden City C. C. (JUCO) Garden City, KS 2 0.7719
JayT Jackson Cornerback Spencer Columbus, GA 0 N/A
via 247Sports, compiled by Zeke Palermo; accurate as of 12/15/21 4:01pm EST