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Charlotte 49ers Breakdown: 2022 Recruiting

The eighth member of next year’s recruiting class announcing their commitment Monday for Will Healy’s squad

Middle Tennessee v Charlotte Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

With 383 days remaining until Charlotte’s 2022 season opener against William & Mary, the groundwork is already being laid on the recruiting trail to bring in the next crop of up-and-coming football prospects. Hoping to improve on the 247Sports 108th-ranked FBS recruiting class registered in 2020, time to take an in-depth look into the current commitments already locked in for next season.

OT Cade Goldman - 6’4” 295

Hickory Ridge HS (Harrisburg, NC)

Currently the top rated recruit coming in for 2022, Goldman is ranked in the top 60 in the country at the offensive tackle position and sits at #21 overall in North Carolina in the 247Sports rankings. The film shows a growing force at left tackle with good lateral movement in pass blocking schemes and the ability to finish through a defender. Coached by former UNC offensive lineman Jupiter Wilson, Goldman spurned offers from the likes of Coastal Carolina, Illinois, Louisville, and Virginia.

DB Aveon Grose - 6’0” 190

Mansfield Senior HS (Mansfield, OH)

Listed as a top 50 recruit in the state of Ohio for 2022, the former Pittsburgh commit Grose shows tremendous capability to play any spot in the secondary for the 49ers. A starter all four years on a varsity team he also led in receiving touchdowns in 2020, the physicality and end-to-end aggression chasing down the football jumps out at you almost immediately. The younger brother of Michigan State DB Angelo Grose, Aveon chose Charlotte over Cincinnati and several programs in the MAC.

LB Maguire Neal - 6’0” 195

Zephyrhills HS (Zephyrhills, FL)

An intriguing linebacker prospect from the suburbs of Tampa Bay, Maguire Neal comes to the Queen City as a 2020 Florida 5A All-State selection and a school record holder in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles. The blazing track speed Neal possesses makes him a threat no matter which way the play goes, registering 25.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks in 11 contests his junior year. Projecting as an all-around athlete that can play anywhere, Neal committed to Charlotte over programs the likes of Army, Navy, and Colorado State.

OT Jacob Ashley - 6’6” 300

Oceanside Collegiate Academy (Mount Pleasant, SC)

Currently a 247Sports 3-star lineman ranked as the #35 overall recruit in South Carolina, offensive line coach Pete Rossomando lands another high-caliber tool in the shed to develop in the trenches. An All-Region and All-State performer in 2020, Ashley used his massive frame to bulldoze defenses for 20 knockdown blocks and 18 pancakes in just 7 games played. A starter at right tackle, watching Jacob Ashley maul smaller defenders from the Lowcountry to the whistle is an absolute joy.

LB Reid Williford - 6’2” 210

Christ Presbyterian Academy (Nashville, TN)

Representing a defending Division II-AA Tennessee state championship program, Williford made his commitment to Charlotte official the first week of August over the likes of Army, Arkansas State and Georgia State. Serving a tight end/H-back role on offense posting 455 yards receiving as a junior paired with 22 tackles and 2 interceptions on defense, the role he will play for the Niners depends on how he develops over the next year of competition. A three-sport athlete that also served duty returning kicks, athleticism won’t ever be a question.

DT Antonio Gaines - 6’4” 335

Ridge View HS (Columbia, SC)

Committing from the defensive tackle position, Antonio Gaines made his pledge to Charlotte back in April over offers from Howard and Coastal Carolina. Registering 14 tackles with 3.5 for loss as a junior, Gaines comes to the Queen City as a former pupil of wide receivers coach Perry Parks, who joined the Charlotte staff after six years as head coach at Ridge View.

ATH Roger “Fresh” Walters - 5’10” 170

St. Lucie West Centennial HS (Port St. Lucie, FL)

Heading into his senior season as a All-State honorable mention, Fresh Walters will make his full-time move to football official in 2022, committing to Charlotte over FIU. Averaging over 17 points a game as a junior guard on the SLWCHS basketball team, Fresh joins the Charlotte program as a bit of a Swiss army knife that could play any skill position and feature on special teams, recording 4 return touchdowns for his squad in 2020.

K Braeden McAlister - 6’2” 180

Porter Ridge HS (Indian Trail, NC)

The newest member of the 2022 class as of August 16th, North Carolina 4A All-State kicker Braeden McAlister will stay in the 704 in hopes to fill the void left by senior Jonathan Cruz’s graduation after Charlotte’s 2021 campaign concludes. Ranked the #32 kicker in the country by the nationally-renowned Kohl’s Professional Camps, it’s much easier just to show you the kind of leg power this young man brings with him to Will Healy’s program. Watch him nail it from 70 yards.