Javon Hargrave’s reign of terror upon the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference began when he left North Rowan High School in Salisbury, North Carolina, as a mid-year signee for Buddy Pough’s South Carolina State Bulldogs.

The All-American defensive tackle headlines the MEAC National Signing Day Class of 2012 as we look back on the successes (and failure) of this year’s MEAC senior class, four years after singing National Letters of Intent.


The third, and final, recruiting flashback of Division I HBCU football programs follows the same rules used in the Southwestern Athletic Conference look back and the Tennessee State retrospective.

The focus is placed on NSD and individual schools’ announcements of those initial February 2012 signings. The number of 2012 signees still on the roster in 2015 was counted, using those initial NSD lists and comparing them to the 2015 rosters provided by the MEAC members.

Win-loss records of the class were compiled, making note of any coaching changes.

Bethune-Cookman

No. of NSD signees: 15

No. of 2012 NSD signees listed on 2015 roster: 3 (OL Dariusz Bladek, DB Terry Harden, OL Trevin Huff)

Win/Loss record of class (2012-2015): 37-11; 0.770 winning percentage; four MEAC titles; two FCS playoff appearances

  • 2012: 9-3 (MEAC champion; lost in first round of FCS playoffs)
  • 2013: 10-3 (MEAC co-champion; lost in first round of FCS playoffs)
  • 2014: 9-3 (MEAC co-champion; head coach Brian Jenkins leaves for Alabama State; Terry Sims named head coach)
  • 2015: 9-2 (Sims’ first year as head coach; MEAC co-champion)

Quick Hits: Eight of the 15 signed were either FBS or juco transfers. Bladek started all 10 games he played in while Huff started in 10 of 11 games last season. Bladek and Huff anchored an offensive line that helped the Wildcats lead the MEAC in scoring (31.4 points per game) and total offense (445 yards per game). Harden played in eight games.

Bladek earned first-team All-MEAC honors, along with earning a spot on the SBN All-America team.

Delaware State

No. of NSD signees: 18

No. of 2012 NSD signees listed on 2015 roster: 12 (DL Tarique Anderson, LB Rashawn Barrett, DB Willie Bolden, RB Dae-Hon Cheung, RB Trey Hall, OL Dimitri Hill, OL Clark McCready, QB Esayah Obado, TE Nate Ortiz, OL Keevon Prather, DL Gabriel Sherrod, OL Keon Williams)

Win/Loss record of class (2012-2015): 14-31; 0.311 winning percentage

  • 2012: 6-5
  • 2013: 5-6
  • 2014: 2-10
  • 2015: 1-10

Quick Hits: Barrett’s 84 tackles was sixth-best in the league last season. Sherrod, a first-team All-MEAC selection, led the league in tackles for loss (25) and was third in sacks (8).

Florida A&M

No. of NSD signees: 26

No. of 2012 NSD signees listed on 2015 roster: 8 (P Colby Blanton, LB Akil Blount, DL Trevor Bone, DL Romario Chisolm, DB Neal Cunningham, DL Michael Lovejoy, LB Tyler Riley, DL Danzell Williams)

Win/Loss record of class (2012-2015): 11-35; 0.239 winning percentage

  • 2012: 4-7 (Joe Taylor steps down after ninth game http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8606808/famu-coach-joe-taylor-stepping-immediately; Earl Holmes named interim coach)
  • 2013: 3-9 (Holmes’ first season as full-time head coach)
  • 2014: 3-9 (Holmes fired before homecoming game; Alex Wood hired in offseason)
  • 2015: 1-10 (Wood’s first season as head coach)

Quick Hits: Blount was named to the All-MEAC team’s third-team defense. The son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Mel Blount finished the season tied for the team lead in total tackles (75), tackles for loss (7.5) and interceptions (2).

Hampton

No. of NSD signees: 15

No. of 2012 NSD signees listed on 2015 roster: 7 (LB Keith McAfee, DB Jordan Hill, QB Jaylien Williamson, WR Rayshad Riddick, DE Miles Grooms, WR Twarn Mixson, LB Joshua Thorne)

Win/Loss record of class (2012-2015): 16-29; 0.355 winning percentage

  • 2012: 3-7
  • 2013: 4-8 (head coach Donovan Rose fired; Connell Maynor hired)
  • 2014: 3-9 (Maynor’s first season as head coach)
  • 2015: 6-5

Quick Hits: This class was comprised of four juco/FBS transfers and 11 high school players.

Mixson, an SBN and BOXTOROW All-America selection, finished as the MEAC’s best receiver. The redshirt junior — a first-team All-MEAC selection — led the league in receptions (59), receiving yards (1,027), receiving yards per game (93.4) and receiving touchdowns (9). His nine scores tied for second-best in the conference for nonkickers.

Defensively, defensive end Miles Grooms earned a first-team All-MEAC spot after finishing the season second in sacks (8.5) and fourth in TFLs (16). Linebacker Joshua Thorne was a third-team All-MEAC selection after leading the Pirates in total tackles (78).

Howard

No. of NSD signees: 17

No. of 2012 NSD signees listed on 2015 roster: 10 (OL Toree Boyd, WR Matthew Colvin, QB Jamie Cunningham, LB Jalen Day, DE Damon Gresham-Chisolm, TE Marvin Harris, DE Ghafone Iduwe, OL Nathan Lewis, LB Devin Rollins)

Win/Loss record of class (2012-2015): 19-27; 0.413 winning percentage

  • 2012: 7-4 (Flea Harrell left; Ray Petty takes over)
  • 2013: 6-6 (Petty’s first season as head coach)
  • 2014: 5-7 (Harrell returned)
  • 2015: 1-10

Quick Hits: Boyd, a two-time second-team All-MEAC selection, has started every game since coming to Howard. Gresham-Chisolm earned a third-team All-MEAC spot after posting 25 total tackles, five TFLs, two sacks in seven games.

Morgan State

No. of NSD signees: 18

No. of 2012 NSD signees listed on 2015 roster: 8 (RB Lamont Brown III, TE Willie Gillis III, LB Ta’Quon Jackson, DB Deadrick Jones, WR Thomas Martin, DL Andrew Mitchell, K Chris Moeller, DB DeShawn Summers)

Win/Loss record of class (2012-2015): 20-27; 0.425 winning percentage; one MEAC title; one FCS playoff appearance

  • 2012: 3-8
  • 2013: 5-7
  • 2014: 7-6 (Lee Hull’s first season; MEAC co-champion; lost in first round of FCS playoffs)
  • 2015: 5-6 (Lee Hull takes NFL job)

Quick Hits: Jackson and Martin were among 10 Bears ruled ineligible by the NCAA prior to the start of the 2015 season — including 2014 leading rusher Herb Walker Jr. (not a part of this class). Brown, who led the Bears in rushing in 2013 before missing 2014 with an injury, was Morgan’s third-leading rusher in 2015 (46 carries, 230 yards).

This class was comprised of 14 high school players and four transfers.

Norfolk State

No. of NSD signees: 15

No. of 2012 NSD signees listed on 2015 roster: 8 (DL Lamonte Clark, DB Kindrick Feaster, LB Justin Gant, OL Daniel Oladimeji, OL Mike Phillips, FB Conley Smith, OL Darrell Whitaker, DL Michael Witcher)

Win/Loss record of class (2012-2015): 15-31; 0.326 winning percentage

  • 2012: 4-7
  • 2013: 3-9
  • 2014: 4-8 (Pete Adrian fired; Latrell Scott takes over as head coach)
  • 2015: 4-7 (Scott’s first year as head coach)

Quick Hits: Former All-American linebacker Lynden Trail was one of four transfers in this 15-player class. Another All-American linebacker, Buchanan Award winner Deon King, was not among those initial February signees. King signed with Norfolk State — his only Division I offer — after NSD.

Phillips earned a spot on the All-MEAC second team offense.

North Carolina A&T

No. of NSD signees: 18

No. of 2012 NSD signees listed on 2015 roster: 7 (QB Oluwafemi Bamiro, DE Angelo Keyes, FB Anthony McMinn II, DB Tony McRae, QB Kwashaun Quick, DL Marquis Ragland, DB Landis Shoffner)

Win/Loss record of class (2012-2015): 33-13; 0.717 winning percentage; two MEAC titles; one Black College National Championship title)

  • 2012: 7-4
  • 2013: 7-4
  • 2014: 9-3 (MEAC co-champion)
  • 2015: 10-2 (MEAC co-champion; defeated Alcorn State in Celebration Bowl; Black College National Champion)

Quick Hits: Ragland and McRae were first-team All-MEAC selections on defense while Keyes was a second-team selection. The trio were three of the Aggies top four tacklers in 2015.

McRae earned SBN and BOXTOROW All-American honors, along with FCS All-American honors from College Sports Madness, after leading NCAT in total tackles (55) and interceptions while running back two kickoffs for scores.

Keyes had 54 total tackles, and led the Aggies in sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (16). Ragland finished the season with 48 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and 11.5 TFLs.

North Carolina Central

No. of NSD signees: 27

No. of 2012 NSD signees listed on 2015 roster: 13 (OL Jayson Black, QB Malcolm Bell, OL Desmond Cooper, OL Clevonne Davis, OL ty Gatson, LB Jordan Miles, OL Carl Jones, DL Tre Smith, DL Darius Spruill, OL Jamaal Symmonett, DB Tony Tate, LB Jeremy Thompson)

Win/Loss record of class (2012-2015): 26-20, 0.562 winning percentage; two MEAC titles)

  • 2012: 6-5 (Henry Frazier III fired as head coach; Dwayne Foster takes over)
  • 2013: 5-7 (Foster fired; Jerry Mack takes over)
  • 2014: 7-5 (Mack’s first season as head coach; MEAC co-champion)
  • 2015: 8-3 (MEAC co-champion)

Quick Hits: Jones, a redshirt junior, started all 11 games at center en route to being named to the All-MEAC first team offense and BOXTOROW All-America team. Davis and Cooper earned offensive linemen spots on the All-MEAC second-team offense.

Miles was named to the All-MEAC second-team defense after finishing seventh in the conference in total tackles (80) while Bell was the conference’s third-team quarterback after throwing for 1,581 yards, rushing for 509 more and scoring 13 total touchdowns for the Eagles.

Savannah State

No. of NSD signees: 18

No. of 2012 NSD signees listed on 2015 roster: 5 (LB Trevion Ashford, DL William Broadbent IV, WR Roosevelt Isom III, QB Leon Prunty, LB Marquis Smith)

Win/Loss record of class (2012-2015): 3-42; 0.066 winning percentage.

  • 2012: 1-10 (Steve Davenport fired as head coach; Earnest Wilson III hired)
  • 2013: 1-11 (Wilson’s first season as head coach)
  • 2014: 0-12
  • 2015: 1-9 (Wilson leaves for Elizabeth City State)

Quick Hits: This class was comprised of 10 high school players, six juco and two FBS transfers.

Smith was the Tigers’ second-leading tackler (57 total tackles) and was tied for the team lead in tackles for loss (7). Ashford was the Tigers’ third-leading tackler (55 total tackles)

South Carolina State

No. of NSD signees: 23

No. of 2012 NSD signees listed on 2015 roster: 9 (OL Eric Dickerson, DL Javon Hargrave, DB Phillip Henry, Marquise Jones, QB Adrian Kollock Jr., DE Reggie Owens, OL Jake Scott, DB Tyler Smith, WR Taquan West)

Win/Loss record of class (2012-2015): 29-18; 0.617 winning percentage; two MEAC titles; one FCS playoff appearance

  • 2012: 5-6
  • 2013: 9-4 (MEAC co-champion; lost in first round of FCS playoffs)
  • 2014: 8-4 (MEAC co-champion)
  • 2015: 7-4

Quick Hits: Hargrave may have been the two-time MEAC defensive player of the year, but he was not the only contributor from the class for Pough’s Bulldogs. West was a second-team All-MEAC selection at receiver after finishing 2015 third in receiving yards per game (63.2) and eighth in receptions per game (4.1).

Owens earned a second-team all-conference spot after finishing the season fourth in sacks (7) and third in TFLs (19)

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Special Contributor to HBCU Sports and a graduate of Southern University.

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