UNC Charlotte quick to add first-ever football recruit

Independence H.S. senior Austin Duke signed with UNC Charlotte


by Associated Press


Posted on February 1, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 1 at 9:42 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Will Thomas, a wide receiver from Topsail High in Hampstead, N.C., has etched his name into Charlotte 49ers' history: He is the school's first football player after sending in a time-stamped fax at 7:02 a.m., two minutes after college recruits were allowed to begin signing.

Thomas was quickly followed by Maiden (N.C.) High quarterback Matt Johnson and 12 others.

The 49ers, a FCS independent, will begin play in 2013.

Charlotte coach Brad Lambert has been anxious for this day since being hired, saying "to see the first two names come across, it was really exciting. It's kind of neat that it was a receiver and quarterback. I guess we're ready to score some points."

Lambert says "it just makes it real. We've got a team now."

Here are all 23 signees as of 2 p.m.:

Brandon Banks Southwest Guilford High School High Point, N.C. 6'3" 230
Jarred Barr Sun Valley High School Indian Trail, N.C. 6'3" 285
Justin Bolus James Island High School Folly Beach, S.C. 6'2" 205
Jaquil Capel West Montgomery High School Mt. Gilead, N.C. 5'11" 175
Terry Caldwell John T. Hoggard High School Wilmington, N.C. 6'2" 208
Jamal Covington Lovejoy High School Fayetteville, Ga. 6'3" 270
Greg Cunningham Jr. West Charlotte High School Charlotte, N.C. 6'1" 175
Austin Duke Independence High School Charlotte, N.C. 5'8" 155
Kariym Gent Ayden-Grifton High School Grifton, N.C. 5'11" 185
Jalen Holt South Stanly High School Norwood, N.C. 6'4" 225  
Matt Johnson Maiden High School Newton, N.C. 6'2" 215
Thomas La Bianca Porter Ridge High School Indian Trail, N.C. 6'3" 280
Rick Legrant Buford High School Buford, Ga. 6'0" 215
James Middleton Timberland High School Pineville, S.C. 6'4" 240
Karsten Miller North Davidson High School Lexington, N.C. 6'3" 195
Tank Norman Richlands High School Jacksonville, N.C. 5'11" 180
Mark Pettit Western Guilford High School Greensboro, N.C. 6'6" 239
Larry Ogunjobi Ragsdale High School Greensboro, N.C. 6'3" 253
Kendal Parker Lakeside High School Lake Park, Ga. 6'1" 215
Casey Perry Hillside High School Durham, N.C. 6'3" 285
Jamel Ross Panther Creek High school Cary, N.C. 6'3" 215
Mason Sledge Monroe High School Monroe, N.C. 6'4" 250
Will Thomas Topsail Senior High School Hampstead, N.C. 6'0" 170