UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. – When Head Coach Russ Huesman returned to take over the reins of the University of Richmond football program, he didn’t shy away from his goal of winning a national championship.
Over the past decade, the Spiders rank in the top-10 in the country in total wins, playoff wins, playoff appearances, conference championships and alums reaching the NFL.
The next crop of student-athletes who Coach Huesman and his staff are going to look toward to continue to achieve that national level of success signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.
Huesman and staff announced a class of 13 student-athletes, which include six offensive players and seven defensive players. Four hail from the Commonwealth of Virginia, while two are from Maryland, two are from North Carolina, two from Alabama, two from Georgia and one from Tennessee.
"We're really excited about this group of student-athletes and the potential they bring to our program," Huesman said. "Every program around the country believes they have the best class and there's a lot of great players out there, but for our needs and what we were looking to bring into our program, we're really thrilled with the 13 kids we were able to bring in to become Spiders."
Coach Huesman will address fans and donors about the signees tonight at 5 p.m. in Johnson Terrace inside the Robins Center. The event is sponsored by the official Richmond Signing Day host, Owen and Owens.
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown/Last School||Highlights||NLI Received|
|Trey Camissa||DE||6-4||265||Greenwich, Conn./Brunswick School (Tulane)||Video||Winter|
|Jack Bowler||OL||6-3||275||Raleigh, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons||Video||7:24 a.m.|
|Samari Springs||DB||6-1||170||Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods||Video||7:49 a.m.|
|Ben Maffe||WR||6-3||230||Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods||Video||7:49 a.m.|
|Jordan Payne||DB||6-0||190||Conyers, Ga./Pace Academy||Video||7:54 a.m.|
|Markus Vinson||DB||5-10||175||Damascus, Md./Damascus||Video||8:02 a.m.|
|Tyler Dressler||LB||6-2||225||Covington, Va./Covington||Video||8:06 a.m.|
|Jack Doherty||OL||6-5||280||Nashville, Tenn./Franklin Road Academy||Video||8:14 a.m.|
|Devon Perry||DB/KR||6-1||190||Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft||Video||8:33 a.m.|
|Caleb Brooks||DE||6-3||210||Clifton, Va./Centreville||Video||8:38 a.m.|
|Clayton McConnell||OL||6-3||265||Foley, Ala./Foley||Video||8:49 a.m.|
|Noah Nicholson||DB||5-11||175||Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel||Video||8:53 a.m.|
|Anthonie Powell||WR||6-3||210||Fayetteville, Ga./Fayette County HS||Video||9:09 a.m.|
|Tre Story||QB||6-2||190||Lanett, Ala./Lanett||Video||9:18 a.m.|
Greenwich, Conn./Brunswick School (Tulane)
Spider Bites: Camissa joined the Spiders this winter after spending the previous three years at Tulane. Lining up at TE for the Green Wave, Camissa will give the Spiders a dual threat with the ability to line up on the defensive line, where he starred during his high school years. Camissa was a two-star standout in high school, playing four years of both lacrosse and football. On the gridiron, he had 43 tackles in his final two seasons, including two sacks and four tackles for a loss.
Raleigh, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons
Spider Bites: A big bodied, athletic lineman, who can play both the guard and center positions, Bowler will add talented depth to the Spiders up front. Bowler was a two-time All-Conference selection, an All-State and All-Metro honoree and was selected to play in the 2016 Shrine Bowl. He drew interest from 11 different schools before choosing to join the Spiders.
Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods
Spider Bites: You can say that football runs in Springs’ family. Both his father, Shawn, and his grandfather, Ron, played in the NFL and both played at Ohio State. Samari will be a valuable asset in the secondary, who earned All-Conference and All-State accolades during his senior season at Briar Woods. In his senior season with the Falcons, Springs had five INTs.
Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods
Spider Bites: Maffe gives the Spiders a big-bodied pass catching option, who drew over 10 scholarship offers, including several FBS options. This past fall, the Northern Virginia native posted 21 touchdowns and nearly 1,000 total yards. A two-time captain at Briar Woods, he earned All-Conference, All-Metro and All-State accolades during his time as a Falcon.
Conyers, Ga./Pace Academy
Spider Bites: Payne will join a former high school teammate when he steps on campus, having played two seasons with rising junior QB Kevin Johnson at Pace Academy. He’s a big, strong body who played the safety position at Pace, as well as lined up in the backfield on the offensive side. He runs a 4.6 40-yard dash and can bench nearly 300 pounds. He was a four-year varsity letterwinner who earned Honorable Mention All-State accolades during his senior season. During his junior year, Payne helped Pace win the State Championship.
Spider Bites: Maybe the most dynamic and versatile athlete in this class, Vinson comes to Richmond after an outstanding high school career in the DC Metro area. An explosive playmaker, Vinson runs a 4.41 40-yard dash and earned First-Team All DC Metro Area honors this past senior season while leading his Damascus squad on a playoff run. He was a part of back-to-back State Championship teams, including being a vital part of this past fall’s squad that went 14-0. He combined for a state-record seven touchdowns in Damascus’ semifinal victory.
Spider Bites: A hard-hitting, versatile playmaker, Dressler is a welcome addition to the middle of the defense. He played four years of football, basketball and baseball at Covington, earning All-Conference, All-Region and All-State accolades on both the gridiron and the diamond. His versatility was shown as he also lined up in the backfield at Covington, leading his team to the playoffs in each of his four seasons. In addition to his athletic achievements, he earned Academic Scholar recognition in each of his four years.
Nashville, Tenn./Franklin Road Academy
Spider Bites: A big body that will help the Spiders secure the trenches for the next four years. Doherty’s athleticism was on display throughout his high school career, when started the final two years on both the football and basketball teams. He was a two-time All-District and All-Region honoree on the gridiron. This past December, he scored 1,000th point on the hardwood.
Spider Bites: A dynamic playmaker, Perry gives the Spiders depth in the secondary as well as the return game. Perry, who ran a 4.5 40-yard dash and had a vertical of nearly 36-inches, earned All-State and All-conference accolades this past season. During his junior season, he was a starter for Ravenscroft when they won the 2015 State Championship. He was also a two-time conference champion on the track in the 400-meter dash.
Clifton, Va./Centreville HS
Spider Bites: A three-star recruit out of Northern Virginia, Brooks is an active, athletic defensive end, who helped his high school squad to two division championships and 22 wins over his final two seasons. Considered one of the top defensive lineman in the DC area, Brooks drew interest from Appalachian State, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Ohio and Virginia, among others. Brooks’ older brother is currently a member of UVA’s football team.
Spider Bites: Establishing the line of scrimmage is key and that’s exactly what the Spiders will get with McConnell. A three-year starter and two-time All-State honoree, McConnell had over 130 knockdowns in his final two seasons at Foley. He earned an invitation to the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game and was a starter on Foley’s 2014 State Semifinalist squad.
Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel
Spider Bites: Nicholson is an athletic corner who can get up in the air (39-inch vertical) and compete for the ball. He’s a ball hawk who had four INTs and nearly 50 tackles in his final two seasons. He earned All-Conference accolades during his senior season. His father, Darryl, played football at Virginia State.
Spider Bites: A dual threat QB, Story totaled nearly 6,000 all-purpose yards in his final two years. He earned First Team All State accolades this past season, when he led his team to the Alabama 2A Region5 Championship game. He set school records for most passing TDs in a career, season and game (8). He earned All-Area honors twice and also was a two-year starter on the basketball team and two-year letter-winner on the track team.
Fayetteville, Ga./Fayette County HS
Spider Bites: Powell was a triple threat for Fayetteville, catching, running and passing for the Tigers. His 4.5 40-yard dash and 300-pound bench shows his combination of speed and strength. He earned All-County and All-Region accolades during his final two seasons, when he served as the team captain. He was also a state qualifier in the 100-meter dash for the Fayette County track & field squad.