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With Charlotte moving to the FBS level and joining Conference USA the 49ers recruiting class this season will be very important to the future of the program. It is a big step up from playing programs like Campbell and Chowan to playing programs like Lousiana Tech, North Texas and a once proud Southern Miss program. The players that sign in the class of 2014 will be asked to be major contributors for this program as sophomores when Charlotte joins Conference USA in 2015 and juniors when Charlotte first becomes bowl eligible. With that being said let's take a look at Charlotte's recruiting:
QB – Brooks Barden – 6'3 210 – Barden is a legit college QB and a steal for the 49ers in this class. He camped at UGA and got legitimate looks from North Carolina, Penn State and Tennessee although none ended up offering. He plays for a very solid HS team in Georgia – Cartersville HS – and has put up some great numbers. He is a big lefty with a big time arm. I expect him to be Charlotte's starting QB for years to come.
RB – Maetron Thomas – 5'10 180 – Thomas is another Georgia kid and you will see a lot of that with Brad Lambert's history from in the state of North Carolina. Thomas is a scat back with legit speed that will be a threat catching the ball out of the backfield.
WR – Workpeh Kofa – 6'3 180 – Kofa is a local kid from Independence HS and is a good looking young receiver physically. He looks the part of solid possession receiver with very good hands. Holds an offer from Louisville as well so it is a steal for Charlotte to land him.
WR – Mark Quattlebaum – 5'11 170 – He is a teammate of Brooks Barden and a solid receiver. He does not have great top end speed but he does everything else well. He looks like he will be a slot receiver on the college level.
WR – Juwan Foggie – 6'3 200 – Foggie is another big receiver from High Point. He had some early interest from the Tarheels but did not receive an offer. He is a good athlete with really good hands. He is the type of player Charlotte needs to continue to land.
TE – R.J. Tyler – 6'4 230 – Tucker is a good sized young man for the TE position that holds offers from a lot of the top Southern Conference schools including App State, Georgia Southern and Wofford. He is a big physical TE with some receiving skills.
OT - Jean-Luc Cerza-Lanaux – 6'8 280 – Jean Luc is a local kid from Charlotte Christian that is just a massive young man. He is an underrated athlete that will need to continue to get stronger but has good feet from playing basketball all through HS.
OG – Chris Brown – 6'4 290 – Brown is a big kid from Vance HS here locally. He has some bad weight on his frame but a college strength program will do him a lot of good. Charlotte needs to keep adding big bodies in the trenches to compete on the FBS level.
OG – Nate Davis – 6'2 250 – Davis is a young man that is going to need to add quite a bit of weight but his HS coaches say he is as fiery and competitive as they come. Could play center on the college level.
OLB – Tristan Butcher – Butcher is from all the way out in Oklahoma and is a nice OLB with some really good speed. He will make plays from sideline to sideline and has been a high volume tackler in HS.
FS – Denzel Irvin – 5'11 180 – Another guy that lacks a bit of speed but he has solid football instincts. With a little more speed he would probably play cornerback.
SS – Najee Tucker – 6'2 200 – Tucker is a big safety that likes to come down into the box and he is not afraid to lay the big hit. He does not have ideal top end speed and if he keeps filling out I could see him at outside linebacker moving forward.
Thus far the 49ers have done a nice job. They need to continue to improve their defensive line by adding some more bodies on the interior and some more inside linebackers and corners would be nice to add in this class. But they really did get a steal in Brooks Barden who is truly one hell of a QB and Independence HS receiver Workpeh Kofa and Charlotte Christian offensive lineman Jean-Luc Cerza-Lanaux. Those three will could certainly end up being cornerstones of the Charlotte football team for the next four years!
Brooks Barden. Photo Cred
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