Aside from their football skills, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's 2014 recruits also could form a couple of really strong sprint relay teams. The Mocs added more speed to an already impressive collection Monday evening when they flipped Richardre Bagley of Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, Ga., from his commitment to Furman.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Bagley, whose first name is pronounced "Ricar-dre," is the 12th of the Mocs' 19 commitments who also have been track standouts, and on several occasions last year he was timed at 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
"In my 18 years of coaching he's the best at putting his foot in the ground and being top speed in about two steps," said Hillgrove running backs coach Tarve Riggins, who also coached former four-star Hillgrove star and current Alabama sophomore Kenyan Drake. "Richardre is the most explosive runner I've seen. If there's a hole anywhere around the line, he'll find it.
"The only reason the bigger schools didn't come after him like some others we've had is his size. He's probably grown about two inches just in the last few months, and he's still a little shorter than some schools liked. But there's nothing small about how he plays, and pound for pound he may be the best back we've had."
Besides Furman, Bagley had offers from Air Force, Kennesaw State, Mercer, UNC-Charlotte and Temple, where he was being recruited by former UTC assistant Marcus Satterfield, the Owls' offensive coordinator.
A rare four-year starter in a consistently strong 6A program, Bagley averaged 7.2 yards per carry and ran for 200-plus yards in all three of Hillgrove's playoff games to finish with 1,682 yards on an offense that relied heavily on its passing game.
"I committed to Furman right after I got back home from visiting there," said Bagley, who graduated from high school in December. "But it just didn't feel right, and my dad has always said to trust your gut. I just kept thinking about how much I liked Chattanooga -- the city, the coaches and players -- and decided that's where I needed to be.
"There's a family atmosphere where I felt like I was already a part of the program even before I've signed. I like being a part of a winner, and I'm really excited about the direction UTC is headed. They're going to win a lot of games, and I want to help."
Satterfield leaves UTC
Mocs running backs coach Wes Satterfield announced he will be leaving to join the staff at Southeast Louisiana, where he'll work as quarterbacks coach and run-game coordinator. He had been on the Mocs staff for two years, working as tight ends coach before coaching the backs last season.
"He's an excellent young coach with a bright future and we hate to lose him, but it's a business and this sort of thing happens," UTC head coach Russ Huesman said. "I understand it's a chance to make a little more money, plus he gets to coach quarterbacks.
"We've already been contacted by several coaches who are interested in the job, so we'll move quickly. We'll hire a guy who has played the running back position and knows it well."
Southeast Louisiana is an FCS program and member of the Southland Conference.
Satterfield had worked as a graduate assistant at Ohio State and North Carolina, where he worked with the quarterbacks, before joining the Mocs. He played quarterback throughout his high school career at Trousdale County and in college at Sewanee.
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Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...