UTC Mocs get two football players, lose two to Appalachian State University

UTC Mocs get two football players, lose two to Appalachian State University

January 31st, 2012 by John Frierson in Sports - College

Red Bank's Keionta Davis has been nominated as one of the Times Free Press's Dynamite Dozen area football players for 2011.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program got some good and bad recruiting news Monday, picking up commitments from two players and losing one, while also missing out on a sought-after prospect.

Red Bank High School linebacker Keionta Davis and Maryville High School tight end and defensive end Kevin Niethammer have decided to attend UTC.

John Law, of Atlanta's Grady High School, committed to UTC shortly after his official visit earlier this month. But the linebacker, rated a two-star player by Rivals.com, informed Mocs coaches Sunday that he had changed his mind and was headed to Appalachian State.

Law said he liked UTC but picked ASU because of the "tradition and history" of the program.

The Mountaineers also beat UTC on Dutchtown (Ga.) High School all-state defensive tackle Darien Small, who visited UTC last weekend and committed to ASU on Monday.

The addition of Davis and Niethammer, who received partial scholarship offers, combined with the loss of Law gives the Mocs 16 commitments. National signing day is Wednesday.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Davis was the area's No. 9 college prospect in the 2011 Times Free Press Dynamite Dozen, but a torn ACL in his left knee forced him to miss his senior season.

"A lot of schools backed away after my injury, but [UTC] stuck with me and the last three weeks has really been on me," Davis said. "There's no place I'd rather be."

Davis played defensive end for most of his junior season and had 33 solo stops. He also blocked three punts.

Niethammer, from tradition-rich Maryville, said UTC had been his preferred destination for a long time. He visited UTC, along with Davis and a dozen other prospects, last Saturday.

"I really like the school," the 6-3, 215-pounder said, "and I've gotten to know the coaches pretty well. I kind of had it in my mind that I wanted to go to [UTC] for a while."

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.