ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

The Times Free Press revisits the Chattanooga area's 10 most notable signees from four years ago and offers a look at each's football career since.

Jermane Conyers, Ridgeland, DL, New Mexico

A three-star recruit according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings, he originally signed with Indiana out of high school but ended up at Dodge City (Kan.) Community College. He started for two years, was a second-team all-conference selection, and in 2015 helped the Conquistadors win a Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference championship. He then signed with New Mexico and played in all 12 games as a junior last season with one start (against Wyoming). Listed at 6-foot-2 and 326 pounds, he totaled 17 tackles last season (one for loss), forced a fumble and had one pass breakup. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

Chandler Curtis, Calhoun, WR/RS, Mercer

He not only played in all 12 games as a freshman, he became the program's first All-American when he was chosen for the third team by The Sports Network as a return specialist. He led the Football Championship Subdivision that year with three punt returns for touchdowns. He also led the Southern Conference in all-purpose yards with an average of 119.4 per game and led with a kick-return average of 29.8. Additionally, he topped the Bears with 564 receiving yards. He then went through an injury-riddled sophomore season and was limited to playing in three games. He also missed the first three games the next season because of an injury but played in eight games afterward and had a season-high 96 receiving yards against Western Carolina. He started all 11 games as a senior, and with his averages of 16.5 per punt return and 23.6 per kick return, reappeared on the All-SoCon first team for the coaches and media for the first time since his freshman year. In his final season, the 5-11, 202-pounder set career-highs of 11 receptions and 112 receiving yards in a game, and he leaves as the Bears' all-time leader in all-purpose yards with 3,526.

Alonzo Francois, East Hamilton, LB, ETSU

After redshirting in 2014, he played in all 11 games the next year. He was in on 16 tackles (six against Mercer) and recovered a fumble. He played in nine of 11 games the next season, registering six tackles and a fumble recovery. Two of his three tackles for loss that season came against Furman. Last year he returned to playing in 11 games and totaled 11 tackles with two for loss. He also forced a fumble and broke up a pass. Listed at 5-9 and beefed up to 197 pounds from the time he arrived as a defensive back, he has one year remaining with the Buccaneers.

C.J. Fritz, McCallie, DB, UTC

After sitting out his first season, he played in 12 games the next year, including two starts. He intercepted a pass in a playoff game at Jacksonville State and ended up being chosen on the All-SoCon freshman team. He started all 13 games at cornerback the next season and had 38 tackles and broke up five passes. His career high of eight tackles came against Samford that year, and he also forced a fumble in that game. In 35 career games, with a year remaining, the 5-11, 175-pounder has made 25 starts and broken up 13 passes.

Rafael Gaglionone, Baylor, K, Wisconsin

The three-star recruit — according to ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports — made an impact right away, converting 19 of 22 field goals in his first season. He finished the year by making his last 14 attempts, tying the longest streak in school history. He also became the first Wisconsin freshman to make multiple 50-yard field goals in a season when he connected from 51 against LSU and hit from 50 at Iowa. The 5-11, 232-pounder played in 43 games, and his four game-winning field goals are the most in school history. His extra-point percentage of 98.8 (168-for-170) is also tops at the school. He was an All-Big Ten honorable mention as a freshman and a second-team selection as a senior.

Austin Gatewood, East Hamilton, LB, ETSU

After a redshirt year, he started all 11 games the next season and had 57 tackles, eight in the backfield, 2.5 sacks and an interception. He had a season-best 10 tackles at Mercer. In 2016, he started the first 10 games before missing the last with an injury. He totaled 53 tackles that season (3.5 for loss), forced three fumbles and broke up two passes. Last season the 6-1, 225-pounder registered 34 tackles (7.5 behind the line) and had a sack and an interception. He is eligible to play one more year.

Tre Herndon, East Hamilton, DB, Vanderbilt

The 247Sports three-star recruit was one of four freshmen in the Commodores' 2014 incoming class to play right away. He saw action in all 12 games, playing on special teams and as a substitute on defense. The next year he was a full-time starter, registering a sack against Western Kentucky in his first start. He had a career-best eight solo tackles that season against Texas A&M. As a junior he started every game at corner, led the team with two interceptions and had 30 solo tackles among his 61 stops. Last season he extended his number of consecutive career starts to 29 before missing the Florida game, but he returned to the starting lineup for the remaining games. Playing corner and nickel at 6-1 and 188 pounds, his 11 passes defended were a team-best. In total, he played in 48 games with 36 starts and compiled 126 total tackles to go with 25 passes broken up.

Bailey Lenoir, East Hamilton, TE, UTC

His career rise went from redshirting in 2014 to being a member of the scout team in '15 to playing in all 13 games in '16 with a start against Western Carolina, to starting seven of 11 games last year. A two-star recruit according to 247Sports, he had 14 receptions for 120 yards last fall, and that combined with his blocking prowess enabled him to be a second-team All-SoCon selection by the coaches and media. The 6-4, 245-pounder has one year remaining with the Mocs.

Isaiah Mack, Northwest Whitfield, DL, UTC

He became a starter for the last eight games in 2015 and earned a spot on the All-SoCon freshman team after redshirting his first year. He played in all 13 games as a sophomore and had two tackles behind the line of scrimmage at Alabama. He tied a career high with 10 tackles against Furman last season and ended up a second-team All-SoCon choice by the league's coaches. With a year of eligibility left, the 6-3, 290-pounder has already played in 37 games with 21 starts and has 30 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks.

Emory Norred, Baylor, LS, UTC

He handled the long-snapping duties the majority of his four years with the Mocs, not missing a game in his first three seasons. As a memorable highlight to his career, the 6-foot, 225-pounder recovered a fumble in their home FCS playoff victory over Weber State.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT