VALDOSTA -- Round two of Valdosta State football's recruiting season was completed Wednesday, with the Blazers adding skill players to the load of defensive linemen who came to school last month.

"We're looking for the best players we can get, no matter the position," said VSU head coach Chris Hatcher. "The big thing we were looking for is more skill position-type players."

Valdosta State announced 15 signees Wednesday, adding to the eight who already enrolled in school last month.

In this round, the Blazers added mostly defensive backs and receivers. The January group was heavy on defensive linemen. Both groups addressed a need at linebacker.

VSU signed six receivers, led by junior college transfer Rick Stokes (5-9, 185). The Georgia Military player played high school ball at Lincoln County.

"He's Mosley-like," said Hatcher, referring to former Blazer receiver Reggie Mosley, who leaves VSU with the most receiving yards in Gulf South Conference history.

Lowndes High's Zach Parker will get a first look at tight end. He's joined by four other small, quick outside receivers -- Peach County's Lemario Brown and Jarius Rumph, Crisp County's Jeffrey Felton and Dooly County's Travis Taylor.

VSU added three defensive backs, an area hit by the graduation of two safeties. Two area players -- Cook's Cornelius Brown and Valdosta's Eric Williams -- are joined by James Mills (5-9, 171) of Jacksonville's Trinity Christian.

At linebacker, where the Blazers lose one starter and three backups, Peach County's Donnie Daniels (6-2, 205) joins January signee Dee Wlliford (Central Florida)

"Daniels can really run," said Hatcher of the candidate to replace another former Peach County High, Tabious Carter.

Much of the defensive line help is already on campus, with five players already enrolled. VSU added a sixth on Wednesday, when former Thomas County Central tackle Tracy Flounoy (6-3, 320) signed. Flounoy originally signed with VSU two years ago, but enrolled at Holmes (Miss.) Community College. He had 66 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks last season, earning team defensive MVP and all-state honors.

VSU also adds running backs Nick Fletcher (5-10, 185) of Toombs County and Scott Palmer (5-11, 230) of Central Gwinnett, plus kicker Kenneth Berrong (6-0, 165) of Class AAAAA power Parkview.

After a couple of big recruiting classes on the offensive line, the Blazers added just one Wednesday -- one with some famous Georgia bloodlines. Davis Russell (5-11, 240), out of Mandarin High in Jacksonville, is the grandson of former Georgia assistant and Georgia Southern coach Erk Russell.

The Blazers had four new starters on the offensive line last season, and are encouraged by a group of four redshirt freshmen who strongly challenged the Blazers' starting defensive line in practices.

"We thought they had a chance to play later in the season, but we chose to keep them redshirted," Hatcher said. "There should be a lot of battles this spring."

Spring practice is scheduled to begin March 4, with the 2003 season opening Aug. 30 vs. Albany State.



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