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Rattlers, Wildcats bolster offensive, defensive lines

Both schools draw from bay area. The likely gems are St. Petersburg Catholic's Larry Woods (B-CC) and Armwood's Ron Buskey (FAMU).

By ERNEST HOOPER

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 8, 2001


Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M touted recruiting classes headed by All-Suncoast players Wednesday.

B-CC boasted four area players: linebacker Lance Holland and running back Jerry Daniels of Brooksville Central, Gibbs defensive linemen Dustin Keseleski and St. Petersburg Catholic running back Larry Woods.

The Rattlers signed one Tampa Bay player, but he was a major acquisition: first-team, all-state quarterback Ron Buskey from Armwood.

Of all the talent B-CC took from this area, coach Alvin Wyatt may have been most impressed with Woods, who could have an immediate impact.

"We watched him on film," Wyatt said. "He didn't look like a high school player, he didn't look like a college player. He ran like a pro."

The Wildcats announced 26 signees. They concentrated primarily on offensive and defensive linemen (with a school-record 13 signees) and receiver (six). The Wildcats did well in Georgia, signing three players from Warner Robins Northside and quarterback William Johnson of Albany Monroe. With the departure of standout senior Pa'tell Troutman, Johnson may compete with returnee Allen Suber of Tampa Catholic.

"This is a kid who can live up to every bit of the potential of Troutman," Wyatt said of Johnson.

After B-CC finished last season ranked 20th in the Sports Network Division I-AA poll, Wyatt said he believes this class can help propel it into the Top 5.

FAMU also concentrated on linemen, having lost all five starters from the defensive line and three of five from the offensive line. But only a handful of letters of intent had been faxed to the school by 5 p.m., so the Rattlers released the names of only eight players. Coach Billy Joe, however, said the recruiting process was going extremely well.

"We have, perhaps, the best recruiting class since I've been here," Joe said. "We have quite a few men who have verbally committed from the West Coast and, because of the time difference, we haven't received their letters yet. But once we get those, we feel like we will have maximized our priorities, which was offensive linemen and defensive linemen."

Buskey, a first-team all-state selection in Class 3A, holds all of Armwood's career passing marks. He threw for 4,908 career yards, 42 touchdowns and completed 65 percent of his passes.

Rickey Funches, a junior college honorable mention All-America selection, is one of four junior college players the Rattlers announced. Funches, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker/defensive end, runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds and bench presses 295 pounds. He attended Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College last season.

Offensive tackles Larry Ram (6-5, 310) of Los Angeles Valley Junior College and Quinn Woods (6-5, 325) of San Bernardino Valley Community College also signed.

Joe hopes to bring in as many as 30 new recruits, but the Rattlers are holding back about half their scholarships for potential junior college and Division I transfers. Joe said his philosophy continues to move him toward junior college players because they can help maintain "our standard of excellence. "There will be some years where we will recruit almost exclusively high school youngsters," Joe said. "But when you have a plethora of seniors graduating, especially big seniors, it's difficult to replace them with high school talent and expect that talent to play the first year.

"The junior college players are older, more mature and are more talented. The only negative is that you have them for just two years."

Buskey and all-New Jersey quarterback/punter Matthew Perry highlight Florida A&M's high school recruits. The Rattlers beat Wisconsin, Maryland and Syracuse for the 6-foot-2, 193-pound Perry, who played at Willingboro Camden High.

-- Staff writer Frank Pastor contributed to this report.

Bethune-Cookman College signees

Alandee Brown, OL, 6-5, 280, Boca Raton Spanish River; Patrick Brown, WR, 6-1, 175, Warner Robins (Ga.) Northside; Joe D. Clark, OL, 6-4, 275, Stockbridge (Ga.); Jon Collins, WR, Boca Raton; Keith Cooper, WR, 5-11, 170, Miami Coral Reef; Rhett Dalton, DL, 6-3, 235, Lakeland; Jerry Daniels, RB, 6-1, 195, Brooksville Central; Maurice Dixon, 6-2, 298, Palmetto (Ga.) Creekside; Vernon Edwards, DL, 6-3, 285, Jacksonville Jackson; Lance Holland, LB, 6-4, 200, Brooksville Central; William Johnson, QB, Albany (Ga.) Monroe; Tyrone Jones, WR, 6-1, 185, Crescent City; Dustin Keseleski, DL, 6-1, 275, Gibbs; Marquel McCormes, DL, 6-3, 275, Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson; Reginald McCoy, WR, 6-4, 195, Miami Coral Reef; Keron Milton, WR, 6-1, 175, Warner Robins (Ga.) Northside; Dulani Mitchell, DL, 6-3, 270, Homestead South Dade; Jamal Olusesi, OL, 6-3, 305, Fairburn (Ga.) Creekside; Daniel Parrish, OL, 6-7, 275, Tallahassee Rickards; Aubrey Patterson, DL, 6-2, 260, Warner Robins (Ga.) Northside; Donald Patterson, DL, 6-5, 280, Jacksonville Terry Parker; Davis Player, P, 5-10, 195, Flagler Palm Coast; Alex Sanders, OL, 6-4, 255, Lakeland; Danny Williams, DL, 6-3, 235, Lakeland; Shamaine Williams, LB, 6-1, 212, Crescent City; Larry Woods, RB, 6-1, 205, St. Petersburg Catholic.

Florida A&M signees

Ron Buskey, QB, 6-5, 202, Armwood; Altarig F. Brown, DT, 6-1, 285, Jupiter; Ricky Brown, S, 6-0, 200, Los Angeles Southwest JC; Rickey Funches, LB/DE, 6-2, 210, Copiah-Lincoln CC (Miss.)

Adam Gray, P, 6-1, 210, Madison County; Kenneth Jones, OL/DL, 6-2, 290, Tallahassee Rickards; Matthew E. Perry, QB/P, 6-2, 193, Willingboro (N.J.) Camden; Larry Ram, OT, 6-5, 310, Los Angeles Valley JC; Quinn Woods, OT, 6-5, 325, San Bernadino Valley CC.

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