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Old 02-08-2018, 05:15 AM
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Default Eastern Kentucky University February Signees
RICHMOND, Ky. The Eastern Kentucky University football program added 12 more players to a recruiting class that was ranked fifth in the nation after the December signing period. Six are freshmen that signed on Wednesday and six are mid-year transfers that joined the program at the start of the spring semester.

The group of new Colonels includes three defensive backs, two linebackers, two quarterbacks, two running backs, one wide receiver, one offensive lineman and one defensive lineman.

"We are very excited about the new additions to the football program," said Head Coach Mark Elder. "We've brought in over 10 players on both sides of the ball that will make a major impact here at EKU. I feel like we have increased our size, our length, our physicality and our athleticism with these new additions. Several of the players joining us will be able to make an immediate impact this fall."

Two of the three defensive backs are transfers that played in the Big 10, Josh Hayes at Purdue and Frank Sumpter at Illinois. Hayes has three seasons of eligibility remaining while Sumpter has two.

The defensive lineman is Elijah Taylor, a transfer from Notre Dame. The two quarterbacks include a freshman signee and a junior college transfer with three seasons of eligibility. The two linebackers are both freshmen signees, including an all-state selection from Ohio.

At the end of the early signing period in December, Eastern's recruiting class was ranked fifth in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) by 247Sports. This class will be EKU's third straight top-25 rated recruiting class under Elder. Despite having less than two months to put together his first class, Eastern's 2016 class was ranked as the 23rd best in the nation. Elder's second recruiting class was rated as the 14th best.

Eastern Kentucky has won two national championships, 21 conference titles and has made 21 playoff appearances. No other FCS team has won at least two FCS national titles and 20 or more conference championships. EKU has had 66 All-America selections and 33 NFL draft picks.

The following are individual profiles of the signees.

Jayvon Blissett WR, 6-3, 200, Fr., Hoffman Estates, Ill. (Hoffman Estates HS) Highlights
"Jayvon is a long explosive athlete," Elder said. "He is very elusive with good size and will be a match-up problem for defenses."

Jaelyn Fleming RB, 5-9, 170, Fr., Gadsden, Ala. (Gadsden City HS) Highlights
Played for head coach Bart Session at Gadsden City High School chosen to the ABC 33 All-Star team as a senior first team all-area as a junior after rushing for 809 yards and totaling 707 yards receiving.

"Jaelyn is a very fast running back that can hit the home run," said Elder. "He's versatile in that he can line up in the backfield or we can flex him out as a receiver and get him quick touches on the perimeter. He will add a new dynamic to our offense."

Demarcus Irons Jr. QB, 6-5, 200, Fr., Lawrenceville, Ga. (Grayson HS) -- Highlights
Chosen as the offensive player of the year in Georgia.

"DJ is a true duel threat quarterback," Elder said. "He's very good fundamentally, has a big arm and can make all the throws. He's athletic enough that we can have quarterback designed runs and he can extend plays with his feet."

Jakari Lumsden LB, 6-1, 205, Fr., Youngstown, Ohio (Fitch HS) Highlights
Earned third team all-state honors at Austintown Fitch High School while playing for head coach Phil Annarella as a senior in 2017 also chosen first team all-district and first team all-conference as a senior recorded 70 tackles, two sacks, one interception, 576 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns his senior season team captain selected first team all-conference after finishing with 50 tackles as a junior in 2016 won the regional championship and qualified for the state championship in the high jump as a member of the Falcons' track team.

"Jakari is an outstanding football player that played on both side of the ball in high school," said Elder. "He will be a very physical and athletic linebacker with good size here at EKU."

Trey Mullins LB, 6-1, 210, Fr., Corryton, Tenn. (Gibbs HS) Highlights
Totaled 61 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, six sacks, seven quarterback hurries, three pass deflections, one fumble recovery and 1,011 rushing yards as a senior in 2017 playing for head coach Brad Conley at Gibbs High School chosen Region 2-5A Player of the Year and first team all-region his senior season also selected second team All-Prep Extra, three-time Top Performer of the Week, three-time Player of the Game and QuarterBacks Club Player of the Week as a senior Tennessee & Kentucky Border Bowl participant Gibbs High School Running Back of the Year team captain had 40 tackles and eight sacks as a defensive end his junior season, earning first team all-region honors.

"Trey is an athletic and physical player that will transition to linebacker for us after playing defensive end in high school," Elder said. "He plays with tremendous effort. We love what we saw from him in camp this past summer at the linebacker position."

Joseph Sayles DB, 6-0, 190, Fr., Alpharetta, Ga. (Chattahoochee HS) Highlights
Team captain at Chattahoochee High School had 50-plus tackles, two blocked punts and two interceptions as a senior in 2017 registered 40-plus tackles, five sacks and returned a fumble for a touchdown as a junior in 2016.

"Joseph is a very versatile defensive back," said Elder. "He has great size, length and athletic ability. He has the ability to play both corner and safety at the college level."

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