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SC State Bulldogs beef up the running game on National Signing Day

February 2, 2017 GMT

South Carolina State University beefed up its offense Wednesday, signing five running backs and other offensive pieces in hopes of improving on last season’s 5-6 record.

Each of the 22 high school students joining the Bulldogs football program attended state schools, according to the team.

“Our coaches always felt it was important to keep the talent in-state, despite having to compete for such players with schools like Clemson, South Carolina…The Citadel , Charleston Southern… just to name a few,” Coach Buddy Pough said in a prepared statement. “We signed five running backs in this class because most running backs are pure athletes and can pretty much play multiple positions.”

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Perhaps the biggest signing for the Bulldogs is Tyshawn Baines, a running back from Lake City High School. In his senior year, Baines totaled 1,463 yards and 24 touchdowns.

TV Stations in the Myrtle Beach, WPDE and WMBF, named Baines to their All-Zone Team and All-Blitz Team, respectively.

The Bulldogs’ running attack is also expected to improve through the signings of Seneca High School’s Jacory Benson, and Beaufort High’s Omar Cummings.

Benson was named a 2016 High School Sports Report All State selection, and has career numbers of more than 4,500 rushing yards and 62 touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Cummings, also a Sports Report selection, totaled 1,270 yards and 17 touchdowns in his senior year.

Cummings is one of six All-Star Selections signed by SC State. The others are: defensive backs Jaylen Evans of Hartsville and Corey Riley of Columbia; defensive lineman Shaheem Haltiwanger of Lexington; offensive lineman Khalil Moore of Sumter; and quarterback Tyrece Nick of Johnston.

“Overall, I think we did a great job addressing our needs with this class,” Pough added. “We are still looking for a kicker or two down the line but for the most part we (coaches) did a great job putting together another solid recruiting class.”

Pough is approaching his 16th season as the Bulldogs head coach, and needs 12 wins to beat the school’s 128-win record, held by Head Coach Emeritus Willie Jeffries.

South Carolina State University Signings

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School

Tyshawn Baines RB 5’10 195 Lake City HS

Jacory Benson RB 5’9 170 Seneca HS

Andre Brown DE 6’2 200 Scott’s Branch HS

Mikail Coleman DB 5’11 170 Boiling Springs HS

Omar Cummings RB 5’9 175 Beaufort HS

Jaylen Evans DB 6’0 177 Hartsville HS

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Tim Ewing DB 5’11 170 Greenwood HS

Tison Gray OL 6’4 300 Keenan HS

Farrika Grier RB 5’11 225 Lancaster HS

Shaheem Haltiwanger DL 6’3 255 White Knoll HS

Deprince Haynes FB 5’11 216 Spring Valley HS

Xaiver Johnson DE 6’1 240 Lake View HS

Zafir Kelly DB 6’1 170 Irmo HS

Khalil Moore OL 6’4 275 Sumter HS

Jonathan Muhammad WR 6’1 180 South Pointe HS

Duane Nichols DB 6’0 190 Lake View HS

Tyrece Nick QB 6’0 170 Strom Thurmond HS

Marcus Reid TE 6’3 200 CE Murray HS

Cory Riley DB 5’10 175 AC Flora HS

Chris Simmons DB 5’11 185 Orangeburg Wilkinson HS

Rodriques Thomas WR 6’2 180 Fork Union/Westside HS

Will Vereen ATH 5’11 197 Myrtle Beach HS

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