The past two seasons have brought football success to Bethune-Cookman College, and now the Wildcats are reaping some of the benefits.
Wednesday, B-CC signed 19 recruits to full scholarships, paying particular attention to the secondary and offensive line.
B-CC, playing in the pass-oriented Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, welcomed seven defensive backs, including all-state performers Jonathan Johnson, Rayshaun Harmon, Kenneth Heatly and Tor-El Robinson.
The Wildcats say the arrival of Robinson, a first-team all-conference standout from Atlantic High in Delray Beach, is a sign of the program's growing reputation.
"(Robinson) is a steal for us," coach Alvin Wyatt said. "We are very fortunate to get a kid of this caliber."
Johnson, a standout from Bayshore High in Bradenton, had six interceptions and eight pass breakups this season and was a third-team all-state performer. Harmon, second-team all-state, had 65 tackles and five interceptions. Heatly, from Boca Ciega, was a Pinellas/Palm County All-Star.
"We wanted to bring in the type of athletes who can help our program immediately," Wyatt said in a release. "Defensive backs were a priority for us. In order to compete in our conference, and particularly with Florida A&M University, we had to recruit in that area."
The Rattlers, who made it to the Division I-AA semifinals, signed 11 players but addressed a few keys needs _quarterback, receiver and running back.
Once again, coach Billy Joe could not resist the temptation of a junior college transfer quarterback. This time it's Gabe LaJan, a 6-foot, 210-pounder from Palomar College, near San Diego.
The receiving corps could get a boost with the signing of Leondias Haggins (6-3, 215) from Jenkins High in Lakeland and Kristian Perry (6-4, 210) from Lithonia High in Lithonia, Ga.
With kicker Jeremy Edwards set to graduate, the Rattlers also need a kicker/punter to step in and may have found that person in Juan Vasquez (5-11, 160), a first-team All-Dade County and an honorable mention All-State kicker. Vasquez had 41.5 yards a punt and had a 48-yard field goal.
_ Information from Times wires was used in this report.
Seth Allen, OL, 6-1, 255, Stephenson High, Lithonia Ga.; Steve Baggs, LB, 6-2, 215, Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley High; Rhaheem Brady, OL/DL, 6-2, 315, Welaka Crescent City; Andre Carty, LB, 6-2, 225, Miami Christopher Columbus; Cecil Chatman, OL, 6-2, 315, Highland CC, St. Louis; Kurt Evariste, DB, 5-11, 175, Boca Raton Olympic Heights; Jamie Farmer, DB, 5-11, 180, Panama City Rutherford; Julius Franklin, OL, 6-3, 270, Orlando Colonial; Andre Greenwood, DB, 6-2, 200 Orlando Cypress Creek; Carlos Harris, LB, 5-11, 215, Daytona Beach Seabreeze, transfer from Connecticut; Rayshaun Harmon, DB, 6-0, 175, Tri-Cities High, East Point, Ga.; Kenneth Heatly, DB, 5-11, 180, Boca Ciega; William Hudson, OL, 6-6, 225, Spencer High, Columbus, Ga.; Jonathan Johnson, DB, 6-0, 185, Bradenton Bayshore; Brad Lee, RB, 6-1, 205, Wildwood; Sam McLure, RB, 6-0, 215, Marianna; Tor-El Robinson, DB, 6-2, 190, Delray Beach Atlantic; Aaron Shepard, LB, 6-2, 220, Miami Coral Reef; Kendrick Simpo, DB, 5-9, 170, Jacksonville Ribault.
Jeff Green, LB, 6-2, 200, Cairo Ga. High; Leondias Haggins, WR, 6-3, 215, Lakeland Jenkins; T.J. Hines, RB, 6-2, 225, Tampa Catholic, transfer from South Carolina; Antonio Ivey, RB/DB, 6-0, 210, Thomasville, Ga.; Gabe LaJan, QB, 6-0, 210, Palomar Junior College, San Marcos, Calif.; Gudea Morris, DL, 6-4, 270, St. Petersburg; Kristian Perry, WR/TE, 6-4, 210, Lithonia, Ga.; Sergio Savian, DB, 5-11, 185, Hallandale; James Session, DE/LB, 6-1, 215, Cairo, Ga.; Eblinn Smith, C, 6-0, 280, Los Angeles Southwest College; Russell Thomas, C, 6-3, 310, Gainesville Buchholz; Juan Vasquez, P/K, 5-11, 160, Miami Coral Reef.