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Ohio Football Welcomes 18 Student-Athletes To 2019 Early Signing Period Class

Ohio Football Welcomes 18 Student-Athletes To 2019 Early Signing Period Class

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Ohio Football 2019 Signing Day Central

ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio football program added 18 student-athletes to its 2019 early signing period class, as announced by 14th-year head coach Frank Solich.

Offensive lineman Jay Amburgey (Reynoldsburg, Ohio), offensive lineman Thomas Aronokhale (Innsbruck, Austria), offensive lineman Christophe Atkinson (Leesburg, Va.), linebacker Cannon Blauser (Hilliard, Ohio), defensive tackle Jeremiah Burton (Reynoldsburg, Ohio), tight end Casey Clanton (Phoenix, Ariz.), defensive tackle Denzel Danton (Nassau, Bahamas), safety Jett Elad (Cleveland, Ohio), tight end Tyler Foster (Pickerington, Ohio), cornerback Keniuel Gates (Citra, Fla.), offensive lineman Gary Hoover (Neptune, N.J.), linebacker Ben Johnson (Pickerington, Ohio), linebacker Kyle Kelly (Newport, Ky.), offensive lineman Joe Oakes (Cincinnati, Ohio), quarterback Kurtis Rourke (Oakville, Ontario, Canada), running back De'Montre Tuggle (Channelview, Texas), offensive lineman Luke Vannest (North Canton, Ohio) and running back Walter Wilbon III (Tampa, Fla.) all signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday (Dec. 19).

Per 24/7 Sports composite averages, the class is the highest rated in Ohio history.

The 2019 early signing period class features:
• Six offensive linemen.
• Three linebackers.
• Two running backs.
• Two tight ends.
• Two defensive tackles.
• Eight natives of the state of Ohio.
• Three international student-athletes.
• Two junior college transfers.

JAY AMBURGEY
OL | 6-5 | 285 | Reynoldsburg, Ohio | Reynoldsburg High School

Prior to Ohio: 2018 all-state offensive lineman at Reynoldsburg High School ... Also garnered First Team All-Central District and First Team All-Ohio Capital Conference honors in 2018, helping to lead the Raiders to a 10-2 record and an OCC championship ... Recorded 57 pancakes -- including a career-high 13 against Grove City Oct. 12, 2018 ... Earned honorable mention all-state, Special Mention All-Central District and Second Team All-OCC honors in 2017 ... Also played defensive end, tallying 132 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, six pass deflections and two blocked field goals ... Three-year letterwinner.

Personal: Born Oct. 10, 2000 ... Son of John and Christine Amburgey ... Father, John, played football at from 1988-89 ... Has a sister, Carylyn.

THOMAS ARONOKHALE
OL | 6-3 | 295 | Innsbruck, Austria | Linsly School (W. Va.)

Prior to Ohio: Named Outstanding Lineman of the Year and was the Block of Granite winner at Linsly School in 2018 ... Did not allow a sack ... Earned First Team All-Ohio Valley Athletic Conference honors in 2017.

Personal: Born July 13, 2000 ... Son of Rachel and Thomas ... Has two brothers, Stanley and Benedict ... Native of Innsbruck, which is the capitol of Austria's western state of Tyrol ... Moved to the United States of America for his junior year of high school.

CHRISTOPHE ATKINSON
OL | 6-3 | 275 | Leesburg, Va. | Tuscarora High School

Prior to Ohio: All-conference and all-region offensive lineman at Tuscarora in Leesburg, Va. ... Four-year letterwinner ... Did not allow a sack his senior season ... Also scored six touchdowns as a tight end ... Was also an all-conference and all-region defensive lineman, recording eight sacks ... Helped lead the Huskies to a state runner-up finish in 2017 and a regional semifinal appearance in '18.

Personal: Born Feb. 12, 2001 ... Son of John and Tracey Atkinson ... National Honor Society student.

CANNON BLAUSER
LB | 6-1 | 225 | Hilliard, Ohio | Hilliard Bradley High School

Prior to Ohio: Earned first team all-state honors at Hilliard Bradley High School ... Compiled 280 career tackles, 33.5 career tackles for loss, 11 career sacks, 10 career pass breakups, one career forced fumble, three career fumble recoveries and two interceptions ... Two-time First Team All-Ohio Capital Conference and two-time first team all-district selection.

Personal: Born May 1, 2000 ... Son of Allison and Jeff Hutton ... Has a younger brother, Colton.

JEREMIAH BURTON
DT | 6-2 | 280 | Reynoldsburg, Ohio | Reynoldsburg High School

Prior to Ohio: Three-time All-Ohio Capital Conference and All-Central District defensive tackle at Reynoldsburg High School ... Three-year letterwinner ... Has tallied 174 career tackles, 23 career tackles for loss, 13 career sacks and one career interception ... As a senior in 2018, recorded 75 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, six sacks and one interception.

Personal: Born Sept. 10, 2000 ... Son of Shawn and Kelly Burton and Ben and Kweli Buckner ... Has three younger sisters, Lynn, Clarke and Logan.

CASEY CLANTON
TE | 6-3 | 240 | Phoenix, Ariz. | Central High School

Prior to Ohio: Earned first team all-region and all-district honors as a tight end and second team all-region honors as a defensive end at Central High School in 2018 ... Also garnered first team all-region and all-district recognition as a tight end in 2017 ... Totaled 54 career receptions, 780 career yards and eight career receiving touchdowns ... Tallied 116 career total tackles (68 solo), 10 career sacks, three career fumble recoveries and two career interceptions ... Also played fullback, carrying the ball 23 times for 128 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.

Personal: Born Jan. 2, 2001 ... Son of Jon and Lynn Clanton.

DENZEL DAXON
DT | 6-2 | 335 | Nassau, Bahamas | Carol City (Fla.) High School

Prior to Ohio: As a senior at Carol City (Fla.) High School in 2018, notched 35 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss and three sacks ... Compiled 54 total tackles, 28 tackles for loss and three sacks as a junior in 2017 ... Earned all-county honors in 2017.

Personal: Born Sept. 27, 1999 ... Son of Don Daxon ... Has a brother, Don Daxon Jr., and a sister, Iesha Daxon ... Native of the Bahamas ... Came to the United States of America in 2016 ... Honor roll student at Carol City.

JETT ELAD
S | 6-0 | 190 | Cleveland, Ohio | Saint Ignatius High School

Prior to Ohio: First Team All-Ohio selection at Saint. Ignatius High School ... Finished his career with 106 tackles, 36 pass breakups, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one touchdown ... Two-time letterwinner.

Personal: Born April 25, 2001 ... Son of Wilfred and Fausta Elad ... Has an older brother, Stan, and an older sister, Vissy.

TYLER FOSTER
TE | 6-6 | 225 | Pickerington, Ohio | Pickerington North High School

Prior to Ohio: Earned second team all-state honors at Pickerington North High School as a senior in 2018, tallying 32 receptions for 495 yards and five touchdowns ... Also garnered First Team All-Central District, Second Team All-Metro Columbus and Second Team All-Ohio Capital Conference honors in 2018 ... As a junior in 2017, received Special Mention All-Central District, Special Mention All-Metro Columbus and Special Mention All-OCC ... Finished his career with 62 receptions for 825 yards and 11 touchdowns ... Helped lead the Panthers to a regional semifinalist finish in 2016 and a regional runner-up finish in '17.

Personal: Born April 22, 2001 ... Son of Jeff and Cathy Foster ... Has a younger brother, Nicholas, and a younger sister, Anna ... Earned Distinguished Honor Roll recognition all four years of high school ... Member of National Honor Society.

KENIUEL GATES
CB | 6-0 | 195 | Citra, Fla. | North Marion High School

Prior to Ohio: Letterwinner at North Marion High School ... Helped lead the Colts to a Florida High School Athletic Association Class 5A Division state runner-up finish.

Personal: Born May 13, 2001 ... Son of David and Marcey Gordon and Keniuel Gates, Sr. ... Has four brothers, Delvontaye Boyd (deceased), Rikeem Boyd, Kalia Gates and Michael Gordon, and two sisters, Sheneka Williams and Reshartaye Boyd.

GARY HOOVER
OL | 6-4 | 325 | Neptune, N.J. | Asa College | Neptune High School

Prior to Ohio: Played at Asa College of the National Junior College Athletic Association ... Earned All-Shore Conference honors at Neptune High School.

Personal: Son of Conique Lott ... Has a brother, Asahd, and three sisters, Euniqha, Amaya and Aubree.

BEN JOHNSON
LB | 6-2 | 190 | Pickerington, Ohio | Pickerington North High School

Prior to Ohio: Finished his career with 230 tackles, 53 tackles for loss, two interceptions and two forced fumbles at Pickerington North High School ... As a senior in 2018, tallied 95 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble ... Earned second team all-state, first team all-league, first team all-district and second team all-metro honors following his senior season ... As a junior in 2017, garnered second team all-league, second team all-district and honorable mention all-metro honors.

Personal: Born Oct. 23, 2000 ... Son of Pat and Darcy Johnson ... Has a sister, Haley ... Member of National Honor Society at Pickerington North.

KYLE KELLY
LB | 6-1 | 200 | Newport, Ky. | Newport Central Catholic High School

Prior to Ohio: Finished his career with 2859 rushing yards, 38 touchdowns, 168 tackles and 1,252 receiving yards at Newport Central Catholic High School ... Earned First Team All-Northern Kentucky and all-district honors ... Four-time letterwinner.

Personal: Born June 5, 2001 ... Son of Mark and Cathy Kelly ... Has four older brothers, Shawn, Ben, Mark and Chris and a younger sister, Kelly.

JOE OAKES
OL | 6-2 | 260 | Cincinnati, Ohio | Indian Hill High School

Prior to Ohio: Finished his career at Indian Hill High School with 203 knockdown blocks, 84 tackles, 7.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries ... Earned Honorable Mention All-Ohio and All-Cincinnati Hills League honors.

Personal: Born Feb. 28, 2001 ... Son of Holly and Patrick Oakes ... Four-time All-Cincinnati Hills Academic Team selection.

KURTIS ROURKE
QB | 6-3 | 200 | Oakville, Ontario, Canada | Holy Trinity High School

Prior to Ohio: Finished his career at Holy Trinity High School with 4,250 passing yards, 63 passing touchdowns, 705 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns ... Completed 70 percent of his passes ... Two-time league MVP and two-time first team all-star selection ... Helped lead Holy Trinity to a Halton Championship in 2017 and a finalist finish in '18.

Personal: Born Oct. 25, 2000 ... Son of Larry and Robyn Rourke ... Has an older brother, Nathan, who is a junior quarterback at Ohio ... Honor roll student at Holy Trinity.

DE'MONTRE TUGGLE
RB | 5-9 | 185 | Channelview, Texas | Kilgore College | Channelview High School

Prior to Ohio: Has rushed for 838 yards on 123 carries and caught 13 passes for 320 yards at Kilgore College of the National Junior College Athletic Association, earning Second Team All-Southwest Conference honors ... Two-time first team all-district selection at Channelview High School ... Rushed for 1,200 yards as a junior and 1,400 yards as a senior.

Personal: Born March 29, 1999 ... Son of Elaine and Roland Posey ... Has two brothers and two sisters.

LUKE VANNEST
OL | 6-4 | 325 | North Canton, Ohio | Hoover High School

Prior to Ohio: Earned First Team All-State, All-District, All-County offensive lineman who helped lead Hoover High School to a Federal League title in 2018 ... Helped the Vikings average 34.7 points and 400 yards per game as a senior.

Personal: Born Feb. 28, 2001 ... Son of Brian and Jen Vannest ... Has a brother, Joshua.

WALTER WILBON III
RB | 5-11 | 205 | Tampa, Fla. | Plant High School

Prior to Ohio: Two-time all-state selection at Plant High School ... Racked up 3,584 career all-purpose yards, recording 2,163 rushing yards, 216 receiving yards, 695 kickoff return yards and 465 punt return yards ... As a senior in 2018, tallied 1,551 rushing yards (119.3 per game) and 17 touchdowns on 178 carries (8.7 yards per carry).

Personal: Son of Walter Wilbon, Jr. and Alica Marie Clemmons  ... Has an older brother and an older sister.

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