February 3, 2021
by Keisha J Kelley
EAST GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T signed 17 future Aggie football players on National Signing Day, head coach Sam Washington announced on Wednesday.
Seven of those players – Avarion Cole (6-foot-1, 205, DB, Charlotte, N.C., Julius L. Chambers HS); Henry Daniel (6-2, 225, DE, Creedmor, N.C., South Granville HS); Zach Yeager (6-foot-2, 200, QB, Minneapolis, Minn., Minneapolis North), Terrell Spicer (6-3, 170, DB, Jacksonville, N.C., Northside HS); Korion Sharpe (6-4, 315, OL, Charlotte, N.C., Rocky River HS); Nathaniel Spindle (5-11, 185, DB, Charlotte, N.C., Julius L. Chambers HS); and Jamison Warren (5-11, 175, WR, Winston-Salem, N.C., East Forsyth HS) – the Aggies staff initially announced in December as a part of their mid-year commitments.
The additional 10 new Aggies are wide receivers Sterling Berkhalter (6-4, 186, Cincinnati, Ohio, Georgia Prep Sports), Elijah Bowick (6-1, 216, Charlotte, N.C., Virginia Tech, Myers Park HS); defensive back Shawn Chappell (6-2, 180, Durham, N.C., Southern Durham HS); running back Charlie Dixon (6-2, 230, Hogansville, Ga., Callaway HS), defensive linemen Kyiev Bennermon (6-3, 300, Poughkeepsie, NY, Boston College, Spackenkill HS), Quinton Hill (6-6, 190, Havelock, NC, Havelock HS); Emmanuel Ukhueligbe (6-3, 280, Fayetteville, N.C., Saddleback CC, Army, Seventy-First HS); offensive lineman Johnathan Cannon (6-4, 250, Charlotte, N.C., Vance HS), linebacker Sam Ofurie (6-1, 210, Salem, Mass., IMG Academy) and long snapper Damien Jackson (5-11, 205, Indian Trail, N.C., Porter Ridge HS).
"The satisfying part about this class and the guys we signed in December is that we competed against some good to great Division I programs to get these guys here," said Washington, who came to N.C. A&T in 2011 as the Aggies defensive coordinator before becoming the head coach in 2018.
"When we first got here, we would not have been able even to get a phone conversation with some of these guys. It tells you how far we have advanced as a football program. We came away with some talented players. Some are going to help us right now. Some are going to be able to help us down the line."
Berkhalter is a three-star wide receiver who possesses height, speed and strength. 247Sports.com ranked him the third-best prep school receiver in the nation. Berkhalter weighed through 15 offers before choosing N.C. A&T. Those schools included Morgan State, Hampton, Alabama A&M, Navy, Army and Liberty.
Joining Berkhalter at receiver is Bowick, a Virginia Tech transfer. Bowick redshirted at Tech in 2019. Before signing with the Hokies, 247Sports.com ranked Bowick as a three-star recruit from Myers Park High School. He had 3,730 career receiving yards on 199 receptions with 48 touchdowns. Bowick earned two all-state honors and had 1,424 yards, 62 receptions and 17 touchdowns as a senior.
Chappell is a three-star safety, according to 247Sports.com. The same site ranked him the 69th-best player in North Carolina from the class of 2021. As a junior, Chappell recorded 47 tackles for the Southern Durham Spartans. He also intercepted five passes and recovered a fumble while helping the Spartans to a 10-2 record overall and a 7-0 mark in the Big Eight 3A Conference.
Dixon is another player the Aggies had to compete against top Division I schools to sign. Several schools offered Dixon before he decided to head to Aggieland. Dixon is a three-star athlete who turned down Arkansas, Chattanooga, Cincinnati and Georgia Southern. He was 49th player at his position, 52nd in the state and 261st in his region.
Despite missing four games to quarantine and deal with injuries, Dixon still rushed for 1,045 yards and 16 TDs in seven games. Over a four-game stretch, he rushed for 735 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Bennermon is a Division I transfer out of Boston College. He played nine games for the Eagles in 2019 where he made one start and recorded 11 tackles on the season including 2 ½ tackles for loss. As a prep star, 247Sports ranked him as the top tackle prospect coming out of New York. He was rated No. 22 overall coming out of New York and No. 114 overall. He finished his career with 179 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 13 sacks and 13 quarterback hurries.
Hill, like most tall defensive linemen who come to N.C. A&T in the next few years will be compared to former Aggie defensive end and current Buffalo Bill, Darryl Johnson, Jr. Johnson, who won MEAC defensive player of the year in 2018, stands at 6-foot-7. Hill is 6-6 with speed and agility. He also did well academically in high school.
Ukhueligbe started at Army, where he did not see action in 2017 or '18. He spent one season at USMAPS under head coach Andy Wolfrum and was a four-year letterwinner at 71st. He earned all-conference and all-region honors three times and competed in the Shrine Bowl as a senior.
Cannon is a two-star talent who will develop into a solid offensive lineman at N.C. A&T. He chose N.C. A&T over Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Charlotte and Coastal Carolina. ESPN ranked him 73rd in the state, 136th at his position and 708th in his region. He also played defensive line in high school.
Ofurie is a three-star athlete who had offers from Michigan, Marshall, Syracuse and UMass. He is a strong player who likes to hit people. He should be a fixture at middle linebacker throughout his career. Jackson will handle the long snapping duties for N.C. A&T.
Courtesy of NCATAggies.com/news