HICKORY – The first recruiting class for new Lenoir-Rhyne University football head coach Mike Jacobs includes 27 players, three of them from local high schools.
The Bears announced they’ve signed St. Stephens running back Matthew Hancock (5-foot-11, 210 pounds) and offensive linemen Grayson Lineberger (6-2, 280) of Hickory and Jacob Clark (6-2, 270) of Hibriten.
Hancock also played defense at St. Stephens. On offense, he unofficially carried 170 times for 702 yards and two touchdowns last season and caught nine passes for 92 yards and a TD.
His top games rushing were eight carries for 116 yards against Fred T. Foard and 18 carries for 100 yards against McDowell
Lineberger, who plays baseball and football at Hickory, had 41 pancake blocks last season.
LRU signed 13 players from North Carolina, six from Georgia, four from Florida, two from South Carolina and one each from Maryland and Ohio.
The Bears have 15 additions for offense and 12 for defense.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the signing class,” said Jacobs, who was hired in January. “To be able to put together the quality and the depth of the kids that signed today in about 30 days is a testament to my coaching staff.
“We’re really excited and met a bunch of needs across all three levels. We’re looking forward to getting these guys up here now that they are officially Bears and getting their families involved in what we have going on.”