GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College head football coach Chris Rusiewicz announced the official commitment of five student-athletes to play football for the Quakers Friday. They have paid their deposits to Guilford and will enroll for classes beginning in August. Rusiewicz's sixth recruiting class now consists of 10 committed students.
Shane Barber (Cleveland, N.C.) lettered three times for coach Joe Nixon at West Rowan High School. The 6-0, 285-offensive lineman spent time at guard and center en route to All-Rowan County recognition as a senior. Barber helped West Rowan to a 10-4 season last fall, good for second in the Southern Piedmont Conference, and a third-round appearance in the North Carolina 3A state playoffs. He plans to major in psychology.
Garrett Griffith (Clemmons, N.C.) twice lettered for coach Mark Holcomb at North Davidson High School. The 6-2, 190-pound wide receiver helped North Davidson to a share of the 2015 Central Piedmont Conference championship and a third-round appearance in the state 4A playoffs. He caught 47 passes for 714 yards and six touchdowns as a senior. Griffith garnered all-conference and All-Davidson County honors in 2014 and 2015. A member of the National Honor Society of High School Scholars, he plans to study sport management at Guilford.
Justin Jackson (Reidsville, N.C.) lettered for Guilford alum Jimmy Teague '80 at Reidsville High School. The 6-0,215-pound quarterback led the Rams to four consecutive Mid-State Conference championships and was an all-conference selection in 2014 and 2015. The offensive team Most Valuable Player set school records in single-season completion percentage and total yards in a game. Active in his church youth group and Men of Valor, Jackson will transition to wide receiver upon his arrival on campus and intends to study exercise and sport science.
Courtland Sample (Winston-Salem, N.C.) is another local product who lettered twice for coach Adrian Snow at West Forsyth High School. The 5-11, 300-pound offensive lineman helped the Titans to a share of the Central Piedmont Conference (CPC) championship last fall and outright championship honors in 2013. Sample was an All-CPC selection in 2014 and named Triad Sports Weekly All-Forsyth County honors in 2015. He actively volunteers with Outreach Alliance for Babies, bringing clothing, food, and other necessities to the families of infants facing financial hardship.
Bryce Smith (Grayson, Ga.) lettered three times for coach Mickey Conn at Grayson High School. The 5-10, 190-pound linebacker led the team with 126 tackles en route to All-Gwinnett County honors. He helped lead Grayson to a 13-1 season and a Region 8 6A Championship last fall. Smith is a member of his school's Future Business Leaders of America chapter, honor roll, and a HOSA (Future Health Professionals) State Qualifier. Smith's older brother, Benjamin, played football and track at Paine College. Bryce plans to major in biology upon his arrival at Guilford.
Guilford expects 17 starters among 79 returning letterwinners from the 2015 team that went 9-1, the best football season in school history. The Quakers open the 2016 campaign September 3 against visiting Greensboro College in the 20th annual Gate City Soup Bowl.