Charlotte, N.C. - Charlotte 49ers head football coach Brad Lambert has announced the program’s fifth recruiting class. The 49ers announced the signing of 12 players, today, who join three mid-December signees. Now in the program’s fourth year, the 49ers will be competing for the second time at the FBS level as a member of Conference USA in 2016. The 49ers competed as an FCS Independent in 2013 and 2014 before joining C-USA, last year.
The full 15-member signee class has four in-state players from North Carolina and nine from the North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia region. The other six signees come from Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey and Denmark. Three signees: Butler High’s RB Ben LeMay; Vance High’s LB Anthony Butler and East Gaston High’s RB Robert Washington hail from the Charlotte region.
The class includes the first four-star recruit that the 49ers have signed out of high school: East Gaston’s Robert Washington as well as three-star prospects Ben LeMay and DL Johnny Ray. December transfer QB Kevin Olsen was a four-star recruit out of high school.
February 3, 2016 Signees:
6-4; 300; OL
Frederikshavn Business College/Louisburg College
Two-year star at Louisburg College ... Hurricanes enjoyed a 7-1 season in 2015 and were ranked 15th the NJCAA national poll ... converted defensive lineman ... on OL, Bagnkop helped Louisburg put up 43.6 points and 452.6 yards per game ... team’s 336.0 rushing yards per game led NJCAA ... 2688 total rushing yards ranked 5th ... Hurricanes ranked 4th with 35 rushing TDs ... Bagnkop did not give up a single sack ... former hockey player in Denmark ... father played hockey professionally in Denmark ... Named a Hurricane Scholar-Athlete in March, 2015 and was on the Hurricanes Honors List for posting a GPA between 3.0-3.49 in Spring, 2015 ... chosen as a Louisburg College Student Ambassador for 2015-16.
6-4; 230; TE/H
A three-year varsity player for the Rams ... a two-start recruit by Rivals.com and 247Sports ... named first team all-Metro by the Atlanta Journal Constitution ... 3rd-team all-Gwinnett by the Gwinnett Daily Post... participated in all-Gwinnett County All-Star Game ... averaged 17.5 yards per catch (192 yards; 11 receptions) ... led the Rams to the AAAAAA Region 8 Championship ... ranked 4th in Georgia and reached the AAAAAA state semifnals ... went 13-1 with a perfect 8-0 mark in Region 8 for coach Mickey Conn ... Rams were 10-2 in 2014 with a 7-1 record in Region 8 ... advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.
6-2; 185; DB
Bishop Moore Catholic
Second-Team all-State Class 5A performer (Florida Times-Union) for 2015 5A FHSAA State Champions ... Hornets went 14-1 and claimed the 5A District 13 title with a 4-0 mark and just 7 points allowed for coach Matt Hedrick ... had 127 tackles (36 solo) with 2 TFL and 4 INT ... team’s defensive captain ... three-year starter ... #50 on Orlando Sentinel’s 2016 Central Florida Super60 ... had over 100 tackles and 4 INT as a junior as the FHSAA Regional champion Hornets reached the 5A state semifinals with another 14-1 mark and perfect 4-0 record in 5A District 11 ... three-time district champs were 8-3 in 2013 (4-0 in 5A District 11) ... led Hornets to a 35-5 record as a varsity player.
5-11; 175; RB
A 2015 Daily Press All-Star ... second team all-5A South by recruit757.com ... ran for 1158 yards and 15 TDs as a senior ... averaged 7.3 yards per carry for head coach Alonzo Coley ... three-year varsity player ... named to the 2014 all-757 Camp team where he posted the top 40 yard dash and a top five vertical jump ... Warriors reached the second round of the 2014 6A State Playoffs ... named second-team all-South 6A as a junior ... first team all-conference in 2014 ... second team all-conference in 2013 ...track athlete.
6-5; 280; DL
A 2015 Shrine Bowl participant for head coach Ralph Jackson ... on the roster for the 2015 Blue-Grey Regional Combine in North Carolina ... a three-year varsity player for the Bearcats ... had 22 tackles as a junior with 2 sacks ... 17 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries as a sophomore ... also plays basketball.
5-9; 210; RB
A three-start recruit by ESPN.com and 247Sports.com ... two-star recruit by Rival.scom ... four-year varsity letterwinner played on Bulldogs 2012 NC 4AA state championship team ... a part of three Southwestern 4A Conference titles ... two-time all-Southwestern 4A Conference selection for coach Brian Hales ... rushed for 4059 career yards and 74 career TDs ... added 896 receiving yards ... Bulldogs went 10-3 in 2015 and earned a share of the Southwestern 4A Conference title with a 5-1 record ... named SW4A all-conference ... reached the second round of the 4AA state playoffs ... Southwestern 4A all-Conference pick as a junior as Bulldogs went 11-4 and finished as SW 4A runner-up with a 5-1 mark ... again reached the 4AA second round ... rushed for 1565 yards and 24 TDs as a junior (7.4 yds/carry; 124 yds/game) ... three-year starter helped Butler to the 4AA state semifinals as a sophomore ... rushed for 1038 yards and 18 TDs as a sophomore and added 650 receiving yards and 7 TDs ... four-year varsity member enjoyed an unbeaten 15-0 record and a 4AA state title as a freshman ... was second on team with 404 yards rushing and had 8 TDs ... younger brother of current 49ers WR Uriah LeMay.
6-3; 260; DL
Paul Laurence Dunbar
AP Second-Team all-State defensive lineman in 2015 for coach Paul Rains ... 3rd team all-state by Louiville Courier-Jornal ... named first team all-City by the Lexington Herald ... led team with 76 tackles including 31 TFL and 16 sacks ... caused 6 fumbles ... had 1 sack and was the leading tackler with 9 tackles in 2015 Border Bowl ... was named Kentucky’s Lineman MVP ... also played in Battle of the Bluegrass All-Star Game ... missed his junior season with a broken foot ... was first team all-City as a sophomore, as well ... four-year starter helped Bulldogs to a 6-6 record and the second round of the 6A state playoffs in 2013.
6-0; 200; DB
Live Oak, Fla.
One of the area’s top athletes ... earned 2015 all-Area first team selection on offense (UTIL) ... produced 757 rushing yards with 15 TDs and 440 receiving yards and 9 TDs ... also had two punt return TDs ... as a defensive back pulled in four interceptions ... named to FACA All-Star Game ... led Bulldogs to a 10-3 mark, including a 4-0 record as 5A District 3 Champs ... lost in the 5A FHSAA Regional finals ... 2014 Regional Champs reached the 5A state semifinals ... after going 13-3 and claiming the 5A District 5 title with a 6-0 mark ... three-year varsity player helped Bulldogs to a 7-3 record and a 5A District 5 co-champsionhsip with a 5-1 mark.
6-6; 270; DL
Lehigh Acres, Fla.
Four-year varsity player for the Lightning ... two-star recruit by 247Sports ... named honorable mention Fort Myers News-Press all-Area for first-year head coach James Chaney... 55 tackles in 2015 with 10 sacks and 20 TFLs ... added a forced fumble ... had 31 tackles and 2.0 sacks as a junior ... played both offensive and defensive line ... loves the “physical aspect of the game”.
6-5; 252; DL
Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
First team USA Today all-state performer .... three-star recruit by ESPN.com and 247Sports ... two-star recruit by Rivals.com ... named honorable mention all-Low Country by the Charleston Post & Courier ... three-year varsity standout for the Warriors ... had 33.5 tackles as a senior with 9 TFL and 4 sacks for coach Jimmy Noonan ... added 8 QB hurries and two fumble recoveries ... finished career with 60.5 tackles and 16 TFL, 6 sacks and 14 QB hurries ... Named to South Carolina’s 2015 North-South All-Star ... team’s defensive line MVP ... named first team all-East Cooper.
6-1; 200; QB
Two-star recruit by Rivals.com ... named honorable mention all-Met by the Washington Post ... led Bulldogs to a VHSL 5A State Runner-Up finish in 2015 ... led an offense that scored 35 or more points in the four wins leading up to the state championship game ... threw for 1377 yards as a senior (88-142) with 15 TDs and 6 INTs ... dual-threat QB added 812 rushing yards ... led Stone Bridge to a 10-5 record ... placed second in 5A Conference 14 with a 3-1 mark ... had 2101 passing yards as a junior with 12 TD’s ... added 387 rushing yards and 9 receiving TDs ... Bulldogs went 10-3 and reached the state quarterfinals ... three-year varsity player for coach Mickey Thompson ... helped Bulldogs to a 9-3 record as a sophomore.
5-10; 201; RB
Four-star recruit by ESPN.com ... first four-start recruit to sign with the 49ers directly out of high school ... had over 40 offers from top programs throughout the country and committed to Syracuse before opting out over the summer ... ESPN.com ranked him as high as #4 overall player in North Carolina and as the #13 running back prospect, nationally ... played with the US National Team at every age level, beginning with the 2011 u-15 squad through the 2015 u-18 team ... 3-start recruit by 247sports ... Rivals.com ranked him 15th among RB prospects .... Ran for 2512 yards as a sophomore ... 2233 yards as a junior -- two of the Top 10 single-season rushing perfomances in Mecklenburg County history ... Rushed for 5762 yards in first three seasons to rank 4th all-time in county history ... added 834 yards as a senior (playing in only 7 games) to finish career with 6596 career yards ... attended two-time NCISAA state champ SouthLake Christian Academy before transferring to East Gaston for his senior season ... helped East Gaston to a 7-5 record and a trip to the state playoffs ... East Gaston hadn’t had a winning season since 2006 ... rushed for 131 yards and 1 TD in state playoff game ... East Gaston was 5-2 with Washington in the lineup ... in an UpClose interview with Rivals.com he listed his biggest rival as himself.
DECEMBER, 2015 Signees:
6-2; 190; LB
Three-year varsity standout ... Cougars went 11-4 in his junior year and reached the 4A State semifinals ... posted a 5-2 mark in MECKA 4A Conference to finish third ... lost to Charlotte Catholic in the 2014 4A state semifinals ... was 4th in conference 122 tackles as a junior, averaging 8.1 per game ... added 3.0 sacks, 17.0 tackles for loss and one interception ... 6-6 in his senior season and earned a spot in the 4A state playoffs ... two-time team MVP ... two-time all-MECKA 4A conference player ... 2014 all-Charlotte Observer third team defensive back.
6-3; 220; QB
Wayne Hills/Riverside (Ca.) City College
Younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen ... originally a signee with Miami (Fla.) as a four-star recruit ... final college choices were Miami, Auburn and Wisconsin ... helped Riverside Tigers to an 8-3 record in 2015 and a #4 seed in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regionals ... RCC shared a National Central League title with a 5-1 mark ... was ranked as high as first in the state after a 4-0 start ... Olsen played in nine games, making five starts ... was 98-of-174 for 1080 yards and 13 touchdowns ... served a red-shirt season at Miami in 2013 and transferred after the 2014 season ... considered one of the nation’s top pro-style quarterbacks out of high school ... an Elite 11 Finalist ... rated as a four-star recruit by ESPNU, 247sports.com, Rivals.com, scout.com and MaxPreps.com ... Scout.com listed him as the fourth-best quarterback in the nation, ESPNU had him fifth and MaxPreps.com listed him sixth. ... ranked as the #3 player in New Jersey by ESPN.com ... 2013 Under Armour all-American ... started in Under Armour all-America Game ... was coached by his father, Chris Olsen, at Wayne Hills H.S.
6-8; 265; DL
Dutch Fork H.S./Hutchinson (Kan.) C.C.
Winston comes to the 49ers from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College ... originally signed with the 49ers in 2013 out of Dutch Fork High School before enrolling in junior college ... starred on Dutch Fork’s Lower State Championship team that finished as the 2012 state runner-up ... had 81 tackles (52 solo) in 2012 with 18 TFL, 8 sacks and one forced fumble ... Silver Foxes went 11-4 record on their way to a Region Championship ... earned all-state honors ... named the Best Lower State AAAA Lineman ... all-region choice ... participated in the Shrine Bowl ... named Dutch Fork Most Valuable Lineman and the Palmetto Champions Lineman of the Year for coach Tom Knotts .. played in 7 games in 2011 with 10 tackles, 2 TFL and 1 sack ... also returned an interception for a TD.