With signing day just hours away, there is a lot to keep an eye on this year. First of all, this is the first full class for Seth Littrell, meaning he had the entire recruiting cycle to sign the class. This is compared to the roughly eight weeks Littrell had to assemble a staff and put together a signing class last year. Here are areas to look at:
Signing Day Decisions
There are still a few players who we are not certain on, regarding if they will sign with North Texas tomorrow or not. Here are those players to watch:
ATH Tre’von Bradley, Cleburne – 247 profile
Tre’von is currently committed to us as a receiver, but is being swayed hard by Houston. He took an official visit to Houston this past weekend, and came back still committed to us. I still don’t feel confident enough to say he’s a lock like most of our other commits. As far as I’m concerned, this one is going down right until the pen hits the paper.
WR Greg White, Riverdale, GA – 247 profile
A 6’3″ receiver who we offered today. He decommitted from Grambling shortly after so we seem to be in good shape here. Also held offers at one point from Tulane and Ohio.
WR Jaelon Darden, Aldine Eisenhower – 247 profile
A 5’9″ 170 lb receiver from the Houston area. Darden has had an interesting recruitment. He committed to Mcneese State back in April, then received some big-time offers including Memphis and Virginia Tech. He decommitted from Mcneese State in June, then committed to UNLV in August, only to decommit again in December.
Since his most recent decommitment he has only publicly received offers from Texas Southern and us. He was planning on committing tonight, but announced he was going to push it back to consider a new offer. Sounds like he was going to commit to Texas Southern then we offered and made him reconsider with an FBS offer on the table. Either that or some other unknown school has offered. Our chances appear good.
WR Deandre McNeal, Fullerton College – 247 profile
Deandre is a local prospect (Mesquite, TX) and a former Texas Longhorn. It appears UCLA is the leader, with FAU and Missouri in the mix as well. We are a dark horse at best, but he’s at least keeping an eye on.
LB Alec McEachern, Lisle, Illinois – Rivals
Alec is from Illinois, so this offer came as a bit of a surprise, but his only other offer is Air Force which may be an expired offer. If this kid is indeed a take, we may be the winner by default
DT Joshua Croslen, Cibolo Steele – 247 profile
Croslen is a recent offer, as he is fresh off his decommitment from Minnesota. Houston appears to be the heavy favorite here, as they have been receiving the crystal ball predictions on 247. Getting him would be a shocker, but he’d also be the class headliner IMO.
This strategy has garnered as much conversation as any topic this recruiting season for UNT. If you’re not familiar with this term, blueshirting is a tactic in which a coach will bring in a recruit as a walk-on initially, but they will be placed on scholarship once fall camp begins, and before school ever starts. Because they are put on scholarship so quickly, they never actually pay for any school.
The benefit this serves is that the player is then counted towards the subsequent recruiting class (2018 in this case), allowing the staff the opportunity to bring in more scholarship players immediately, since each class is capped at 25.
We are reportedly counting five players who blueshirted this past fall as part of this class. It hasn’t been reported who exactly those players are, but it appears those five were some of the JUCO players who were brought in after signing day last year, like Eric Jenkins, Devin O’Hara, Jalen Thomas, Mylam Peters, Anthony Wyche, etc.
Whoever the five are, they bring down the number of true 2017 recruits we can sign tomorrow to 20.
This means we can officially sign 20 recruits tomorrow, which will not include current commits who will be blueshirting. These 2017 commits who are expected to blueshirt will enroll in the fall and be put on scholarship immediately, and count towards the 2018 class. They will not be officially announced with the class tomorrow. Here are the commits who are believed to be blueshirt candidates:
DE/LB Christopher Thornton, Amarillo Palo Duro – Hudl highlights
DB Jordan Roberts, Tulsa (OK) Union – 247 profile
TE/WR Hunter Gieser, Fort Worth Southwest Christian – Hudl highlights
DL Junius King, Mesquite Horn – 247 sports
DL Devon Tibbs, Houston Lamar – 247 sports
OL Brendon Weatherspoon, Hurst LD Bell – 247 sports
Class Breakdown by Position With Current Commits (Blueshirts Included)
- Cade Pearson, Texas High School, Texarkana, TX – 247 sports
- Jalen Guyton, Trinity Valley Community College, Athens, TX – 247 sports
- Hunter Gieser, Southwest Christian, Fort Worth, TX
- Tre Siggers, Duncanville High School, Duncanville, TX – 247 sports
- Evan Johnson, Loranger High School, Loranger, LA – 247 profile
- Jevin Pahinui, College of the Siskiyous, Weed, CA
- Brendon Weatherspoon, LD Bell High School, Hurst, TX
- Manase Mose, Trinity High School, Euless, TX
- Brian Parish, Seguin High School, Arlington, TX
- Jacob Brammer, Foster High School, Richmond, TX
- Dakoda Newman, Timberview High School, Arlington, TX
- Junius King, Horn High School, Mesquite, TX
- Devon Tibbs, Lamar High School, Houston, TX
- Tony Krasniqi, Sachse High School, Sachse, TX
- Christopher Thornton, Palo Duro High School, Amarillo, TX
- Kody Fulp, China Spring High School, China Spring, TX
- Tyreke Davis, Ryan High School, Denton, TX
- Makyle Sanders, Lee High School, Tyler, TX
- Cameron Johnson, Houston Heights High School, Houston, TX
- Jordan Roberts, Ardmore High School, Ardmore, TX
- Austin Mcgehee, Fullerton College, Fullerton, CA