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Recruiting Update 11.20.17

According 247 Sports, North Texas ranks 7th in the league in recruiting rankings. This is behind Rice at 6 and ODU at 5. WKU leads the league, followed by USM, UTSA, and La Tech.

As of now, here is the list of commits

  • Reggie Williams – S – 3 ★
  • Austin Ogunmakin – WR – 3 ★
  • Larry Nixon III – OLB – 3 ★
  • Jason Bean – QB – 2 ★
  • Dayton LeBlanc – DT – 2 ★
  • Jordan Hunt – ILB 2 ★
  • Jaxon Gibbs – S – 2 ★
  • Kason Martin – QB – 2 ★
  • Daizon Carroll – G – 2 ★
  • Cole Brown – G – 2 ★
  • Jordan Redfearn – G – 2 ★
  • Keelan Crosby – S – 2 ★

Noteable Decommits

  • Antonio Gage – ATH – 3 ★
  • Kameron King – G – 3 ★
  • Anthony Johnson – RB – 2 ★
  • Vada King – DE/LB – 2 ★

The Army game was great entertainment and also a huge visit day as large number of prospects were in town to take in the game and be pitched.

Seth Littrell never was going to out-recruit a Frank Wilson (and he has not) but Littrell says he is an evaluator and talent developer. This post on GMG from friend of the blog Billy Sierra does a good job highlighting the situation.

I don’t think Littrell and co are great recruiters. However, they have been opportunistic recruiters, good evaluators, and good developers.

They got guys who held many FBS offers at various stages in their recruiting processes but were not actively being recruited by other FBS schools when we got them to commit to us late (i.e. Darden, Hamilton, Nick Smith, Jenkins, etc). That’s opportunistic recruiting.

They got guys with no other FBS offers and proved their ability to evaluate as those guys have gone on to be solid contributors, like Fine, Kemon Hall, Ejiya, Lawrence (walkon), Sosaia Mose, and Khairi Muhammad among others. That’s good evaluating.

And they’ve done a great job developing Fine at QB, as well as many others and the recruits they have signed with good offer lists are panning out at a VERY high rate (Bussey, Guyton, Smith, etc.). They’ve done a great job so far developing their players.

Part of the appeal of new ST coordinator Marty Biagi was his recruiting resume. From 247 Sports:

However, according to Richard Davenport, who covers Arkansas recruiting for, Biagi wasn’t just your typical graduate assistant. Davenport shared his thoughts about Biagi the coach and recruiter.

It was Marty and [current Notre Dame offensive coordinator] Chip Long. Marty got a kid from North Carolina named Chris Smith, a defensive end who is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Arkansas rarely, if ever recruits North Carolina. That was a big get. He had a lot of offers. For a guy to get Chris and his family to visit that summer and then for an official visit during the season and then sign him, that’s big. Marty was also able to get a receiver from Virginia, Quinta Funderburk, another four-star recruit. He was the lead recruiter on both of those guys. That in itself is quite impressive.

One or two of the kids who tweeted about the visit tagged Biagi.

Recruiting is a difficult and time-consuming part of this gig, and NT is trying a longer burn approach rather than the splashy, Kiffin-style (FAU finished 1st in his first offseason in the league). It is not necessarily better or worse, but it requires patience on our part when evaluating.

Thus far, as Billy wrote, it has worked out and we can now trust SL a bit more to find and develop talent that is a good fit for this program.

Still, it is not like the staff is only recruiting guys who reside off the radar. They have missed and lost out on many prospects with offers from other CUSA schools. That is to say they are losing some straight up recruiting battles.

The good news is that winning will help. The Mean Green plays in the conference title game this December and if that does not help this recruiting class, then it might help the next one. Slowly, but definitely surely, the Mean Green football program is putting things in place to compete at every level required. The next step is to really win the recruiting battles.

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