"We're excited about this class and what these players are going to bring to our team, both immediately and long-term," said Anderson. "There were some areas on our team where we wanted to focus our attention, and I feel like this class will address those needs to help us accomplish our goals. Throughout this recruiting process, as we got to know each individual better, we learned that these are young men with a lot of character who come from quality families. This is a group that will not only contribute to our competitive success, but also in the community and classroom."
The breakdown of the class is 4 offensive linemen, three running backs, two wide receivers, and quarterback. On defense, there are three linebackers, two defensive end and five interior linemen.
"There were some guys we had to fight to the end,'' said Anderson. "But they all stuck with us."
Anderson said Miami came after Florence, Ala., tackle Daniel Keith and Louisville made a run at Florence cornerback D.J. Armstead. East Carolina made a pitch for quarterback James Tabary of New Orleans Holy Cross and Boise State and Louisville came after cornerback Charles Gaskins of Tallahassee Godby. He also mentioned Blaise Taylor had a late opportunity with Vanderbilt.
"I think we will always be a target of bigger programs because they know the type of kids we are going to sign," he said. "They think they can come in here and pick off our kids and we are thankful they all stayed. "
Anderson cited several players, including Jonesboro defensive lineman Chuks Ota, Manor, Texas DL Charles Hudson, Sandy Creek, Ga., safety Khari Lain and Tabary for helping "hold the class together."
The first signee to turn in his paper work was receiver Blake Mack of Lonoke and the last was Daryl Rollins-Davis, a running back from Knoxville (Tenn.) Fulton.
"It was a battle to get him here,'' said Anderson. "We felt like this is where he wanted to be but there was a lot of pressure from a school that was closer to home and from within his family for him to go there. It was almost noon when we finally got that call."
Anderson said Rollins-Davis is typical of the players he wants for offense. They are versatile and fast.
"We're excited about him being here," he said. "We think he will thrive in our offense with what we want to do."
He said the most pressing needs were to find taller offensive tackles and fill holes along the defensive front. There were three tackles – junior college transfers Kyle Harris, who is on campus, and freshmen signees Christian Beard (6-4, 270) from Waco (Texas) Midway and Keith (6-5, 275), who is one of five Alabama signees.
In all there were 15 defensive signees.
There were 5players each from Arkansas, Texas and Alabama and 4 from Mississippi.
Anderson Signs First Class
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