Smooth Signing Day
The Red Wolves added 17 names to their recruiting class than began with 7 mid-term additions who signed in December.
The Red Wolves had to sweat out late arriving letters from Laurel (Miss.) wide receiver Omar Bayless, Tulsa Washington defensive end T.J. Harris and Warren receiver Jaylon Marshall but all came in. Bayless, who received some late attention from Mississippi State, signed at a school ceremony while Harris, who got a late offer from Fresno State, and Marshall, were delayed for other reasons.
“This class is kind of in two phases -- there was a December push to create some depth and to fill some holes that we identified throughout the season,” said coach Blake Anderson. “Those seven guys are here and working out as you can see. All indications are that they will be very helpful, whether they’re in a starting role or backup role in the rotation. We expect all seven to help us win games next fall. … December was big. We did not talk about it a whole lot but at this point that signing day was crucial for us.
In December the Red Wolves signed junior college transfers Joseph Bacchus and Brandon Berg, both offensive linemen; defensive backs Cody Brown and Allen Sentimore; and defensive linemen Jake Swalley (and Waylon Roberson. Senior Robert Mondie, who was at UA-Birmingham, transferred in January.
“Now we took a little different approach with this Feb signing class. We had all these guys committed in the summer except for Omar Bayless. We identified them early. We wanted speed, we wanted length, we wanted athletic ability and we wanted guys who love to play ball. They had character but they absolutely loved to play ball so when we work them as hard as we are going to wok them they would not shy away from it. And I think that is what we found.
“We have a lot of battles here at the end to hold off and I am glad to say that they did exactly that. Over half the class, if not more, had opportunities to flip to other schools and with whatever was going on and who was calling and they all stuck with us.
“I really think its fits out need; it brings in speed it fills in our gaps and numbers in spots where we are really thin. If we keep doing this one class at a time we are going to look up in a couple of years and really like the way our locker room looks in a couple of years and this is a big step in that direction.
Arkansas State’s class is ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference by Scout.com.
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