“Last year was our first trip doing it and it went well last year,’’ said coach Blake Anderson. “We tried to really learn from it and expand it a little bit, try to correct some things that we could do better, get more people involved. We did all of those things and the outcome was even better than expected. “We had a lot of people in the community pitch in to help out and the A-State reps with what they did and the people on campus and all the folks in the community who either volunteered time or volunteered materials to get through the weekend, to get through the day. It was a home run for us.” In all Arkansas State had around 25 prospects on campus and that total ran up to 60 when you included family members. When camp broke Sunday the Red Wolves had 10 commits and they added another one Tuesday morning.
The Red Wolves’ commitments are:
tight end Javonis Isaac (6-3, 215) Lafayette (La.) Acadianna; S-LB Onyx Brown (6-3, 205) and S-LB Trent Ellis (6-2, 190) from Daphne, Ala.; running back Jeremy Lewis (6-1, 193) from Lone Grove, Okla.; WR-DB Torrance Marable (5-10, 180) of Decatur (Ga.) Towers; CB Jeremy Smith (5-11, 157) of Atlanta, Texas; Safety Ben Sukut (6-1, 175) of Capistrano Valley (Calif.) Christian;
WR Shawn Thomas (6-0, 185) of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and WR Cedrick Wilson (6-3, 170) of Coffeyville (Kan.) CC.
“It really ran really smooth,’’ said Anderson. (Player personnel director) Dave Roberson and (defensive coach) Trooper Taylor and those guys did a good job organizing and having everything down to the last detail. From logistics of one group to the next to where they were supposed to be to transportation. It was a very fun environment. It was critical in our success of recruiting.”
Anderson said he has been a part of coaching staffs that have had similar events but none like the Big Pack Weekend.
“We have not done this like we have here,’’ he said. “Trooper came up with the idea. Based on things he had done in the past. We put our heads together as a group how we could do it and make it unique to us at Arkansas State and we channeled all of our focuses toward that particular day. And that part weekend. Two years in a row it has really paid off and come through and help us build a class.”
The Red Wolves sit at 15 commitments.
“We have had several conversations over the phone since then of guys who were here who have really close,’’ he said, “but they want to talk with family or maybe as much as anything sure they weren’t making an emotion decision. From all indications one or two more would be solidified before camp starts.
“We are in no hurry. We are going to sign 25 in this class. There is no big hurry to get to a particular number. We kinda know what we have left that we need and we are still trying to give some guys time. Some of them are still looking around and they haven’t had a chance to get all the campuses they are wanting to look at.”
How the Red Wolves close the class depends on different factors.
“There will be some that we will carry into the season and see how some guys develop; maybe see how guys develop on our campus before we even decide what our actual needs are,” he said. “We may change our focus and need depending upon how guys respond on our campus between now and signing day. Some of it is fluid but for the most part if we go in with 16, 17, 18 commitments before the season that would be a great start. And would allow us to fill in the other spots as we can in no particular order and no particular type.”
Now comes the time to hold the commitments.
“They are all being recruited and they all have multiple offers. Nobody is going to quit recruiting them we’ve got to continue to build relationships with them but I like doing that from a point where they have already said yes once as opposed to trying to get them to say yes for the first time. They have been here and they know what we are about … for the most part in the last 2 years we have been able to hold on to the majority of those classes. There is always a guy here or there you worry about losing or academically may be a casualty. family situation, it changes. We’ve doing a good job of holding on to the majority of the class and I’d like to think that we can do again.”
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