They say you have to wait two or three years to truly evaluate a recruiting class. Well not for the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
Ten members of the Red Wolves class that was announced on Wednesday are on campus and one (Chris Murray) has already played a game.
“The staff did a good job finding guys who fit our needs … who fit our culture,’’ said coach Blake Anderson. “The way we put them together was unique. We have the guys who were here in August, who came to us in different way, but transfer or by being recruited and coming in what is commonly called a “blue shirt. We got the traditional signing class who are guys who signed in December and are here already and we have the traditional guys who signed today who will be here in the summer.
“All in all 27 guys who fit our needs.”
Other than that it was a National Signing Day that went pretty much as expected. There were a couple of near misses but all-in-all no real surprises as Arkansas State officially added 27 players to its football program. We say officially because two of the signees has already played a game for the Red Wolves, sophomore wide receiver Chris Murray and Chauncey Mason played during the 2015 season.
The other transfers August transfers are wide receiver Cameron Echols-Luper, defensive lineman Dee Liner, offensive lineman Jamal Fontenot and defensive back Jai Knight. Echols-Luper transferred from TCU and Liner from Alabama. Both are juniors. Fontenot is a redshirt sophomore from junior college and Knight a redshirt freshman.
The December junior college signees are receivers Christian Booker, Justin McInnis, linebacker Kyle Wilson and quarterback Justice Hansen. Booker and Wilson are juniors; the other two are sophomores.
“We needed to gain some experience at wider receiver because we lost so many guys and at quarterback we wanted to create some competition, that just makes everyone better,’’ said Anderson.
A-State added 13 players on offense, 11 on defens3 and three listed as “athletes.” The Red Wolves signed five defensive backs and five wide receivers, which were the most among any position group. Joining the defensive backs were three linebackers, two defensive ends and one interior lineman. On offense the Red Wolves also signed four offensive linemen, two quarterbacks, a running back and a tight end.
“All in all, it was a good day for us,” said Anderson. “We won some battles and lost a couple, but from beginning to end, the staff did a great job finding what our needs were. They sorted through guys who were available, who would fit our needs, those who were truly interested in us and guys who would fit our culture. In the end, we got 27 guys that fit our needs, and we feel like today went really well.”
2016 ARKANSAS STATE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASS
1. Jacob Atnip: 6-5, 300, Fr., OL, Sheridan, Ark.
2. Logan Bonner: 6-1, 200, Fr., QB, Rowlett, Texas
3. *Christian Booker: 5-11, 185, Jr., WR, Union, S.C. (Dodge City (Kan.) Community College)
4. Brandon Bowling: 5-9, 168, Fr., WR, McKinney, Texas (Boyd)
5. William Bradley-King: 6-4, 240, Fr., DE, Kansas City, Mo. (Hogan Prep)
6. Cameron Echols-Luper: 6-0, 190, Jr., ATH, Auburn, Ala. (TCU)
7. B.J. Edmonds: 6-0, 200, Fr., S, Mobile, Ala. (St. Paul’s Episcopal School)
8. Troy Elliott: 6-5, 302, Fr., OL, Flower Mound, Texas (Marcus)
9. Trent Ellis: 6-2, 194, Fr., LB, Daphne, Ala. (Daphne)
10. Dajon Emory: 6-3, 255, Jr., DE, Bridgeville, Del. (Lackawanna (Pa.) College)
11. Jamal Fontenot: 6-4, 300, So.-RS, OL, Beaumont, Texas (Kilgore (Texas) College)
12. Justice Hansen: 6-4, 220, So., QB, Edmond, Okla. (Butler (Kan.) Community College)
13. Javonis Isaac: 6-2, 214, Fr., TE, Lafayette, La. (Acadiana)
14. Landon James-Wilson: 6-0, 180, Jr., CB, Raytown, Mo. (Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College)
15. Vada King: 6-1, 230, Fr., LB, Smiths Station, Ala. (Smiths Station)
16. Jai Knight: 6-0, 168, Fr., CB, Boutte, La. (Hahnville)
17. Dee Liner: 6-3, 295, Jr., DL Muscle Shoals, Ala. (Alabama)
18. Torrance Marable: 5-9, 180, Fr., ATH, Decatur, Ga. (Towers)
19. Chauncey Mason: 5-9, 190, So., ATH, Boynton Beach, Fla. (Boynton Beach)
20. Justin McInnis: 6-6, 190, So., WR, Pierrefonds, Quebec (Dodge City (Kan.) Community College)
21. Chris Murray: 5-9, 178, Jr., WR, Tampa, Fla. (Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College)
22. Kendall Sanders: 6-0, 187, Jr., WR, Athens, Texas (Texas)
23. Jeremy Smith: 5-11, 161, Fr., CB, Atlanta, Texas (Atlanta)
24. Jacob Still: 6-1, 295, Fr., OL, Collierville, Tenn. (St. George’s)
25. Ben Sukut: 6-1, 185, Fr., S, San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (Capistrano Valley Christian)
26. Armond Weh-Weh: 6-0, 205, Jr., RB, Houston, Texas (Scottsdale (Ariz.) CC)
27. Kyle Wilson: 6-0, 226, Jr., LB, Wichita, Kan. (Hutchinson (Kan.) CC)