Mark Foltz - AStateNation

What the Arkansas State Red Wolves will be looking for in the 2017 class

AState's recruiting focus for 2017

The strategy for the Arkansas State Red Wolves’ 2017 recruiting class is already taking shape.

There is a big hole to fill.

But that is nothing new for Blake Anderson’s Red Wolves, who have been plugging leaks in the dike since they came to Jonesboro two seasons ago.

In 2015 we saw it with the defensive line, where many newcomers were added to shore up the weak area of the team. The 2016 class includes __ receivers, an area hit hard by graduation after winning the Sun Belt Conference last season.

The offensive line is the next project.

“For us to compete and to win a championship this year we had to makes some immediate transactions to get guys in here,’’ said Anderson. “We did that but it creates other holes that we are addressing now from all these skill guys who graduated.

“That is why we needed to bring in wide outs who can helps us now and they are all on campus with the exception of one. It is going to be a completely different issue next year with the graduation of seven offensive linemen."

"We are going to have seven senior offensive lineman graduate next year. What is the immediate issue and how do we address that issues the bet way to make us competitive now?
“There is another way to do that. We sign all HS kids and take our lumps for a couple of year but none of us want to do that. So we don’t. We fix it now.”

The Red Wolves will lose Austin Moreton, Colton Jackson, Joseph Bacchus, Devin Mondie, Brandon Berg, Jemar Clark and Robert Maxwell after next season.

“We signed three in this recruiting class,’’ said Anderson. “We started working on it some last year when we brought in Jamal Fontenot is August signee. He is going to help plug it in. We are already in conversation with another two O-lineman guys who might be August signees for us. We need to sign two junior college guys next December and then probably three or four high school guys next February. It is going to be the biggest hole we have to fill.

“We are working on that already.”

Actually a part of the most recent signing class, Fontenot (6-4, 300) was able to redshirt last season and will have three years left. High school signees Jacob Atnip (6-5, 300) of Sheridan, Jacob Still (6-1, 295) of Collierville, Tenn., and Troy Elliot (6-5, 302) of Flower Mound, Texas were added this month.

“We are making headway on the depth issues,’’ said Anderson. “We just three or four classes to get done.”