Western Kentucky first-year head coach Mike Sanford announced his first Hilltopper recruiting class on Wednesday.
Including five currently enrolled at WKU, the 2017 class is 23 players deep with an emphasis on talent the trenches. Four offensive and four defensive lineman highlight the class that hails from eight different states.
The process, labeled The Pursuit 17 by the coaching staff occurred in four weeks time, sending the newly assembled staff in many directions and utilizing two weekends to host recruits on campus.
“The Pursuit was definitely aptly named for really the last 27, 28 days since our staff reported on the night of January 3rd," said Sanford. "It was something that we wanted to set a tone for every aspect of our program. We are going to pursue the best players that fit Western Kentucky and most importantly fit our vision for this program going forward."
DOWNLOAD: Recruiting Class
In addition to the needed linemen, the class addressed depth needs at all spots on the field.
"I'm really excited about this class because it addressed our needs," he said. "When we got here as a staff and met as a staff on the morning of January 4, we went back and looked at our current roster. We wanted to see how the schemes fit in that we were going to implement on offense, defense and special teams relative to our current roster and we evaluated that."
When he was introduced as WKU's head coach, Sanford laid his goals and vision for the Hilltopper program. Sanford, the youngest FBS head coach, expects to build upon the recent successes, which includes back-to-back Conference USA and bowl titles. In addition to the league title, Sanford's vision includes defeating a Power-5 opponent every year and winning a New Year’s Six Bowl. He believes his group of recruits puts the program on course to do just that.
"I really feel good about. most importantly, that every single person that is going to matriculate to Western Kentucky in this class is completely bought in to the vision of graduating from Western Kentucky with a meaningful degree and to play championship football," he said.