Yesterday, we saw all the hoopla come to a boil with one of my least favorite days of the year: National Signing Day. Many people love the entire process as evidenced by the success of 247 sports, Rivals, and way too many twitter accounts (please do not tweet at prospective recruits). So, much to my chagrin, I will take a look at the Mountain West Conference and how what stood out to me about national signing day.
**I am looking at 247’s rankings, so keep that in mind.**
Crown them again, Boise State rules the roost:
As expected, the Broncos “won” national signing day with a class that currently sits at #62 nationally according to 247 sports. They landed 16 three-star players and the only four-star signee of the entire conference. The only other four-star signees came in the AAC with Memphis and Cincinnati. This marks the seventh straight season that 247 sports ranked Boise State as the top recruiting power in the MWC.
The crown jewel of the class is four-star defensive back Jermani Brown. The Broncos have a recent history of strong play in the secondary and Brown expects to be the next in a line of talented defensive backs. The Virginia native chose Boise State over Wisconsin, Virginia, Michigan State, and Arizona State among others.
The Broncos also landed help on the offensive line in JUCO transfer Isiah Moore, a quarterback of the future in Chase Cord, and reinforcements at skill positions. Overall, they did just about what everyone expected heading into the day.
It was not all Boise State as Mike Bobo and Colorado State landed a conference-high 17 three-star players from a class that included players from 12 different states.
Hawaii with the closing speed:
Being so far away from the mainland makes recruiting a tough issue for Hawaii. The coaching staff is unable to travel as easily and quickly to visit prospects, time differences can be an issue, and getting a teenager to make such a commitment are some of the many issues facing the Rainbow Warriors.
Heading into signing day, Hawaii was among the lowest rated teams in the MWC. By the time every signature was put to paper, they were a top five team in the MWC and #98 in the nation.
Jamie Tago, a defensive lineman prospect, is making another attempt at joining the program. He committed and signed a letter of intent, but ended up at Garden City CC instead. While at the JUCO ranks, he was committed to Kansas, but changed his mind and decided again to sign with Hawaii. Let’s hope it works out this time.
My personal favorite signee was Hekili Keliiliki out of Bentonville, Arkansas. You just do not expect a 6-2 fullback with that name to come from Arkansas. He is the #4 fullback and #14 player in the state, choosing Hawaii over offers from Stanford and a majority of the Ivy League.
Bob Davie loves him some JUCO football:
As of right now, New Mexico has 17 signees for the 2017 class. Of the 21, thirteen are from the JUCO ranks. Davie already has seven of those players on campus with the ability to participate in spring practice and possibly start this fall. It is no surprise that five are on the defensive side of the ball, as the Lobos were not very good at all on that side of the ball.
Maybe the most interesting prospect is 6-3, 205 pound quarterback Cameron Burston. The three-star JUCO transfer was primarily a passer last season with over 2,100 yards passing in ten games. He does possess the ability to rush with over 400 yards on 115 carries last fall. This may be another step in Davie turning his run, run, run, run offense into a run, run, pass, run offense.
In addition, the Lobos signed a player out of Minnesota. Yes, they went to Minnesota out of all places and landed the #4 player in the state. The 6-3 defensive back even had offers from multiple P5 programs, making the coup all the more impressive. He may need some grooming, but Nico Bolden out of Woodbury, Minnesota could be a multi-year starter for the Lobos.