Tag Archives: National Signing Day

THE MORNING AFTER: National Signing Day and Five Questions

It hasn’t even been 24 hours since Western signed 26 recruits to play football, and the dust has settled.

First off, I would encourage you to check out our coverage at wkuherald.com, which includes stories on Franklin-Simpson quarterback Courtney Dalcourt, the popularity of signing day, an overall look at the class, and a column by David Harten.

I had the opportunity to stop by the Topper Club last night as Western hosted their first Signing Day celebration.

With just about a month before spring practice starts, an event like the celebration could be the link between the regular season and spring practices that Western needs to keep momentum and excitement building around the program in the offseason.

Like David talks about in his column, we won’t see the fruits of these players’ labor for quite some time. Nonetheless, it forces you to start thinking about spring camp and the storylines that could arise from those practices.

Five questions about the class of 2009:

1) How quickly do we see quarterback Courtney Dalcourt’s impact? It’s already a crowded quarterback race, and Dalcourt just makes it more interesting.

2) With four offensive lineman that average 271 pounds, how do they develop, and how can they improve an offensive line that gave up 25 sacks for 204 yards last season?

3) How do kickers Casey Tinius and Zac Minturn improve in spring camp before the 16th-best place kicker in the country according to ESPN.com, Monte Merrick, arrives on campus and potentially threatens their jobs?

4) According to Scout.com, Western’s 2009 class is the best in the Sun Belt Conference. How long before Western finishes at the top of the Sun Belt Conference standings and earns a bowl bid?

5) Ten years down the road, when people look back, will there be a player from this class that they talk about?

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Notes from Elson’s signing day press conference

Just got in from head coach David Elson’s press conference here on National Signing Day. You can see below that Elson and the Toppers pulled in an impressive class of athletes to the Hill. It’s yet to be seen how it will all turn out (read my column in tomorrow’s Herald for more on that), but as of now, Elson has year one of being a full-fledged Football Bowl Subdivision program off to a great start.

Here are a few blurbs from the press conference:

Elson on the class: “We hit every need that we had (position-wise). There really is not a position not represented in this entire class. So I think it’s a sign of things to come, and I think it’s going to continue to get better as we get out of this transition and move into being bowl-eligible and conference championship-eligible.”

Elson on getting kids from Kentucky, after getting none last season: “There was absolutely no more emphasis or less emphasis put on the state of Kentucky this year than from day one when I got hired. We’ve always said that if there is a kid in this state that we have evaluated and we feel that he can help us and fit in, then we’re going recruit him and we’re going to offer him.”

Elson on the range of the class, country-wide, with players coming from eight states: “We evaluated like we do every year and said ‘okay, how can we improve?’ We said, we need to stay in the south, because that is where the Sun Belt (Conference) is based. We said, let’s see where we can branch off to. We’ve been strong in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. Coach (Eric) Mathies had recruited the Dallas-area before…so he had some connections. So we said, let’s get into Texas with his connections, because North Texas is in our league and it’s not a place we have actively recruited, and then we continued to Alabama, and we found a couple guys down there.”

– David Harten

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First glance at the recruiting class

It’s been just two short hours since David Elson announced that he received all 26 letters of intent earlier this afternoon, and we still await his first comments outside of a press release when he meets with the media today at 4 p.m.

The class includes four offensive lineman, averaging 271 pounds. That’s somewhat light by Football Bowl Subdivision standards, but you can expect that average will be up by the fall after these players get on the Western training regimen. Perhaps headlining the offensive linemen that have signed is Sean Conway from Father Ryan High School in Nashville. He received an offensive game grade of 91 percent in 2008, as well as being the 44th rated offensive guard in the U.S. by ESPN.com.

As for those prospects from Kentucky, plenty of notable tidbits about those players to go around. Wide receiver Jamarielle Brown led a resurgent Lone Oak High School team and rushed for 922 yards and 17 touchdowns on 123 carries. Quarterback Courtney Dalcourt is rated as the sixth-best prospect in the state by Rivals.com.

Even kicker Monte Merrick, from Bell County High School in Pineville, Ky., brings quite a resume to Western. He kicked a 56-yard field goal in 2008 which stands as the fourth-longest field goal in state history. Merrick is the 16th-rated kicker in the U.S. by Scout.com.

Elson was also able to snag two recruits from Texas, a state that is coveted as a recruiting paradise in college football. Wide receiver Will Adams is the sixth-rated receiver in the Dallas area by the Dallas Morning News. Safety Denton Allmon from Irving, Texas is also the 181st rated safety in the U.S. by ESPN.com.

– Andrew Robinson

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26 are official

It’s just 1 p.m., but we’ve already gotten word from Western officials that all 26 letters of intent of been received by Western.

We’ll have plenty more on this in tomorrow’s Herald and at wkuherald.com, but for now, a few interesting tidbits:

  • Scout.com rated Western’s recruiting class No. 1 in the Sun Belt Conference.
  • Three players are rated three-star recruits by Rivals.com.
  • 19 players are rated two-star recruits by Rivals or Scouts.com.

Elson is having a press conference at 4 p.m. We’ll have more details and reaction about this class later this evening.

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Busy day ahead

Today is National Signing Day for high school seniors as they sign their national letter of intent to play football at the collegiate level.

We expect about 25 signees for Western. However, head coach David Elson cannot comment on the players until the university has received their letters, which causes things to be a little tricky at times. Elson will have a press conference at 4 p.m. today to talk about this incoming class, and then there will be a reception at the Topper Club, where fans can get a closer look at the recruits.

Recruiting has become big business as fans look for every nugget of information they can find throughout the year. Western is looking to build the excitement and anticipation around the football team, and one way to do that is with a solid recruiting class. Throughout the day ,we’ll be updating as we get news and whatever other information we can get our hands on. As the evening progresses, we’ll have more information and can give you even more insight on the class.

– Andrew Robinson

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Elson, Toppers land another recruit

In a break from the basketball madness (not that I’m okay with that), David Elson has been cleaning up on the recruiting ranks, especially on the local level, and his latest show of assertiveness on the Kentucky gridiron could be his biggest of the off-season.

Early reports say the Toppers got Franklin-Simpson athlete Courtney Dalcourt to commit, putting to rest a long and arduous process for the talented prospect. It is also a great triumph in the recruiting world for Elson, as he beat out Football Bowl Subdivision heavyweights
Georgia Tech, Louisville, Kentucky and Stanford.

Being able to get top-level players is the first step in being able to compete early and often. And Elson is doing that to the fullest extent.

We won’t know all of what Elson thinks or expects from Dalcourt until Feb. 5, when Elson is officially allowed to comment on recruits after they have signed their National Letter of Intent on or after that day. Western has announced that the program will be having a National Signing Day Celebration in the club level of Smith Stadium. The event is open to the public.

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