National Signing Day 2018

February 7, 2018 · By · Filed Under Football, National Signing Day, Sun Belt Conference · Comment 

Most of Coach Steve Campbell’s staff have now officially been on the job for exactly two months and it all culminated with National Signing Day.

Back in December, the Jags signed 10 student-athletes during the first-ever early signing period for football. Those were signed a mere 12 days after Campbell took over as the Jaguars head football coach.

Since Campbell began, he has been evaluating where the needs were on the team and looking to shore up his squad for the 2018 season. Of the 10 early signees in December, eight of them were defensive players.

Whatever you want to now call this day: Spring signing day, late signing period, or the tradition ‘national signing day, the Jags were more offensive minded. Of the 13 that were signed, 11 of them were offensive student-athletes.

Out of the 13, two of them are considered blue shirts and three are preferred walk-ons.

Blue shirts are players that are not formally or officially recruited but are put on scholarship at start of freshman practice, which means they never had an official visit, however they could have payed their own way and visited campus as an “unofficial” visit. These players can be counted towards next years scholarship total.

What’s the difference between a walk-on and a preferred walk-on you ask? Well, when Football Scoop asked coaches what that term meant, nine out of 10 answered that a preferred walk-on (PWO) are guaranteed a spot on the 105 man roster on day one of camp. While traditional walk-ons will have to go through tryouts to see if they can earn a spot on the 105 man roster. PWO’s are also in a better place to earn a scholarship, but normally that will not happen until their junior year due to NCAA rules to limit “oversigning”.

Overall, Campbell and his staff put together a pretty good class in a short time. They addressed needs but they missed out on some of their big targets, primarily at running back, but ended up signing some quality athletes.

Twelve of the 23 signees came from the state of Alabama with the rest coming from five other states. Five of the recruits were rated as 3-star recruits by 247Sports, including quarterback Desmond Trotter who is the grandson of former Alabama star, College and NFL Hall of Famer, and Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome. Two athletes were rated as two-star recruits.

While the recruiting sites primarily focus on the very top of the recruiting rankings, Rivals was at least the easiest to look at rankings for the Sun Belt. Based on their formula, Arkansas State lands the top spot with the Jags landing 9th out of 11 on the list.

Rivals full SBC Rankings:
1. Arkansas State (75th nationally)
2. Georgia State (86th nationally)
3. Troy (95th nationally)
4. Texas State (96th nationally)
5. Louisiana-Monroe (98th nationally)
6. Georgia Southern
7. Appalachian State
8. New Mexico State
9. South Alabama
10. Idaho
11. Louisiana-Lafayette (only signed 13 student-athletes)

South Alabama will begin their spring schedule in March culminating in the annual Red-Blue Spring Game on Saturday, April 14th at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Go Jags!