JONESBORO, Ark. – Arkansas State head football coach Blake Anderson announced Wednesday that the Red Wolves have signed 22 players from 12 different states as part of their 2018 recruiting class.
“It’s been a mad dash with lot of activity over the last month to get to this point, from preparing for a bowl game to contact period and then to early signing day,” said Anderson. “We’ve always had early signing day, but never to this level where we’ve added nearly 95 percent of our class. It’s new and uncharted territory, but I’m proud of the class that we’ve put together. It’s been competitive along the way to get them here, and it came together in different stages.”
A-State’s latest recruiting class, the fifth under Anderson, is made up of 14 defensive, seven offensive and one special teams players. The Red Wolves put a large focus on its defensive line and secondary, signing 12 combined cornerbacks, nickelbacks, safeties and linemen for the most among any of the position groups.
The class also includes a pair of linebackers, while the offensive signees feature two running backs, a couple of tight ends, a pair of wide receivers and one offensive lineman.
“All in all, this is already a good, solid class, and we’re not completely done yet,” Anderson said. “There is still some work to do over the holidays, we’re still battling on a few guys and could potentially add some guys in February. This is the bulk of the class, though, and it does give us a chance to stabilize some areas that are a concern. It also gives us immediate help at some positions that could elevate the talent or create depth – obviously potential starters to help us get where we want to next year.”
The Red Wolves’ 2018 signing class thus far includes eight players who were already enrolled at Arkansas State University and either participated on the 2017 team or redshirted the season. A-State added 14 players on the first day of the early signing period today, including 11 high school players and three junior college transfers.
College of San Mateo (Calif.) transfer defensive linemen Tukua Ahoia and Thomas Toki, as well as Northeast Mississippi Community College transfer tight end Ross Painter and tight end Reed Tyler out of Brandon High School, will count as midyear signees and be available to participate in the Red Wolves’ spring camp.
The entire class thus far, including the eight players who were already on the team in 2017, is made up of 14 high school signees, five junior-college transfers and three NCAA FBS transfers. While several honors still haven’t been announced for the 2017 season, 16 signees have already been named all-state, all-conference or rated as at least a 3-star prospect by one of the major recruiting web sites, including Toki, who was a four-star recruit when he came out of high school.
The Red Wolves signed three players each from the states of California, Texas and Georgia, as well as two each from Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. A-State also inked one player from Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma.
A-State has won five Sun Belt Conference championships over the last seven years and has produced 59 victories for the most in the program’s 103-year history over a seven-season span. The Red Wolves also made their school-record seventh consecutive bowl-game appearance in 2017.