I spent some time earlier today making calls and texting a few people to see where UNT stands heading into JUCO singing day (or at least the first day of the mid-term period).
The big news was that UNT landed Snow lineman Justin Manu.
That was a huge get for UNT, one I have touched on already.
Here’s what else we know at this point:
UNT has three guys who are supposed to sign tomorrow or in the next day or two:
Trinity Valley center Shawn McKinney, Kilgore cornerback James Jones and Manu.
All three of those guys fill need spots for UNT, which needs defensive back help, a center to replace Aaron Fortenberry in case Boone Feldt isn’t ready next season and a tackle to add to the rotation with Coleman Feeley graduating.
Jones and Manu look like they could be difference-makers on paper. Manu is a first-team JUCO All-American with options who UNT recruited as a right tackle, while Jones is a guy who should start at one of the cornerback spots.
There are few other guys still in play heading into signing day at some need spots.
Defensive end KC Obi was a pretty good and important player for UNT, and while UNT still has Brandon McCoy and Aaron Bellazin back, it could use another option at that spot.
Eastern Arizona’s Quinton Brown is out there. He never texted me back, so there is no telling what he is thinking. One factor I have not mentioned is that Brown did play for UCF, which is where John Skladany was the defensive coordinator before coming to UNT.
That connection could help.
Trinity Valley defensive end Kewan Alfred is also still out there. McKinney said Alfred liked UNT, but he never responded to text messages either, and now there is a report out there that he will sign with Memphis.
He isn’t saying where he is going on Twitter, but it doesn’t look promising.
Brown might be UNT’s best bet for an end at the mid-term break.
I did swap messages with South Garland coach Mark Cox, who has been super helpful to see what is going on with his defensive tackle Charles Walker. Cox did confirm that Walker will visit Oklahoma, but was not sure if the Sooners have offered.
Walker was leaning toward signing with UNT when I talked to him last, but it’s hard to see him passing on an offer from OU if he gets it.
Walker has to be close to the top of the priority list because defensive tackles are so hard to find. UNT only has a few possibilities for a high-end tackle in this class and one of them came off the board this week when Lake Highlands tackle Nick Thurman decided to defect from the Dallas area to commit to Houston over offers from several other schools, including UNT.
We will find out more tomorrow. Stay tuned.