National signing day is in the books for another year, which gives us time to reflect on what went right and what went wrong for UNT. Yesterday, we looked at what is a pretty good batch of FBS transfers and JUCO signees that UNT is really depending on to fill some holes.
Today, we look at how UNT fared in terms of building for the future with its high school signees.
UNT signed just 13 high school players in its class, although Tyler Chapel Hill safety Andrew Tucker has a full four years of eligibility after enrolling at the semester break as a grayshirt.
UNT took a big risk with signing so many junior college players. There are not many high school players for UNT to develop behind them, at least not in this class. That makes it all the more important that the high school players UNT did sign turn out.
UNT didn’t sign a whole lot of highly regarded players out of the high school ranks, which makes it less likely they will make an impact, right away or over the long run. There are a few gems in the group, though.
Chad Davis, a cornerback out of Houston, is likely the best of the bunch. ESPN has him rated No. 51 on its list of the best cornerbacks in the country, while the Houston Chronicle had him in its state top 100. Rivals had him rated as a three-star prospect until dropping him to two stars late in the process.
Wide receiver Darvin Kidsy also made the Houston Chronicle’s area top 100 list.
Offensive lineman Cody Nelson of Keller and defensive back John Schilleci were in The Dallas Morning News’ Area Top 100 before dropping out near the end of the recruiting cycle. Both were bumped off when a couple of area prospects who had good seasons and signed with major conference schools jumped in.
Getting Schilleci was big just from the perspective that he is a Denton ISD product, the first to sign with UNT in several years.
UNT’s class would have looked a whole lot better if the school would have been able to win a couple of battles late in the process.
Three-star defensive back/wide receiver Jermaine Antoine backed out of his commitment to UNT to sign with TCU. UNT was also in the hunt for a few of the area’s top players only to see them commit to other schools, including South Garland defensive tackle Charles Walker, who committed to Oklahoma.
The question now is if a few of the other key prospects UNT signed will come through in the end and qualify. Van defensive lineman Sydrick Moore has yet to qualify, although he is expected to make it. Dan McCarney said he expects everyone to qualify.
That would help matters significantly.
When McCarney came in, he said he wanted to build the program through the Texas high school ranks. UNT signed 23 players and only 14 of them were players directly from Texas high schools, although 19 of the 23 guys UNT signed played high school football in Texas.
UNT did land a few players who could be key building blocks, including quarterback Dajon Williams, Davis and Moore.
UNT will have to get more out of each one of them because there are fewer of them in the class.
What one has to consider is the circumstances. UNT might have a new stadium; it might be headed to Conference USA. Bottom line, it still has not won consistently since its last winning season in 2004. It was a solid effort overall. I’s give it a C.