The attention of UNT fans is squarely focused on the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and that’s the way it should be.
UNT will face UNLV on Year’s Day at the Cotton Bowl.
But I did come across an interesting tidbit the other day in terms of recruiting, and in a sense UNT’s chances of capitalizing immediately on a breakout season that I thought was worth posing.
UNT has 15 players committed at this point.
The total number of players UNT will take in this class is a moving target, which is pretty typical. The working number is 19. UNT is just about done.
What one has to take into account is the number of players UNT backdated to this class or grayshirted. Era offensive lineman Avery Fortenberry will count toward this class after gray shirting. Punter Blake Macek, who is doing a fine job this season, will also count toward this class. Throw in Anthony Wallace, who will count toward this class after transferring in from Oregon, and UNT quickly drops from the baseline figure of 25 that schools start with and everyone has in mind.
In today’s world of college football, my contention has always been the recruiting bump from great seasons is usually a year down the line. UNT didn’t have proof that this is its breakout year until it beat Rice on Oct. 31. By that point, there were a whole lot of kids who had already decided where they are headed, or at least had a pretty good idea.
Don’t get me wrong. UNT is off to a great start and has picked up a ton of key players, especially at the skill positions who will help the program continue heading in the right direction in the wake of losing several key players.
Sulphur Springs running back Willy Ivery, Carthage wide receiver Tee Goree and South Oak Cliff wide receiver Fonzale Davis are all great gets for UNT. Ivery and Goree were recent commits.
If UNT can pick up a couple of more players of that ilk, it will really be in business. I suspect that will be the case.
Just don’t expect there to be a whole lot of players added to the class late in the days leading up to UNT’s first bowl game since 2004.
The following is a list of players who have orally committed to sign with UNT in 2014 with links to their recruiting bios on various websites:
WR Jalen Adams, Moore (Okla.) Southmoore
WR Fonzale Davis, Dallas South Oak Cliff
CB Garrett Davis, Red Oak
DE Johnavhon Grahm, DeSoto
LB Brandon Garner, Mansfield Timberview
WR Tee Goree, Carthage
RB Willy Ivery, Sulphur Springs
DT Shaq Jackson, DeSoto
CB Andrew Jones, North Mesquite
S Kishawn McClain, Rosenberg Terry
QB Connor Means, Deer Park
OL Chris Miles, Flower Mound
LB Jalen Montgomery, Mesquite
K Trevor Moore, Edmond (Okla.) North
WR O’Keeron Rutherford, Carthage